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Buffalo River (Yellville, AR)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:46 pm
by AllenMcB
This is a national river, nice and curvy, but very slow water in July.

Troop 45 chose Dillard's Outfitters on Highway 14 south of Yellville, AR. They are about a five minute drive from the Buffalo Point National campground. After receiving a 10% discount for Scouts, it was about $20/person for the canoe and the river shuttle to the put-in point.

Shuttles seem to leave about every two hours.

Understanding that water levels change during the year, the accuracy of this description may change with the season.

We took the "Maumee Run", 10 /2 miles of canoeing. Dillard's shuttles carried us north to the put-in, and we canoed south to the Highway 14 bridge, where we had left our vans. There we were able to pull the canoes out, and just leave. Dillards came around later to pick up the gear. Dillards also provided us with mesh trash bags, and a set of rules for using the river. This is a nice service.

At the beginning of July, the water ranged from 1' to 6' deep. It was very green and clear, very unpolluted. It had rained heavily two nights before, but the water was still very slow. No fast water anywhere, we had to paddle the whole 10 1/2 miles. Not a hard paddle, but a steady paddle, Some of the smaller boys tired out after about eight miles.

Lots of places along the route to get out, swim, and enjoy God's handiwork.

We took time about 1/3 of the way down to practice working with a capsized canoe, and five of our newer Scouts ended up with the Canoeing merit badge by the time the trip was over.

We spent seven hours doing this 10 1/2 miles, though the folks at Dillards estimated it at about five hours. Apparently having 17 people to keep up with slows down progress!

We has three BSA certified lifeguards on this canoe trip, and they kept a keen eye on all our canoers.

I think I'd like to try this again, maybe earlier in the year, when there is more water, and maybe some faster water. In any case, it was a great trip!