Who doesn’t love a good float trip? Arkansas, in our opinion, hosts some of the best floating streams in the WORLD. That’s a debate between the aggressive kayak nation and folks like us who want a class II river, gorgeous scenery, and a cooler. The cooler is important.
If you’ve ever lived in Arkansas, the Spring River maybe the most popular floating destination in the state. Granted, it is powered by Mammoth Springs that pumps out almost 9+ million gallons an hour at a refreshing 58 degrees. This makes for a remarkably cool, clear flow that is year round. Thousands of people come here to trout fish, camp, and beat notorious rapids like Dead Man’s Curve and High Falls. We’ve done both. High Falls is a beast in a tandem canoe.
The Spring, as it’s called locally, is a crowd favorite as well as a personal favorite of ours. We’ll point out that during major holidays like 4th of July, Labor Day, and Memorial Day, the river can be akin to Mardi Gras. Beads, Booze, and Boobs.
There’s also DJ “You Ready for this Jelly” SuperMoon on the party weekends. He’s a local favorite and the river really wouldn’t be the same without him or his Speedo. He, along with his entourage, connect multiple rafts together and, get this, float an entire high powered sound system down the river. The crowds come and it’s always a party. Great for people watching, especially the young folks. It’s quite entertaining.
The rest of the time it’s actually perfect for families. Honestly, we wouldn’t want to deter you from enjoying this river during those times, but you may catch an eye full at Dead Man’s where everyone hangs out. It’s actually Saddler Falls. But that’s a whole other topic. They’ve become confused with each other over the years. If you’re not too much a a prude, it’s harmless fun.
There are many great outfitters on the river, no doubt. We’d like to give our friends at Southfork Resort a big shout out for one of our favorite family outfitter for the river. Many reasons: pet friendly, home-town service, great pricing, NO TRAIN NOISE, and as bad as we hate to say it, WIFI. I know, I know. The great outdoors should be just that. We’re also the type of people that like to float all day and come back to the campsite and watch a ballgame. They have affordable prices on camper cabins when all you need is a bed and some A/C, too. That’s our pick.
Spring River Oaks
If you plan on staying directly on the Spring, our pick is Spring River Oaks. It’s a very well kept campground, stocked commissary, and there is a swimming hole just across from their takeout that is excellent with a rope swing. Also, there are guards on duty, so that’s a plus. They also have camper cabins for around $50/night.
If you’re planning a Spring River adventure, check out Mammoth Springs State Park. It’s gorgeous and if you’ve never seen a spring before, it is worth the very short drive. Here’s our article on Mammoth Springs: https://arkansastodo.com/mammoth-springs/
Directly across the street is Riverbend Restaurant. They have a deck out back with a panoramic view of the headwaters of the Spring River. Good food and a good price, as well.
Enjoy! And GET OUT AND EXPLORE!
The Arkansas To Do Team
-Phil and Jess