Magazine March 2019

Face of Tourism: Buffalo River Outfitters


Buffalo River Outfitters – Ben Milburn, Owner

Established in 1972, the Buffalo National River flows freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the contiguous 48 states. Since 1986, Buffalo River Outfitters has been making Buffalo River getaways enjoyable, easy and unforgettable for adventurers of all ages looking to retreat and relax on the water.

Perfectly located right on Highway 65 in St. Joe, Arkansas, Buffalo River Outfitters sits right in the Middle District of the Buffalo National River, providing all of the services needed for a day trip getaway or an overnight vacation. Servicing the river from Ponca to Buffalo City, Buffalo River Outfitters is there to make your paddling daydreams a reality. Providing canoes, kayaks, rafts and shuttle services, they will help floaters get anywhere they need to be, making sure you can explore every inch of the breathtaking Buffalo National River. For those inclined to stay on shore, numerous trails run along the river allowing for ample hiking and horseback riding opportunities. The area is renowned for its stunning scenery and outstanding smallmouth bass fishing.

Just how did this Buffalo River cornerstone come to be? “Buffalo River Outfitters was founded in 1986 by my dad, my uncle and Mike Mills, who were all friends from college and decided to buy a canoe rental business together,” says Benjamin Milburn, who bought the company in 2005.

Spending so much of his youth soaking in the natural beauty of the river, Milburn developed a love for all things outdoors. Preserving “these beautiful gifts for future generations” is a large part of his goal in all of the work that Buffalo River Outfitters does.

“As a child, I was exposed to the Buffalo National River through our family business, which sparked an interest and passion that I translate into our mission at Buffalo River Outfitters still today.”

For those looking to slow down for a while and sip in the scenery, Buffalo River Outfitters prides itself on its many log cabins. Lodging options range from family cabins that sleep six people and two others that will sleep up to 10 people. Each cabin is available with amenities including: air conditioning, fully-equipped kitchens, cozy linens and full-size cooking equipment, wide porches with wooden swings and rockers, barbecue grills, comfortable beds, hardwood floors, hand-crafted accents and Jacuzzi tubs. Select cabins feature high-speed Wi-Fi and stone fireplaces, and luxurious king-size beds. Each cabin is furnished with a Smart TV and a DVD player. Two handicapped accessible cabins are also available to those with special needs.

With as many as 20,000 visitors a year, Milburn says outstanding customer service is central to the company’s mission. The smiling people behind the counter in the charming but ample-sized gift/supply shop in St. Joe work hard to make sure the help you receive is unmatched on the banks of the Buffalo.

“We do our very best to make sure that every visitor to the river has all of the tools they need to just sit back and enjoy the adventure,” he says. “All of our staff are dedicated to making your stay here in the heart of Buffalo River Country a fond memory and maybe even the start of a new family tradition.

“Come discover all the adventures that await you here on The Buffalo River,” Milburn says. “We look forward to showing you our neck of the woods.”

Buffalo River Outfitters • 870-439-2200 •
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