America's National Parks and Road Trip Planning Find Your Park Road Trip Activities Nature

Buffalo National River Nature and Science

Take pure, clear, flowing water, send it down a 132-mile meandering course; pour it over rapids; strain it through gravel bars; drift it through long pools; let it caress tree-covered banks. Then dot a valley bottom with open grassy meadows with grazing elk; punctuate the shores with frequent tall multicolored bluffs; and fill the country side with steep, wooded hills. Now interject an occasional turtle sunning on a log; watch a snake slide in the water as it explores the depths of the river; be startled by a bass breaking the water surface; and observe a heron stalking the river's edge. Accent the experience with birds warbling in the trees and insects buzzing close above the water. Finally, place yourself in a canoe drifting down the river surrounded by the peaceful and inspiring mood of these natural elements. Now you have witnessed only one of the many faces of Buffalo National River.

Flowing water, relatively free from pollution and impoundment, was the primary purpose of Buffalo River becoming the nation's first National River in 1972. The Buffalo River is one of the Nation's last major rivers that is still free-flowing. Its ancient current gives life to well over 300 species of fish, insects, freshwater mussels, and aquatic plants. In addition to the thriving aquatic life, on land there are many more natural wonders to behold: caves with hidden formations, untrodden passageways, solution pits and sinks and underground waterways; tall cliffs that create long waterfalls; old pioneer farmsteads that provide foraging for numerous wildlife species such as elk and whitetail deer, wild turkey, bobwhite quail and many other species of wildlife waiting to experienced.

Featured Outdoor Gear

Bike walk or climb--whatever our daily mode of transportation is we get there wearing the Smith Caper ChromaPop...
Price subject to change | Available through

National Park Spotlight
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Featured Wildlife
Maine Puffins
Maine Puffins

Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.