I have canoed the Buffalo probably 60 times over the last 30 years. Always amazing to see other's opinions. Here is the scoop. No doubt the Buffalo is a beautiful river. I love it indeed. Please protect it if you go, it has suffered with much camper and floater pollution for a long time, pollution in the form of cans, trash, etc... Please help keep it clean. I have not floated the Harpeth, the Duck, other western Middle Tn streams, but best I can tell from crossing them, they don't compare to the Scenic beauty of the Buffalo. I understand the Buffalo of Ark was named such because it resembled the Buffalo of Tn so much. Water quality, fair, some sediment, fishing is really good, I have had only fair success, but not much of a real fisherman, the smallmouth fishing is rated very good. Float difficulty: This is a class 1 float - from Metal Ford (Natchez trace Pkwy ) to Flatwoods bridge - the most floated portions. Couple of rapids approach class 2 in good water. But be aware ! stumps, downed trees, logjams, etc abound and in my opinion, bring the difficulty up to solid class 2, and is borderline for beginners. As a practical matter, the river is full of beginners flipping, pinning canoes, etc....I'm just telling you that compared to a class II whitewater river, this is actually harder with all the strainers, etc But worth the float if you get a chance
Quick section summary:....
Metal Ford to Grinders creek - best for mild whitewater, couple of ez class II - rapids, fun and short float, scenery nice.....
Grinders to N Riverside - watch out for logjam area - floated it twice and had to portage both times, probably 15 yrs between those floats, this is not one of the better floats, I recommend you avoid this very flat and less scenic (roadside much of the way) ......
N. Riverside to Bell Bridge- Most scenic float - very long float - several good shoals, have floated in 1 day many times, but allow for a long day..and hard for first timers to go this far in 1 day......
Bell to slink shoals - scenic, lots of stumps, etc. waterside waterfall, nice cave, lots of pools.......
Slink Shoals to Flatwoods..-not recommended....take out at Slink Shoals ! very flat section, floated only once, can't recall much...
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I enioy paddling the Tn Buffalo but the Ar Buffalo is a lot more beautiful .
Response to Derrick... Derrick, the Hwy 13 access is the old Bell Bridge... Grinders creek joins the buffalo at the Grinders creek access bridge (not sure of road name). The next stretch is from there to "Texas Bottoms", and then from there to N Riverside is very slow, not so scenic. The floats from N Riverside on down are the most scenic, but I think developments are messing up a lot of the old Buffalo beauty I remember...
Where in the world is Bell Bridge? Is it where TN Hwy 13 (Waynesboro Hwy) crosses over the river perhaps? I could find every other reference point except this one. Also, it appears to me that Grinders Creek enters the Buffalo River just barely before N. Riverside but you say to try and avoid this less than a mile long section anyway?
Floated this river last year and was very impressed and cant wait to get back. Very pretty river and also has some nice riffles and Class 1's. Watch for snakes!
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Ben and Andrew -Buffalo Rapids
Logjam on the Buffalo
Beautiful takeout on the Buffalo
Shoal on the Buffalo
The Beautiful Buffalo
Left channel of Metal ford rapid
Nice class 2 rapid
Beginning of the left channel
Metal ford put in/take out
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