Buffalo River Advice

Some friends and I are in the process of planning a canoe trip on the Buffalo River in late April. None of us has paddled this river before, although I have done a bit of reading. We are not really looking for whitewater, so we are interested in starting somewhere downstream of Ponca, where the paddling will be a bit more relaxed. However, we have a few questions that would benefit from expertise of other P-Net folk. We have four days that we can spend on the river. The basic options we have discussed are:

Option 1 – Ponca to US 65 bridge – This is supposed to include the most scenic and most popular section of the river.

Option 2 – AR Highway 7 [Pruitt] to U.S. 65 Bridge [Grinders Ferry] – Doesn’t include the most popular stretch of river, but apparently still plenty to see.

Option 3 – Carver to Buffalo Point – Sounds quite relaxed, with some good scenery based upon the descriptions i have seen.

Option 4 – U.S. 65 Bridge [Grinders Ferry] to Buffalo City. – This includes the remotest section of the river, passing through the Lower Buffalo Wilderness. Not likely to see many people.

There is interest in trying to get a good balance between scenery and avoiding lots of other people on the river. So, my questions are:

Given the timing of the trip (April, mostly weekdays), how busy is the river likely to be in the Option 1 reach compared to other reaches?

How does the scenery compare in the various reaches described above?

Any advice is appreciated, including other put-ins and take-outs…

You will get a better response to your questions if you post in the “Getting together and going Paddling” board. A lot of people don’t read the “Wilderness” thread. There is a group floating the Buffalo April 27-May 1. See the 'Spring ‘05 Ozark Rendezvous’ thread in the archives, and the 'Spring ‘05 Rendezvous–New Thread’ in the Getting together board. Post there and you will get lots of info.

Pat #2

for the suggestion. IN case anyone else has the same questions, I was pointed to an excellent thread that addressed most of my questions… http://www.paddling.net/message/showThread.html?fid=advice&tid=282865