Current river. . . the whole NSR

Next summer I was thinking of floating the whole length of the National Scenic Riverway along the Current. I have floated the area from Akers to Jacks Fork several times. Would someone tell me what it is like below Jacks Fork. Are there a lot of outfitters, river dorks, red necks taking pot shots? What about car shuttles? I’m just thinking about it now no firm plans or anything.

I would like to do this through the week maybe start late on a Sunday afternoon (after the dorkfest is over) and take 5 or 6 days to complete. No big rush just float, fish and relax.

Any info would be great.


My input
My only comment is below Two rivers the river widens out plus you get all the polution from the horse stables from the Lower Jacks fork.

The further you get below Two rivers, the wider and slower the river becomes. You get more and more powerboat traffic, although if you are in off hours it shouldn’t be too bad and you can easily hear them coming.

Depending on the mileage you want to cover, if the water is up a bit(needed for upper Current River), I would start at Baptist camp(Cedar Grove if the water is down), take 2 to 4 days(depending on your speed) and pull out at Round Spring or Two rivers. From there pop over to Jacks Fork put in at Blue Spring and float to Alley Mill.

That is a lot of river mileage, no powerboats and you stay above the horse camp poluted waters.

Been there; done it…

– Last Updated: Dec-22-06 1:40 PM EST –

I put in at Cedar Grove, and paddled to Current View, Arkansas; that was approximately 130 miles.
Did it in 4 days; high mileage day was 37 miles. I would not try to do that again, and I would not suggest you try it either.

My suggestion: Put in at Cedar Grove & take out at the City Park access in Doniphan, Missouri.
That would be a trip of approximately 117 miles.
Trust me; there is nothing to see "below" Doniphan! I would suggest that you follow up on the idea of putting in on sunday afternoon, and take out on friday. If you do it in the Summer you'll have lots of daylight. It is quite possible to average 3 mph without wearing yourself out. 117 miles in part of 6 days is definitely doable. Good resupply points for water & misc are at Akers Ferry, Pulltite, Round Springs, Two Rivers, Owls Bend, Logyard, Van Buren, and Big Spring. If I were you; I'd park my boat under the bridge at Van Buren(very short walk to town), and use it as my main food resupply point. There are several canoe outfitters in Doniphan, Mo.; one is very near the city park access where you'd take out.
I'd leave my vehicle there, and have them run me back up to the put in at Cedar Grove. I think that will be a shuttle fee of not less than $75.00, probably more. I would not leave my vehicle sitting at "any" river access for 5 days! The money spent to have your vehicle sitting safely in an outfitter's parking lot, very close to you take out will be worth the

The river below Two Rivers will get wider, but the flow of current, unless there is a drought going on, will still average about 3 mph from start to finish. You will see a lot fewer "river dorks", and fewer jon boats if you paddle during the week. Also, there will be a better selection of "empty" gravel bars for your campsites.

If you don't have a copy of A Paddler's Guide to Missouri I "highly" recommend you get one. They can be purchased from Missouri Dept. of Conservation at P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102, Phone 573-751-4115. If you have a decent book store close to you; I'm sure they can order a copy from you. About $5.00 & worth every penny for the Current River map you'll need.

If I can be of further assistance to you; do not hesitate to ask ?????, or contact me via email if you wish. If you don't want to go solo; I might consider doing the trip with you, and it is possible that I might? be able to come up with one or two other pnet paddlers who might? also be interested. On the other hand, it would be a great solo trip.........

Some really nice items to be sure you carry:

1. Small/portable radio for weather updates
2. Wide brimmed hat
3. Sunscreen
4. 3 gallon water jug
5. Bio-degradable soap/shampoo
6. Camera & film
7. Sunglasses & spares
8. The book I suggested
9. Small rainfly(shade maker)
10.First aid kit w/ some good quality bug repellent.

Only natural hazards you'll probably encounter.

1. heat/dehydration
2. strainers/sweepers on the river
3. bugs


P.S. I just took note of the fact that you are a kayaker. I am of the opinion that the trip would be much more enjoyable if you used a solo canoe.
Much easier to pack/repack gear, carry some extra comfort type gear, and having a decent sized cooler, and the options it would provide(fresh meat/frosty beverages).Would defintely be worth the extra weight. Then again, maybe you are a "travel light" kinda paddler. Whatever..... Go for it!

Summer Temperatures
About all I can add is that the temperatures in early June are probably going to be much more comfortable than the temps in July and August.

The mean maximum daily high will jump from around 80 in early June to about 88 by mid July. Add humidity and this is a significant change. Early June may still have a bit of the Spring feel while you can really get into some scorching weather by July in south central MO. Nighttime sleeping should also be more comfortable earlier in the summer. But you can always cool off in that cold spring fed water.

