The upper Buffalo National River at the Ponca access is currently at a water level that is too low for floating. When the river returns to a floatable level, we'll update this page immediately.
Meanwhile, consider a winter hike---it's one of the best seasons to enjoy trail time as foot traffic is light, and the peace and quiet is extraordinary. In fact, if you're timing is good, there's a great possibility you'll have the trail to yourself. This is Arkansas' finest hiking, so if you've never experienced it in winter, then you're missing out on a real outdoor lover's treat!
Click here to find a trail in the Ponca area to enjoy this winter: BOC's Top Buffalo River Trails
Also, Buffalo River elk watching is very good this time of year as the herds tend to stay visible throughout the day in the Boxley Valley along Hwy 43.
KEEP THAT CANOE UPRIGHT, NOT UPSIDE DOWN
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
Reservations are always recommended, although you can typically just walk in our office and rent a canoe early in the spring, it's not always guaranteed. Kayaks and rafts, however, are available in limited numbers; therefore, an advance reservation is always 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.