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Come on in! The water's great!

So many ways to play in the water in the Buffalo River. Float the river, canoe or kayak, all are great ways to cool off in the summer heat.
Category: Outdoor Sports

Lewis County welcomes paddlers, fishermen, and folks of all ages who like to wade and swim in one of Tennessee’s most pristine and clean scenic streams – the Buffalo River.

Lewis County Government and Blueway Committee members and our state partners are creating Lewis County’s segment of the Buffalo River Blueway water trail for you!

This project has two important goals. First, we want to care for the Buffalo River as our most valued natural asset. Second, we are working to create public access points so that your residents and visitors can enjoy all that it has to offer including Kayaking, Canoeing, Freshwater fishing, Wading, and Swimming!

The Buffalo River, a natural attraction for weekend canoe and kayak enthusiasts, is one of the last rivers classified as "scenic" in the Southeast. The river is perfect for recreational floating or fishing. Sports fishermen and women will find a variety of fish types including bass, bluegill, perch and more. Canoeing, or "floating the Buffalo," is a perfect way to spend the day in Lewis County.

In 2022, Lewis County’s new segment of the Buffalo River Blueway offers 2 public access points. The first is located at Metal Ford on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Public access on Natchez Trace Parkway milepost 382.8 at Metal Ford. Take out for this segment is located at the newly updated Grinders Creek Public Access point is 2581 Buffalo Road (at the Mouth of Grinders Creek and the Buffalo River). This segment provides an enjoyable 5- mile floating trip for all ages. Future Public Access points are planned for development on Lewis County’s segment to include Texas Bottom and Riverside, both historic takeout points for full day float trips.

The Buffalo River - Longest Wild River in the United States

The Buffalo River is the longest wild river in the United States, which means there are no impediments on the river, such as damns, and is a tributary to the Duck River. It is used for canoeing and swimming as well as fresh water fishing. Tennessee’s Buffalo River is named for the buffalo fish which was plentiful when the area was originally settled.

The Buffalo has been designated as a "State Scenic River" under the Tennessee Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The river is rich in rare fish species and wildlife, including catfish, several species of perch, and redhorse suckers. The river is also home to unique and endangered aquatic species including the Hellbender salamanders, soft and hard shell freshwater turtles, multiple varieties of fresh water minnow and other species.

The Buffalo River originates in Lawrence County, and the north and south forks are crossed by Hwy 43 several times. Where the forks meet is considered the headwaters of the Buffalo River.

Crossing into Lewis County, the Buffalo River crosses the Natchez Trace Parkway and the Little Buffalo tributary crosses near Oak Grove. The confluence of both is located right below Davis Ford and the Oak Grove community that was founded to take advantage of the rich bottomlands and abundant water that the Buffalo River Watershed offers.

After leaving Lewis County, the river meanders into Wayne County, where it receives several more tributaries, including the 48 Creek and the Green River. Next, it enters Perry County at Flatwoods and continues to flow mostly northward, paralleling Tennessee State Hwy 13, passing both Linden and Lobelville to unincorporated Beardstown. Finally, the Buffalo flows through Humphreys County until it passes under Interstate 40 to the confluence point of the Duck River before reaching the Tennessee River near New Johnsonville.

Current Access Points and Future Plans for More in Lewis County

Lewis County’s Buffalo River Blueway can be enjoyed through approximately 5-mile floats between the following public access locations:

2022 Access Points:
  • Metal Ford – Natchez Trace Parkway
  • Mouth of Grinders Creek – Oak Grove
2023 Planned Access Point:
  • Texas Bottom
2024 Planned Access Point:
  • Riverside

Contact Debbie Landers at 931-796-4084 for more information.

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