2020 Event Canceled
The BIATHLON is a 6.8 mile trail run on the Buffalo River Trail from Dillard's Ferry to Spring Creek followed by a 4.6 mile canoe/kayak race from Spring Creek back to Dillard's Ferry taking place on Sunday, October 11, 2020. Biathlon participants may bring their own kayaks or rent. Either option is available through registration. Those who rent will find their vessel waiting for them at the transition area tagged with a number corresponding to their bibs. All fees have been built into the registration pricing.
Additionally, the night of Saturday the 10th, there will be packet pick up, a dinner, and live music at Buffalo Point!
HOW THIS WILL ALL GO DOWN:
Notice regarding COVID-19: Park Closures and Limitations due to COVID-19: Any future advice and recommendations from the CDC and state and local health authorities could warrant necessary risk mitigation, park closures or group limitations. The permit allowing this event may be cancelled at the discretion of the Superintendent if it is deemed necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety. Because there is a greater deal of moving parts to this event vs. traditional events, we do not have a contingency date in case of cancellation. We cannot guarantee a 2021 date either.
Please know that signing up for this race/event implies that you are signing up knowing that if the race is canceled, we can only issue refunds up to 50% of your registration fees as we will not be able to transfer your registration to a later time for future Buffalo National River Biathlons. .
BIATHLON participants have streamlined process to follow. On race day (Sunday), athletes will take their mark at the Hwy 14 Bridge and run the Buffalo River Trail to Spring Creek where vessels will be waiting in transition. Athletes will strap on their PFDs and take off down stream to Hwy 14 Bridge where the finish line is on the water.
Be fair warned! The Buffalo National River's water levels will vary dependent upon regional weather. If water levels are considered to be high, the National Park Service will dictate that the river is too dangerous for event usage and we will cancel the paddling portion of the event. Refunds will not be issued if the paddle portion is canceled.
For those bringing their own vessels, boats will be dropped off at packet pickup at Buffalo Point with the outfitters who will then shuttle your boats to the transition area at Spring Creek. Vessels will be labeled with corresponding bib numbers. Athletes are not permitted to self-shuttle their vessels to Spring Creek. This rule is in place for several reasons, namely to alleviate congestion on the tiny Spring Creek Rd. and for security. All boats taken to transition will be guarded overnight. We may use vicious dogs or even cub scouts to watch over property.
Renting athletes will find that their vessels will be magically labeled with corresponding bib numbers at transition when arriving at Spring Creek. PFDs and paddles will be alongside the boats for use.
TEAMS vs. RELAY Options:
TEAMS are defined as two athletes who will run the trail together and finish as a team together in their own tandem kayak or rented canoe. Teams who are renting will be given a canoe as tandem kayaks are not available as rental.
RELAY is defined as two athletes where one of which runs the trail and passes a baton to the other athlete who will complete the float and cross the finish line.
SHUTTLE vs. RENTAL Options:
SHUTTLE - This is for those who are bringing their own vessel to the biathlon. Athletes will drop off their vessel, paddles and PFDs at packet pickup. River outfitters will transport boats to the transition area. Boats will be stored and secured.
INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO TAKE THEIR OWN BOATS TO TRANSITION AREA.
Those who attempt to, or do, bring their own boats to transition area will receive a DQ and will not receive a refund.
RENTAL - Those who are not bringing their own boat must use this option. This is a higher fee than the other option as we are renting boats from local river outfitters. Your boat will be waiting for you with paddles and a PFD at transition.
Teams who are renting will be given a canoe. Tandem kayaks are not available as rentals.
ABOUT THE RACE:
Cut-Off Times - As we want everyone to be safe on both the trail and water. We feel that everyone should be completed by 2:00 pm (6 hours). All athletes should be at the Spring Creek Road Checkpoint by 11:00 am.
Trail Technicality - The trail is single track and should be considered difficult for most runners. With breath taking views upon the bluffs and trekking down to creek beds, the course offers some great elevation gains across challenging single track!
Biathlon participants will follow the Buffalo River Trail from Dillard's Ferry heading south to Spring Creek Road, then take the road into the Spring Creek Campground where boats will be staged for the second part of the course.
The Buffalo Point Campground accepts reservations up to six months in advance. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Loops B, C, and D have water and electrical amenities and are suitable for tents or RVs. Loops A and E are strictly first come, first served. There are five walk-in tent sites (A - E) that are reservable as well. All reservations are available through www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Sites with water and electric are $30/night and walk-in tent sites are $20/night. You can learn more about the Buffalo Point Campground at the park's website or by calling the Buffalo Point Ranger Station at 870-449-4311.
Check-out time: 12:00 pm
Check-in time: 1:00 pm
Quiet hours: 10:00 pm to 6:00 am
Generator hours: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
6 persons maximum per site
Do not reserve additional campsites for others
Keep all vehicles on roads and parking areas
Camp only at marked sites
Use dead and down wood for campfires
Do not damage trees or shrubs
Keep pets on leash and do not leave them unattended
Buffalo River Biathlon is limited to 300 participants. Onsite registration is not available.
Fair warning, previous years, the Biathlon has sold-out at least a month out!
The Buffalo National River Biathlon benefits the North Central Arkansas Master Naturalists who provide an abundance of services "Working to keep Arkansas in its Natural State!" Not only are the North Central Arkansas Master Naturalists the beneficiary of this fund raising event, they are also very proud partners of the Buffalo National River. The NCAMNs are responsible for a large portion of the Buffalo River Trail maintenance, not only for this event, but throughout the entire year.
The Partners formed because of common interests in the Buffalo River. Our purposes, as stated in our mission statement, are dedicated to the promotion, appreciation, preservation and protection of the Buffalo River. The goals of the Partners are to provide volunteer and financial resources to Buffalo National River which will assist with a variety of projects to enhance facilities, improve visitor experiences and preserve the unique natural and cultural features of the Buffalo National River. Click the logo to learn more
The Lower Buffalo River area is the best place to vacation in the Ozarks. We offer affordable cabins and services like floating and fishing guiding to make your vacation memorable. Let us be your guide to the area. We will help you make your visit a success.
Things to do are affordable and many attractions and activities are free, all are nearby and keep travel costs down.
Click the logo for a short list of activities popular with their visitors.