The Saline River begins in the eastern foothills of the Ouachita Mountains in Saline County, Arkansas. The river has three sections, the Middle Fork, the Alum Fork, and the North Fork, which merge north of the city of Benton, Arkansas.
The upper section of the Saline is a clear, cold-water stream with a series of fast running shoals interspersed with quiet pools. The central section of the river has clear to murky water with long slower moving pools interrupted by short stretches of fast water. The lower section is sluggish with murky water. During parts of the year the lower stretches of the river can be somewhat clogged with brush or trees.
The Saline is relatively free of development. The river runs through dense forests which are home to deer, mink, otters, beaver, muskrats, turkey, and squirrel. The river provides excellent fishing, scenery, and wilderness floating.
Smallmouth, largemouth, rock bass, and spotted bass as well as warmouth, longear, green sunfish, bluegills, channel catfish, and crappie inhabit the river.