Current/Jacks Fork Rental & Shuttle

I’m arranging a family trip in early June. Can anybody recommend a rental and shuttle outfit on the Current River?

Anybody know what conditions are currently and maybe will be like?


Current River

– Last Updated: Apr-17-06 4:59 PM EST –

I was on the Current saturday & sunday.
The conditions there right now are excellent; the scenery is beautiful with the red buds & dogwoods in bloom.
There are very few boaters on the river now; we passed only 5 canoes in the 20 mile section we did.

That will change dramatically by June.
If you go in June; I "highly" recommend that you "not" go on a weekend, unless you like paddling with a lot of noisy & obnoxious drunks.
The "river dorks" particularly like the sections from Cedar Grove to Akers Ferry, Akers Ferry to Pulltite, and Pulltite to Round Springs. If you plan on bringing little kids; bring some earplugs so they don't have to listen to the drunks spewing obscenities. "River dorks" enjoy talking with teenage girls in their new bikini.

The jon boats will be out in force in June; doing what they do best, acting out Earnhardt Jr. fantasies, going nowhere fast.
They also have a propensity to congregate on the best gravel bars, use them for their pit stop/party spot, and in the late afternoon, blast off back to their put in point & home, leaving the gravel bar trashed for prospective campers.

It is impossible to predict the conditions of the river in June. The river is spring fed; you have that in your favor.
You might check out Akers Ferry Canoe Rental; they have a website.

P.S. One way to avoid some of the chaos on the Current River in the Summer is to put on & take off of the river "early". Most of the "river dorks" like to start after 9:00 a.m., especially on sunday when they are nursing hangovers from saturday. If you are the type that enjoys chaos; put on the river at Akers Ferry or Pulltite between 10 & 11 am on a saturday. Sunday evening 80% of the "river dorks" will disappear.
Best bet; plan your trip from monday through thursday. Best time to paddle the Current river; October through April.

Things you may not know:

Rangers on the Current river are few & far between; they are understaffed, and have over 135 miles of river to patrol. Don't count on them being there to resolve your problems.

Missouri is the #1 producer of methamphetamine in the United States. Some of the drunks you may encounter aren't just drunk.

Good luck,

The Current/Jacks Fork isn’t what it
used to be, but it’s still worth the trip during the week. We hope to go in May. Bob’s advice is good and unfortunately the situation is as bad as he stated. They are killing their golden goose.

Akers Ferry has been a good outfit to work with. Their drivers have been reliable for us. Not cheap, but they don’t break anything and the vehicle is there when and where you want it. They have a selection of boats that is ok.

If we need a shuttle for a multiday float, we use Two Rivers. They were able to put us in a Welch Springs and kept an eye on our car which was parked at Two Rivers. (however, don’t leave valuables in your vehicle)Really nice folks and they rent Royalex boats that are well suited for this river.

Have a great trip!

Another vendor
We floated the Current from Akers to Pulltite this past Friday and used Current River Canoe company [ ]to shuttle our kayaks from the Pulltite campground up to Akers - Stacy gave us a great rate for a “just us” shuttle … biz is pretty slow right now though. Thursday night it was pretty much just us and 10,000 frogs at the campground.

By June it will be as Bob described - aim for weekday paddling or suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous river dorks.

You guys are great!
I grew up on the Maramec so I know the river dorks of which you speak. We will avoid the weekends. Interesting about the methamphetamines - I guess all the guys I used to know who grew pot in their barns have graduated to this. It’s a big problem on the water here in Texas too. Those people are scary.

Thanks for the info. What are the recommended Jacks Fork floats? I can’t remember what I did in the past.

From a state not to be named…
I know those Current River yahoos well. A big cooler, no shirt, loudmouths. Drunk, drugged and trashing the river.

And they call us “Hoosiers”.

Jacks Fork Suggestions

– Last Updated: Apr-18-06 3:32 PM EST –

I would suggest the section from Hwy. 17 to Alley Springs. A 24 mile trip total; easily done in 2 days. A nice break area is at Blue Springs, about 2.8 miles downstream from the Hwy. 17 put in. A must stop & check it out spot is Jam Up Cave; approximately 5 miles downstream of the Hwy. 17 put in. It has an awesome entrance. The Alley Springs campground is your takeout point. It is a nice campground; a large selection of campsites & nice bathrooms with showers. Another bonus is that it is fairly well monitored. Just across the river from Alley Springs campground is Alley Springs Mill; one of the prettiest springs & one of the prettiest & best preserved mills in Missouri.
A visit there is a must.

Be aware that the Jacks Fork is more dependent on rain than the Current River. Also be aware that if heavy rain is predicted/occurs it will rise faster than the Current River. If heavy rain is predicted on the Jacks Fork & you camp on a gravel bar, you would be well advised to have a "pre planned" escape route.

Once again, if you want to avoid "river dorks" put on & take off the river early, and avoid weekends if possible.

Also, avoid the section from Eminence to Two Rivers on the Jacks Fork "like the plague" that it is. It is heavily polluted by runoff from the "over 2,000" horse stalls that line the banks of the Jacks Fork below Eminence for nearly a mile.

