Experience on the Jack's Fork River

HI, anyone paddled the Jack’s Fork River? Looking at going this month or early May IF water is high enough. Hope to start at Prongs, do entire length, maybe a stretch on the Current.

Hey Tom…

– Last Updated: Mar-29-08 11:11 AM EST –

Check out the archives.
Type in Jacks Fork as subject.
There was a very recent thread on the Jacks Fork & the Buffalo rivers, which contains some excellent information on the Jacks Fork.

If the information in the archived post does not answer your questions; post specific questions on this thread, and I'll attempt to help you any way I can. I've paddled every section of the Jacks Fork & the Current rivers on numerous occasions.

Southern Missouri recently received heavy rain which led to flooding on the Jacks Fork & Current. In the past week, those rivers were dropping back down towards normal flow, BUT the ground is still saturated. Heavy rain is once again predicted for that area during the next few days. Heavy rains could once again create flooding on both the Jacks Fork & Current.
The upper sections of both rivers are somewhat notorious for rapid rises. Suggest you watch weather predictions carefully if your plans are to go there in the next few days.


P.S. Do yourself a favor; avoid the 7 mile section of the Jacks Fork below Eminence.
It is heavily polluted.

Hey there! I’ve paddles the Fork dozens and dozens of times. That is good advice about the rains and not going bellow Eminence. I would not leave a car at the Prongs or Buck Hollow. Friends of mine have been broken into there a few time. Call a local livery and pay them to shuttle your car to Bay Creek and put in at Buck Hollow or the Prongs. I’ve done this soooo many times and never had a problem. This is a great 2 day trip. On weekends you can encounter a few small groups or a floatilla of 20+ canoes full of boyscouts or an empty river all your own. I’m a midweek paddler and despise weekends so I usually enjoy the later. Please practice leave-no-trace. The area is going downhill a bit lately. Four wheelers have been taring up the river bed and many gravel bars have multiple fire pits scaring the area. But with the recent rain the area should be fresh and beautiful. Bring you camera!

A agree…

– Last Updated: Mar-29-08 11:26 PM EST –

"I" agree.......

I would NOT leave my vehicle parked at the Prongs area on the Jacks Fork. Most especially, do not park it anywhere close to the river.

You might get lucky; it might not be bothered by thieves. However, if the river comes up......it may end up on it's own trip downstream.

Another place to avoid leaving a vehicle; Cedar Grove on the Current River.

On the upper sections of either river; make sure you have an "escape route" from the gravel bar where you camp.......just in case a rapid rise of the river does occur.

There is a canoe livery right down the road from the Alley Springs campground.


Recent Trip On Jacks Fork

– Last Updated: Mar-30-08 9:44 AM EST –

Tom- I just got back from a 3 day 30 mile trip from the Prongs to Alley Springs. I went on March 7-10th and it was a perfect float (very cold, but perfect water level) We left our car at the bridge and had no problems, but you just never know? The water level read at 3.6ft and 900 cfs on the gauge at hwy 17 when we left. We both had kayaks (mine is actually a Mad River Synergy 12 SOT with cover)and it was definitely a fun run. Some pretty narrow chutes with strainers caused the biggest challenge for us. When the water was this level it opens up several chutes to choose from along the way- sometimes you cannot see around the corner of which one will be best, but we only had 1 problem the entire trip. Shortly after the hwy 17 bridge there is a house on river left- there are 3 chutes to choose from- well, what we could not see was a tree had fallen and knocked down the powerlines (insulated) but black and we could not see the line about a foot above the water level. Lets' just say we got hung up and had to bail out and portage the kayaks- Maybe they have cleared it by now, but it was a little scary. The river remained swift with some class II's all the way until about 10 miles from Alley Springs. It was a great float- Bald Eagle, Deer, Swift water, great camping sites.... I could go on and on but if you have any other questions, shoot me an e-mail.

- The livery by Alley Springs is Harvey's and he's there year-round