Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Do any of you know any good books, guides or web sites for paddling the Jack’s Fork and Current Rivers in Missouri. Anything and everything would be greatly appreciated.


Here’s a Couple Links

– Last Updated: May-09-07 2:46 AM EST –

"A Paddler's Guide to MO" is the best $6 bucks you could spend. If it wasn't published by the MODOC it would cost quite a bit more.
And here's also a link to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways website. Several of us on P.net live in the area if you have specific questions, and you can read the "Ozark Rendevous" threads for pics and a bit of imfo. These should get you started, though. WW

more links
here is a mile by mile description of every MO river… I print these out and keep in my dry bag for refrence during the float.


there is a drop down to choose different rivers. this is the same info published in the MDC book the guy above me talked about.

VERY INFORMATIVE site published by a local river rat…


fishing info----


misc ozark forum… not much traffic


where i purchased my kayak… lots of misc paddling info about the area etc


and a yahoo group call st louis canoe and kayak club… alot of members and alot of them have paddled all the midwest streams, sign up and ask questions!!


if you have any specific questions ib be glad to answer any you have, ive been paddling the ozark streams for a few years now and could recommend a good float for ya or an outfitter to haul your gear to a put in.

email me…


i might not remeber to check this thread agian :wink:

while im at it…

– Last Updated: May-09-07 4:05 PM EST –

have you paddled any on these rivers? if not you will be HOOKED!

if someone were to ask me, whats your favorite ozark float, or what is the "must paddle' float trip in that area....

Jacks Fork River in eminence MO...... the upper section of the river is absolutely breathtaking. the first 25 or so miles go through a very deep valley.... ive paddled almost every ozark stream and all of them are gorgeous, but this one definately takes the cake. the water is clearer as can be, and the fishing is nothing short of AWESOME. Ive been on trips there floating with freinds and seen folks catch fish every 3rd or 4th cast!!!! and almost all day long for that matter.

If you get one day, or preferrably 2 days, float this river. Put in at Buck Hollow (you will be able to find it on the mile by mile description i linked in the post above) and take out at bay creek. ive done this float in one full day ofa kayak (approx 8hrs including breaks) and also overnight with ALOT of fishing stops. The section below bay creek to alley spring is very nice too.

eleven point river is awesome, and so is the current, and while the black river isnt part of the natl scenic riverways its close to there and very nice as well. you really wont find a bad float in this area, but that is my favorite.

Two Rivers livery has run shuttle for us
and does a good job. We leave our vehicle at their lot and have them take us and our stuff to the put in.

Just got back from Eminence. We used Harvey’s Alley Springs and Two Rivers for outfitters and were really happy with the service. Fair prices and nice people. And they have locations on/near the river (i.e. no waiting for pick-ups, just float to your vehicle).

This was our first trip down and we had a great time. Went from the Prongs to Alley Springs on Jack’s Fork and Pulltite to Two Rivers on the Current.

Met an awesome couple from Houston MO on the Jack’s that gifted us with some jigs, fishing info and a cold beer. River Angels! Thank You!


You also need to know
All the above is true above those rivers; they are truly beautiful rivers. I have paddled the three rivers mentioned as well as the Buffalo. My favorite is the Buffalo followed by the Jack fork. However, there is no way I would consider paddling any of those rivers after April first, especially the Current. Most all those rivers are loaded with canoes, party badges including motor boats (water jets) that come way up in the rivers. So, if you are looking for a wilderness experience forget about it. I would also agree there is room for a better canoe book about those rivers. The site mentioned earlier (http://www.missouriscenicrivers.com/) is the best source of info I found. Personally, I would like to see a book in the style of “Paddling in Southern Wisconsin” that offer a bit more info than what is currently available. DO NOT GO THERE OVER A WEEKEND!

Agree with simonbee…

– Last Updated: May-31-07 10:53 AM EST –

If you are the type of person/couple/family who is looking for solitude, peace, and quiet.....avoid the Current River in Missouri "like the plague" on Summer weekends.

The number of jon boats on the river is rapidly increasing. Many of them are operated at very high speeds, and in a reckless manner. Many of them are driven by drunk operators, and present a hazard to those in canoes & kayaks.

NOT a nice place for your wife, girlfriend, or kids. If you choose to go there anyway, and believe you will confront those who are the source of the myriad problems.........be advised that law enforcement has little success controlling the problems, and they may not be around to assist you.

You would not be the first person, or law enforcement officer who has been attacked by the drunks/dopers, aka "river dorks", after confronting them, and you will not be the last.

Problems on the Current river have become so bad that additional law enforcement assistance from the Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Water Patrol, and the Missouri Highway Patrol among others, is being used to assist Park Rangers.

There has recently been a media blitz to attempt to warn/threaten law breakers with more strict enforcement.

"You have to do something about the drunken and disorderly behavior on the rivers. The atmosphere is not family-friendly". "People have said this or something similiar time-after-time in our meetings and in writing". Noel Poe, Ozark National Scenic Riverway Superintendent.

"Our big 3 on the riverways, in this order, are drug possession, minors in possesion of alcohol, and littering. We also get quite a few assault cases". Lt. Nick Humphrey, Missouri Water Patrol.

Read more: St. Louis Post Dispatch
May 20, 2007

A wise person will not subject their family to that type of atmosphere.

Best bet: Paddle on rivers mentioned in the Spring or Fall.

Second best bet: Paddle on weekdays.


P.S. Missouri is once again #1 in the United States (multiple years) for the number of illegal meth labs that are busted here. Don't think that some of it is not finding it's way to the partiers on the Current River.

I want to thank everyone
for the tips. We are planning a visit back to Missouri to see family and do some paddling. Thanks for everything.


no problem randino
im just glad that someone took the time to read what I typed and got some use out of it.

I did an overnight on the jacks fork last weekend from rymers acess to the hwy 19 bridge… here is a little info from another post regarding that float…

The river was low, and left us walking in quite a few spots. There

were many deep holes and good swimming/fishing holes, but in places

the river really shallowed out.

After Alley Spring the river got much deeper (and thankfully colder,

it was warm out). It would have been a very nice float from alley

spring down, if it werent for all the weekend warroirs and drunken


Now im only 22 years old, and I like being a drunken idiot as much as

the next guy, but i was DISGUSTED at the number of people on the

river… It was all I could do to dogde traffic and not have drunk

piloted/flipped canoes run me over. In many places one canoe full of

retards would flip on a rock or logjam, and traffic was so thick

behind them that the next 5 or 6 canoes of retards would hit them and

flip as well. the whole time their trash, coolers, and beercans

floating down the river. Just from alley spring down I picked up at

least 2 dozen cans that I passed floating.

I was honestly disgusted with the situation, and will not be

returning to that float until the off season. I can totally

understand why they passed those new drinking laws. It was a beatiful

river but its a shame the folks have to trash it.

dont get me wrong, still had a great time, but just watch out if you dont like a younger/party type crowd on the more populated sections of river.