If you live in the Midwest you know this.

And if you invite Bob, make sure he outfits you with one of his solo canoes. That Swift Osprey would be a dandy.

Gremmie is correct/incorrect
Gremmie is “correct” regarding the weather.

June would most certainly be preferable to July, or August.

Gremmie is “not” correct about the possiblity of me outfitting you with my Swift Osprey. That is one of my canoes I’d certainly offer to someone for a test paddle(with me present). It will never be up for consideration as a “loaner” in my lifetime.


Thank you all
for the information. As I said I am just thinking about it at this time. It might be a bit to ambitious for my experience level but it sounds like it could be a great time. I love the day floats I have done there before.

Don’t worry Bob I would not dream of asking anyone (even a close friend) to loan me a boat for something like this. As far as a kayak vs a canoe, well “you got to use what ya have” as my grandfather said.

Thanks again for the info. If I don’t or can’t to it this year I hope I can at least make it to the rendezvous in the spring . . . If you’ll have me.


You have it 'cause I hated to put a scratch in such a beautiful boat. Taught me a lesson about ever buying a boat again that I won’t ding up.

Now, I’m still hunting for a MR Guide so keep your eyes open.

And ICE, we Kickapoos (Illinis were too appeasing as a result of their taste for the contents of the wooden barrel, so I am a bit confused about the hubbub about the Chief) usually do a few trips to MO each year. If you can tolerate some barely socialized paddlers who communicate in grunts and goofy, unintelligible and snarky remarks and want to go sometime, let me know. If you are the type that my wife wouldn’t think much of you would probably fit right in. Be forewarned: Our forums on where to paddle once we get there have been known to cause some confusion even after the “plan” has been “decided” so if you can’t tolerate a little chaos and uncertainty, probably better to paddle alone. And as Bob alludes to, the guy who bought and studied the MO paddling guide book usually has the advantage on heading the group to where he wants to paddle. And the nice thing about MO is that there is usually still some creek down there that no one in the group has paddled.

Happy Holidays to all you Kickapoos!

Don’t know…
Don’t know if you’ve considered this…

Since you’ve already done the section between Cedar Grove & Two Rivers; why not do the section between Two Rivers & Doniphan(approx. 75 miles)? Wouldn’t take you as long, lighter load, and you’ll be seeing all new territory.

Sure would like to see you show up at the Spring Ozark Rendezvous.


Gremmie …

– Last Updated: Dec-23-06 8:24 AM EST –

The Osprey is a beauty; no doubt.
The drought in Missouri this year left river levels below what I would consider as "necessary" to take out the Osprey.

Hopefully, next year we'll have a little more rain, higher river levels, and I can pry myself out of my Wildfire & Odyssey, and into the Osprey a few times.

I know someone who has a beautiful dark green, wood trimmed, Royalex layup, MR Guide. Guess who? Didn't know you were looking for a Guide.
I sold a real nice condition, MR Freedom Solo this Fall.


To the Guy

– Last Updated: Dec-23-06 9:35 AM EST –

who bought Bob's MR Freedom Solo: You have bought a terrible boat that no self respecting paddler would be seen in, even in Missouri. You should return it to Bob for a full refund.

Now that
sounds like a great idea. I’ll have to see if I can get the time off.

Thanks again

Van Buren to Doniphan
My brothers and I paddled the river between Cedargrove and Van Buren back in 84, and my family and I have paddled the Akers to Two Rivers (or Owls Bend) almost annually since the late 80s. I have been wanting to paddle that lower stretch for some time. I remember it being wider but still very scenic and with plenty of campsites (except for several miles around Van Buren).

What is the river like between Van Buren and Doniphan? Are gravel bars common? How about scenery, especially bluffs? I’ll have to get the river guide for future reference.


checked with outfitter
I e-mailed Rocky River Resort, which is the outfitter at the bridge in Donihan about a shuttle to Cedar Grove, here is their response:

We can help you with parking, but we only shuttle to deer leap, or Bay of

Nothing. I’m not sure of anyone who does shuttle that far. Bay of Nothing

is our longest float, but it can be done in one day, two if you camp on a

gravel bar. I’m sorry that we can’t be of more help, but will be glad to

help any way we can.


Jason and staff

for the info. I’m sure I can work something out with some friends if I need to. Like I said I’m before I’m just in the thinking/planning stages now. Hope to see some of you in the spring at the Rev. if things work out rignt.

Thanks again everyone.

The rendezvous…
Hope you can make the rendezvous; think you would enjoy it, and you could get a lot of information about the trip you’re considering.

Whether you can make the rendezvous, or not; keep in touch. If you “really” want to do that “long trip”; I’ll do everything I can to assure that you get a shuttle done.


Hope to see you in the spring