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 10 Padling Arkansas / Buffallo River (?) (Read 5676 times)
Quentin
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Padling Arkansas / Buffallo River (?)
Mar 15th, 2018 at 10:21am
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We are taking a road trip to from Illinois to Texas via Arkansas.  Plan on having a couple days to burn in Arkansas, anyone ever done a day trip on the Buffalo or ? 
Thanks
Quentin
  
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Mad_Mat
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Re: Padling Arkansas / Buffallo River (?)
Reply #1 - Mar 15th, 2018 at 1:54pm
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no, but I was going to do a trip there last May - but the water was at flood stage due to heavy rains - springtime, that can happen easily - about the time I bailed out on the trip, the water came back down to somewhat reasonable - so if your trip is in the spring, watch the weather forecasts for the Buffalo.

there are a lot of rivers in TX - its BIG ya know, so depends on what your destination is going to be.  "Big D" - think about Caddo Lake, paddling thru a cypress swamp on trails marked by license plates from different states.

Austin? Colorado River
  
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Jimbo
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Re: Padling Arkansas / Buffallo River (?)
Reply #2 - Mar 15th, 2018 at 7:46pm
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Quentin,

Yes, I paddled it with my family many years ago.  Very worthwhile. Smallmouth bass fishing is quite good. Also, if you’re into exploring caves, there are plenty of them.  There are also some nice trout waters, as I understand it, but further downstream them where we did our day trip.

Go for it!

Jimbo.  Cool
  
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Quentin
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Re: Padling Arkansas / Buffallo River (?)
Reply #3 - Mar 16th, 2018 at 8:59pm
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Thanks for the info and heads up on the rain/water levels.  We will be going very early May, so I'll keep a watch on the rainfall.  Jimbo, we will check into the caves, not really "cavers" (spelunkers?)  but we have stumbled across a couple that were amazing.
  
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Jimbo
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Re: Padling Arkansas / Buffallo River (?)
Reply #4 - Mar 17th, 2018 at 5:51am
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Quentin,

The water color is actually "milky" looking from the limestone cliffs through which the river flows.  You should have some very pretty paddling that time of year.  It's a beautiful area.

We had great success using the smallest smallmouth lures in my box.  We tossed them right below the many small sets of rapids we passed through and generally had good results.

The caves are really something.  Bring a headlamp, otherwise you might go s-p-l-a-s-hing when you go spelunking.  Some of those shafts have pools of water collected in the drop-offs where they open up into wider chambers.  We found the public-marked ones in the state parks to be quite safe but, if you get claustrophobic, you might want to think twice before crawling in.  You can acquire a certain "unsettled" feeling when you contemplate the mountain of rock that lies overtop the 2 foot, very dark crawl space you are crabbing your way through....

It's still worth it.

Jimbo   Cool
  
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Quentin
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Re: Padling Arkansas / Buffallo River (?)
Reply #5 - Mar 17th, 2018 at 1:44pm
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Hey Jimbo,

What section/area of the river did you paddle?  Hope your doing well, missed ya at Copia.
  
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Jimbo
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Re: Padling Arkansas / Buffallo River (?)
Reply #6 - Mar 17th, 2018 at 3:55pm
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Quentin,

Unfortunately, it's been a very long time so I don't exactly remember where.  I DO remember that we were below the section of river that held trout.  Also, while we rented a cabin nearby, I believe we launched our canoes at a campground and arranged for a shuttle to bring us back there.  We did no more than half a day on the river.  The kids were little & we didn't want to push it.

One of the neat things about that area is they reintroduced elk... and they are thriving!  I had never seen one in the wild before but we ran into large herds there.  When they are "bugling", you'll know it!  All in all it was a very nice vacation.  My two small boys & three nieces had a blast but, as I recall they were quite young at the time, I'm guessing that trip was well over 20 years ago.  The funny thing is that I kept all the old books & maps up until just a few months ago, then trashed them!  Otherwise, I could tell you a good bit more & send you some materials.  Oh, well....

Yeah, I hope not to miss Copia next year.  I missed my time away with the guys.

Later,

Jimbo   Cool
  
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Jim J Solo
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Re: Padling Arkansas / Buffallo River (?)
Reply #7 - Mar 24th, 2018 at 5:53am
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If you're passing through Missouri check out the Current and Jacks Fork. Both are clear spring fed streams with high bluffs. It's hard to decide wether to look down into the deep or up along the bluffs.

P.S. I picked up some Lyme disease in the spring near the Current. Bullseye rash and achy feeling showed up 10 days later.
  
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Jim J Solo
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Re: Padling Arkansas / Buffallo River (?)
Reply #8 - Apr 2nd, 2021 at 9:25am
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Thought I'd bump this up as options for this year.
  
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azalea
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Re: Padling Arkansas / Buffallo River (?)
Reply #9 - Apr 3rd, 2021 at 1:33am
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I lived in southern illinios for 6 years and did the bufflao once, and the current and elven points multiple times.  Do  not recall that much about the buffalo but similar experieince to the other two.

And yes watch the weather foecasts.  On one of the weekend river trips in Missouri, heavy storms upstream one day out led to flooding.  We pulled off at a spot that had some higher ground and watched the river rise FAST. Sat around the next day and was too dangerous to continue.  Finally left Monday morning, with water still high.  It was difficult to even know where the main river channel was.  Eventually one canoe flipped (spring, very cold water), so we all pulled out onto a field.  Built a fire to warm the dunked.  Luckily a road was nearby and one of us hitched a ride to our waiting vehicle.  No cell phones in those days, so a number of worried people were glad when they finally heard from us.
  
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