Silver Hill Canoe Rental is located on US 65, in the Middle District of the Buffalo National River, and is convenient to the Tyler Bend Visitor Center and Campground.
The Buffalo National River is popular with floaters year round. In the Spring, water levels tend to be higher and more rapid. During high water season inexperienced boaters should be especially cautious. Summer and early Autumn generally bring lower water levels and is a great time for a lazy float down the stream. Winter can be cold, but the main flow of the river is usually ice free for the hardy canoer.
Silver Hill Canoe Rental is operated by knowledgable local folks, and is convenient to several river access points. Float trips may last from few hours to a week or more.
You don't have to get in the water to enjoy the Buffalo National River. A network of more than 100 miles of hiking trails runs throughout the length of the Park, offering hikes from a short stroll to overnight backpacking opportunities. Many of these trails parallel the river, both at water level and high on adjoining bluffs with splendid scenic views.
Those who tread softly along the trails may be lucky to spot the herd of Elk, which has been reintroduced to the region. The bottom land hay fields along the river are ideal Elk habitat. Other wildlife which may be seen includes Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Mink, Beaver, Great Blue Heron and other small game. Bald Eagles use the river seasonally in the winter.
Maps and trail descriptions are available at any of the visitor center or ranger stations. Trail information can also be found by clicking the web link below.
Equipment: A sturdy pair of walking shoes.
We were at the park in February, so we could not avail ourselves of the opportunity to really experience the Buffalo River. All we could do was visit the Visitor's Center. As usual with National Parks, there were many interesting exhibits, and there was also a film about the park founding and recreation in the park.
Part of the film at the visitor's center showed various forms of recreation available in the park. Family float trips were one of the possibilities (main picture). Trips could be for a day or several days, camping out on the banks of the river.
From Arkansas 7 to Highway 123 (or Carver)-is about 10 miles in length. This is a fine float, especially for families. It features class I rapids, gravel bars, and numerous bluffs. Campsites and access are available at Carver or two and a half miles upstream at Hasty.
The 27 mile trip from US 65 to Buffalo Point (still referred to by many as ''the old state park'') is a long, lazy float ideally suited for those interested in casual canoeing. The scenery's good, and the rapids are interesting but easy. Other access points within this part of the river include Gilbert, Maumee North, Maumee South, and the Highway 14 crossing
The Buffalo's final stretch-from Buffalo Point to Buffalo City (on the White River) is 30 miles in length, with only a single takeout point (Rush) in between. The 7.5-mile float from Buffalo Point to Rush is short, safe, and scenic - perfect for families. The remaining 23 mile trip passes through some of Arkansas's wildest country, including better than 39,000 acres of wilderness (the Lower Buffalo Wilderness and the adjacent Leatherwood Wilderness). This is the one for those wanting to get away from it all.
Equipment: You may bring your own canoe, kayak, raft, or john boat; or you can rent one from local authorized concessioners – no permit is required. Motors must be less than 10 horsepower and properly registered in the state of Arkansas. Life jackets are required in all boats, and must be worn by children 12 and younger. No glass containers are permitted within 50 feet of the river or its tributaries. The second picture shows some of the rules for having a safe trip.
If you want to float down the river, you leave your vehicle at the place where you want to get out, and the concessionaire takes you and your equipment up the river to the put-in place. Then you float down stream to where you are parked. You can camp on the many gravel bars along the river or in the developed campgrounds at most major access points along the way. Be prepared for an all night chorus of whip-poor-wills in the spring
About two dozen concessionaires rent canoes along the Buffalo and offer other related services. In addition, several rent Jonboats and can provide complete fishing packages.