Dirst Canoe Rental & Log Cabins
558 Hwy 268 E. Yellville, AR 72687

About Us


Prior to 1972 the Buffalo Point was a state park and much of the land surrounding the Buffalo River was privately owned.  Fred Dirst owned 320 acres of land at Rush, Arkansas, which he bought, from the Buffalo Zinc and Copper Company in 1951 for $600.

Fred Dirst was the first person to rent canoes on the Buffalo River.  He bought six fiberglass canoes and would rent them for 8.00 per day.  He owned Rush landing and at one time would charge 75 cents to take out on his land.  

The Buffalo National River was established by an act of Congress March 1, 1972.  After much negotiation Fred Dirst sold his land to the government and moved closer to Buffalo Point.  The National Park Service issued five permits for canoe rental on the new national park.  Permit holders included Fred Dirst, Leon Dodd, UD Lynch, Joe Barnes, and Charles Robinson.  

In the summer of 1977 Fred’s youngest son Russell Dirst, who spent much of his childhood at Rush, moved back to operate the canoe rental.  With him he brought his wife Mildred and two daughters Marsha and Melissa.  

On April 1, 2016 Russell retired and sold the business to his youngest daughter Melissa and her husband Doyle Roberts.  Doyle and Melissa have spent most of their lives hiking the trails, exploring the backcountry, learning to swim and fish the streams in the Buffalo River area.  They both have great knowledge and hope to breathe new life into the business.  They are excited to be back home and on the river.


Join us here at Dirst Canoe Rental & Log Cabins and experience the magnificent beauty of the free-flowing Buffalo National River and the natural beauty of the Ozark wilderness. 

Whether it is a quiet couple’s getaway on the weekend, a family reunion, or a business retreat, Dirst has three rustic, fully equipped log cabins and a Summer Lodge to meet your lodging needs. Our fully furnished cabins offer affordable comfort in a natural setting. Traveling with a large group? There is no need to worry. We are experienced in working with large groups, so gives us a call today and let us help you plan your event! We also offer group rates for multiple rentals of our cabins and the Summer Lodge. 

Dirst Canoe and Log Cabins is the only site in the area with BOTH Satellite TV and WiFi!  All cabins have free high speed 1.5 Mbps wireless internet available. Higher speed internet available for purchase. 


We are proud to offer a 10 percent discount to all military and Boy Scouts (canoe rental only).  We are allowed to choose what we do in work and play because of the sacrifices of our military, and we believe our Boy Scouts are growing up with the skills and character to be leaders of our country.  This discount is a small way of saying thank you for your hard work and dedication. 



Established in 1972, Buffalo National River flows freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states.  At a point about 15 miles above the Park boundary in Newton County, Arkansas the Buffalo River begins as the main prong of the Big Buffalo Creek.  Over its course, the Buffalo drops steadily to its confluence with the White River.  The gradient is steep and the water is faster along the upper river, leveling and slowing as the river runs its course.  Relatively long, quiet stretches characterize the lower two thirds of the Buffalo.

Buffalo Point is a convenient, fun-filled destination for families and adventurists of all types.  Buffalo point has 112 campsites: 3 group pavilion, 5 group tent, 83 standard electric, and 21 walk in tent sites.


The Buffalo River is a favorite with anglers. Long pools provide excellent water for fishing. The Buffalo and its tributaries comprise one of the nation's richest areas in total number of fish species. The biggest attraction here is the small mouth bass. Anglers also go after largemouth and spotted bass, catfish, goggle–eye (rock bass), and a variety of other pan fish.