howdy yall. Im from the St lousi area, and have been paddling ozark rivers for 5+years. Some of my paddling freinds and I were looking into a weekend trip somewhere in the midwest before it gets very cold.

Im looking for info from everyone about what is your favorite/most scenic/ etc paddle destination in the midwest. This will be in the next month or 2. Scenic/wilderness is preffered, but by no means mandatory if there is a great spot.

fall foliage might also be a consideration depending on the date.

A little info, we would be paddling recreational kayaks, so Id like to keep it a class 1-2. At least an overnight, possibly 3 day trip (2nights and shorter paddle the 3rd day) that we could do on a 4-5 day weekend including driving.

also, a basecamp at a nice campground that we can use to do a couple different day trips isnt out of the question at all. Only thing is the campground must be UNDER an hour drive to the put in/take out. Dont want to spend the whole time in the car ya know?

Looking to keep it around a 6hr max drive from st louis… so anything in arkansas, tenn, kentucky pretty much…

Thanks for any and all suggestions and info you can give, im sure it will be helpful as always

how can you top what you got?
Bob other than the buffalo river,or possibly around the great smokies(driving time) I cant think of anything better than what you got there in the ozarks…not saying that anything i mentioned is better…jack

my vote is
the elevin point, north fork of the white, elk, jack’s fork in Mo. In Ark, mulberry, cossatot, and of course the buffalo.

We live near the niangua river, near lake of the ozarks,and have good spring fed water below Bennett Springs trout area. Just have to come after all the ya-hoo’s have gone home. Fall , winter and spring are our best floats. G

We may not have rivers here…
but if you feel like making a short drive over to southern Illinois we have some beautiful lakes all within 10 miles of each other. Set up your ‘base’ out at the Giant City State Park campground which sits less than a mile from Little Grassy Lake. From there you have a couple mile drive to Devils Kitchen Lake which has rock lined shores and awsome fall colors as well Panthers Den hiking area, which is a cool maze of rock cliffs and passage ways. Take a few mile drive west of Giant City Park and you’ll find Cedar Lake, another beautiful lake just south of Carbondale that has many cliff and rock lined shores also. Little Grassy and Devils Kitchen fall under the Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge use area and do require a temporary pass for boats/vehicles, but well worth it. If you all fish, Devils Kitchen has Bass, Trout, Bluegill, & Crappie, as do the rest (- the Trout). Cedar Lake also has some monster Stripers as well. Fall colors appear to be coming early as it’s been dry here for a spell. If you are climbers we have some of the best rock in the midwest, or beyond. Also some great mountainbiking and road rides also, as well as some great wineries alond the ‘Wine Trail’ very close to Giant City Park also. Jay Boyd will accuse me of being a ‘shameless promoter’, but we also have the best little outdoor/kayak/canoe shop to be found in the midwest, Shawnee Trails in downtown Carbondale! And you can get a great pie after your paddles at Quatros Pizza, right next to my shop.

Buffalo River 5 day trip
My group is headed to the Buffalo in April for 5 days of smallmouth fishing. Where did you all end up, and any suggestions for this river? Best spots, time of year, lures, presentations, fishing results and who did you all use locally for hauling and transport? Any input appreciated.