Why isn't anybody doing anything about it???
They are; they're "studying it" & they'll be studying it for years to come, just as they have already studied it to death for many years.

Trail riders equal big $$$$$$$$$$
Money talks & a National Scenic Riverway get polluted in the process.


Current & Jacks Resources
Here’s some contact info for outfitters, on an interesting Park Service website. I have worked with Jadwin Canoe Rental several times, to outfit and shuttle youth groups for 4 day (weekdays) gravel bar camping trips, and the Blackwell family has been very helpful and friendly. They are not located directly on the river, but they shuttle promptly, and their location may improve vehicle security (never had a problem). Campground, showers, fishing licenses, etc. at their HQ; OT Discovery canoes. Ran Baptist Camp to Two Rivers on weekdays with no problems, but it has been a couple years. Seems like the Jacks Fork goes above flood stage every time I even think about paddling it, but I have visited several times with Windy’s in Emminence, and they seem to have a good handle on river conditions.

How far up the river can they go? There used to be a limit, but I don’t remember what it is (was). So sad to hear about the problems on this river. I plan on a weekday float this June. I’m bringing my .40 cal just in case we meet some meth cooks. Assholes. We have plenty of them in southern Michigan too. Useless bastards every one.

Well Bob
I guess they have to study the Jacks Fork to see if it is the dozen or so wild horses, or the 2,000 tourist horses that are causing all that pollution in the river.

I wouldn’t mind getting paid $100,000 to do that study, as a matter of fact, I’d do it for free

jon boats/meth heads

– Last Updated: Apr-19-06 3:28 PM EST –

It is not a matter of how far up the river they can go.........

They can go anywhere on the river where the water is high enough for their boats. That means a matter of inches. Different sections have different horsepower limits. People actually using jon boats to fish present little to no problem. The problem is drunks who spend the day going from point a to point b/point b to point a, as fast as possible & repeatedly pass you at high speed. I don't worry about waves, but the stink & noise are not enjoyable by any means.
Drunks in high powered motorboats present similiar problems as drunks in cars & trucks on the highway.

If you stay on the river, or in high usage areas you are not too likely to run into the meth heads.
However, if you are the type who likes to bust brush, just to "see what's out there", the liklihood that you will run into someone "you don't really want to meet" dramatically increases.
It is no secret that national forests(in Missouri & many states) are a prime location for meth cooking.



– Last Updated: Apr-19-06 3:30 PM EST –

They know where the pollution comes from already.
They've been studying it for 10 years, and have spent a lot more than $100,000.00.

The "show me the $$$$" people who let the pollution continue on the Jacks Fork river are the same people who keep pushing for lead mining in the National Scenic Riverways watershed. Greedy businessmen & the politicians that they have in their back pocket.


P.S. The 2,000 number you mentioned is too low;
the larger gatherings may have over 3,000 participants. One business situated on the Jacks Fork River advertises the availability of 2,991 horse stalls, a 75 acre campground & a 63,000 sq ft. riding arena. They also tell you that you can swim in the "pristine" river that borders their property.

The Eminence, Mo. wastewater treatment plant also "contributes" to the pollution on the lower Jacks Fork River; this has been common knowledge for many years. They "assist" in keeping the lower Jacks Fork "pristine".

gas prices…

– Last Updated: Apr-21-06 12:24 AM EST –

ya know, high gas prices aren't all bad, maybe some of these idiots will be priced off the river. maybe the thought of the physical excercise like canoeing or kayaking will keep 'em at home with dale earnhart on the weekends.

As a state trooper, I know meth heads hate physical excercise. They can't eat properly with those grey teeth.

BOB----- I think you meant…
well…didn’t you put an extra ‘r’ in that word? Unfortunately, the horse biz makes way more money than the paddling biz. People freak more over horse droppings on city streets than they do about mass quantities in the river.

The power boats on these rivers use waterjet propulsion, not props. They can and do go anywhere we do.

I would tell you from experience to check the CCTR calendar on the trail ride web site below. If it can be avoided, you might not want to be paddling the jack the second week of May or June.

Check it out: the title states: “surrounded on 3 sides by the Jacks Fork…”


I would think it would only take a week for all the S#!T to flow downhill and make the water safe. Just kidding.

Yeah, I often wonder what the designation “National Wild and Scenic River” is really all about. It certainly isn’t about protecting the river from development or abuse. I paddle a lot in Michigan and ther are several Wild & Scenic Rivers where cabins are popping up everywhere along the banks. I think it is a term the government gives to a river so they can appear to be environmentally sensitive. Possibly a token gesture designed to get votes from us “outdoor types”.

I’ve seen the river dorks The Bob mentioed on several Ozark rivers, including the Current, Jack’s Fork, & the Buffalo. Saw 'em on the Eleven Point too, but not as bad as the Current (at least when I was there). Too bad the Eleven Point isn’t a longer stream. A 2-3 day float is about it unless the water is up, but it is certainly a viable alternative to the more popular streams.

looks like lotsa horses. I love the last line on the website…“This river is considered one of the most scenic and pristine streams in Missouri. It is available to swim and float in during your stay with us.”

How long has this been there?

How bout calling it “e-coli ranch”