There are several variations to the category of National Rivers: national river and recreation area, national scenic river, national scenic riverway, wild river, etc. The first was authorized in 1964 and others were established following passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. At present, there are 5 national rivers in the National Park System.
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
The Big South Fork of the Cumberland River includes a wide range of natural and historical features and offers a range of recreational opportunities.
Buffalo National River
One of the few remaining unpolluted, free-flowing rivers in the lower 48 states. Protected area includes 135 miles of the 150-mile-long river.
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
For 72 miles, from Dayton to Hastings, Minnesota, the Mississippi flows through a variety of landscapes, including cultural, historical, and industrial features.
New River Gorge National River
Established to protect 52-mile section of New River, between Hinton and Fayetteville, West Virginia. Surrounding area is rich in cultural and natural history.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
The nation's first scenic riverways include 134 miles of the Current and Jacks Fork rivers, which provide opportunities for tubing, fishing, and swimming.