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Overnight Buffalo trip?


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I'm planning on taking an over night trip on the Buffalo sometime in the middle of next month, but I can't decide where I want to go. I've been on the lower part around Buffalo Point, but I have heard good things about the upper part and I have never been. Which part do you guys prefer?

I also have to mention I'm a pretty slow floater. I find a good-looking hole and I just can't help but fish all of it. For an overnighter on the upper part, what stretches of river do you prefer?

Since I don't have my own canoe, I will have to rent. Any advice on who to rent from would be appreciated also. I use Dillard's when I am on the lower, but as I said I am totally unfamiliar with the upper end.

I appreciate the help,


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One of my favorite floats on the Buffalo is still towards the lower part of the river. Gilbert to Maumee North. It's only 11 to 12 miles and is in a beautiful part of the river. Last time I floated that section it was in the middle of July and we only saw 1 other canoe in two days floating. And the fishing was great. You can rent canoes from the Gilbert store. Great people.



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Well, you're always limited by water levels on the upper river, and by the middle of next month, you probably won't be able to float above Pruitt. By July, on average, you won't be able to float above Gilbert--at least, no canoe rental will rent canoes on the upper river if the water is too low in their opinion.

Accesses on the upper river are pretty well-spaced. If you get really, really lucky and get a perfect rain just before your trip that puts some water in the upper end of the river without making it too high and muddy, Ponca to Erbie is the most beautiful piece of river in the Ozarks, and can be good fishing. That's about 16 miles and a good two day trip. You can lengthen it by going on down to Pruitt, adding another 8 miles, but that's probably more than you want to do in two days. You can rent canoes for that stretch at Ponca.

Pruitt to Carver is about 11.5 miles, a short two day or long one day trip and nice water. Pruitt on down to Mt. Hershey is about 18 miles, a good two day trip.

Between Mt. Hershey and Gilbert the accesses are a little less conveniently spaced for a two day trip. Mt. Hershey to Woolum is 10.5 miles. Woolem to Baker Creek Ford is 11 miles. Woolem to Hwy. 65 is probably the best length in this stretch for two days at 16 or 17 miles. It's 4 more miles from Hwy. 65 to Gilbert.

Gilbert to Maumee South is 12 miles. You could put in at Hwy. 65 and go to Maumee, 16 miles altogether. Maumee South to Buffalo Point is about 11 miles.

Fishing? I don't think there is any one stretch of the upper river that is better than the others. I'd consult with canoe rentals and go on the highest stretch that has enough water. You can Google Buffalo River and get all kinds of canoe rentals.

Edit: I just Googled the Buffalo and there aren't hardly any canoe rental listings in the first few pages, at least. However, you can go to the official Buffalo National River NPS site (first listing on Google) and click on concessioners and get a listing of canoe rentals for each section.

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