Paddle the Buffalo National River: Ponca to Kyle's Landing

Arkansas Buffalo National River, Ponca Bridge

Added by Matt Bishop

Spectacular bluffs, waterfalls and scenery with enough rapids to keep the kids interested on this 10-11 mile stretch of the Buffalo. More challenging in the early Spring though.

Put in at the Ponca Bridge, or Steel Creek if the water is too low, for the most scenic float in Arkansas. Paddle surrounded by 3-400 foot bluffs, and through slightly challenging water here and there. Great float for kids as there are plenty of swimming holes.

I've done this with my own elementary age kids and camped overnight in faster water, and in moderate water have taken an entire 4th grade class and rookie floating parents with no loss of limb (though there were some parents who ended up upside down). Plus there's an easy hike to the highest waterfall between the Rockies and the Appalachians, Hemmed-in-Hollow, from the river.

In the spring, this can be much more challenging if water levels are up, and is an expert float, especially in a canoe.

Pack List

  • Canoe or kayak (you can rent canoes and kayaks locally for around $50/day)
  • Cooler
  • Lunch
  • Dry bag
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Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Rafting

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



10.3 Miles



Family Friendly

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How to Get There

5 months ago

Float Trip

Great float, not too difficult. Everyone in our group flipped at least once. This is a favorite float we do at least once a year

5 months ago

Added by Matt Bishop

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