December 18, 2014 - The upper Buffalo River at Ponca is currently at 18" of airspace, thanks to a nice little shower that we had last night. This is a canoeing and kayaking water level with good flow. Please note that due to the cold water and air temperatures, it is recommended that you have paddling experience and understand the risks of cold-water immersion and hypothermia.
AVOID THE RISK OF COLD-WATER IMMERSION OR HYPOTHERMIA: Dress in quick-dry layers (not cotton) or, even better, a wet suit, which we have available for rent in our store for $10+tax for the suit; $5+tax for booties. Also, a spare change of clothes, a large towel and matches are great buddies to have along in a dry bag.
New to canoeing? Then you'll want to watch our popular canoeing video of tips on "How to Avoid Turning Over," hosted by BOC's Canoe Operator, Mike Mills. This short canoeing video has been viewed by more than 40,000 paddlers---now it's your turn!
Learn in this quick, insightful video how we use airspace at the Ponca low water bridge to help us gauge river floating conditions: Ponca Airspace & Buffalo River Canoeing
During March, you can typically just walk in our office and rent a canoe, even on a weekend. Kayaks and rafts, however, are available in limited numbers; therefore, an advance reservation is recommended. If you are planning to float on a weekend in April, May or June, we encourage you to reserve your boats now as last-minute rentals are usually hard to come by. Please note that on weekends in May and June, we will be launching from Steel Creek and floating to Kyles, unless the water levels do not permit us to, in which case, we would float from Pruitt to Hasty.
Check out our helpful "FLOATING SAFETY TIPS" page for some important things to consider before paddling the Buffalo National River with children.
BE AWARE: ARKANSAS LAW REQUIRES that children 12 years old and younger must wear a USCG–approved PFD securely fastened to their persons at all times while on any vessel.