Buffalo River Entrance Inlet

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Buffalo, New York United States
42° 52' 38.99'', -78° 53' 14.99''
Buffalo Harbor
Buffalo River Entrance Inlet
Buffalo River Entrance Inlet
Buffalo River Entrance Inlet
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The Buffalo River is located on the east shore of Lake Erie in the city of Buffalo about two miles south of the entrance to the Niagara River. Home of the tasty chicken wing dish “Buffalo Wings,” the city prides itself on football, the Niagara Falls and most of all, its legendary winter snows.

The Buffalo area has outstanding theater, a world-class symphony, extraordinary architecture, active nightlife along the resurgent Chippewa Street, one of the world’s top collections of modern art at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and great shopping at the area’s many malls and along Elmwood Avenue in the city.

Sports lovers will find Buffalo Bills football, Buffalo Sabres hockey and Buffalo Bisons baseball, as well as major college football, basketball and hockey. For people with an appetite there are a wealth of charming bistros and restaurants serving local specialties such as chicken wings and beef-on-weck.

Nearby attractions include Six Flags Darien Lake, New York State’s largest amusement park; the "Grand Canyon of the East" at Letchworth State Park; the internationally-renowned Victorian village at the Chautauqua Institution; the Erie Canal; the oldest buildings on the Great Lakes at Old Fort Niagara; and the Genesee Country Village and Museum, the country’s third-largest living history museum.

[i]Portions Courtesy Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau[/i]

Navigating the Water:

Use NOAA Chart 14833.

Aside from the usual heavy commercial traffic, there are a couple of additional hazards to look out for on your approach to the Buffalo River from Lake Erie. About a mile and a quarter to the northwest of the entrance are Middle Reefs, a series of shallow-water ledges that are situated slightly to the east side of the Niagara River channel. Next, the Buffalo River Entrance is protected by a series of breakwaters that run parallel to shore that are located west and northwest of the Buffalo waterfront. All the navigable ends of these structures are marked with flashing lights, but if you enter the area at night, they can be difficult to distinguish from the Buffalo skyline.

With these things in mind, the best way to enter the Buffalo River is via the North Entrance, which guides you in through deep water, avoiding the Middle Reef ledges and other various shallow spots to the northwest of the river.

Flashing green bell buoy “1” is located about three-quarters of a mile to the southwest of the Buffalo Harbor Light and is the first buoy you will want to pick up on your approach. Once you have cleared this buoy, set your sights on the Buffalo Harbor Light (flashing white or green every 10 seconds) on the southeast end of the breakwall charted “West Breakwater,” and then set a course to run between flashing green “5” and flashing red “6” near the Outer Harbor Northern Channel. From here, head toward red flashing red and green buoy “BR,” and follow the bend of the channel into the Buffalo River.

Mainly a commercial area, the only accommodation close to the Buffalo River Entrance is located on the Buffalo Ship Canal about a one-mile journey to the southeast. This facility accepts transient guests and has haul-out facilities that can accommodate yachts up to 20 tons.

Local Notices to Mariners:

Local Notices to Mariners are available online from the U.S. Coast Guard.

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