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Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Ozark National Scenic Riverways
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General Information

Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Description - Ozark National Scenic Riverways encompasses 134 miles of the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers in southeastern Missouri. Nearly 100 springs pour thousands of gallons of clear, cold, water into the streams. The landscape surrounding the waterways is predominantly rural, with broadleaf forests and occasional open fields. The region surrounding the rivers includes the southeastern Ozark Mountains, which are typified by narrow steep-sided hollows, numerous streams and bluffs. Much of the area is underlain by soluble limestone and dolomite, giving rise to sinkholes, caves,
and springs. Ozark culture is preserved throughout the area.

The Current and Jacks Fork Rivers have been used by humans for at least 12,000 years. Discovery of scattered Paleo-Indian artifacts in the region provides evidence for this long human inhabitance. More recent inhabitants have left their mark as well. Learn more about the long and fascinating history of the Ozarks.

Recreation - This park provides a myriad of water-oriented activities for visitors of many interests and abilities. Canoeing, tubing, fishing and swimming opportunities exist throughout the scenic riverway. A great way to begin your travels through the area is to begin gathering information at one of the visitor centers. They are located at Akers Ferry, Round Spring, Alley Spring and Big Spring Ranger Stations. Park Headquarters is located in Van Buren, Missouri. After your trek in the wilderness you may enjoy a tour of Alley Roller Mill, which is one of the Ozarks' most famous landmarks, located six miles west of Eminence, Missouri.

This natural area supports 380 miles of roads, most of which are secondary public roads and backcountry roads or traces. There are numerous
road access points along both the Current and the Jacks Fork Rivers. State Highway 19 and U.S. Highway 60 provide the primary road access into the area.
Fourteen miles of designated horse trails and 48 miles of foot trails within the park provide access to the backcountry of the Ozarks. A formal trail maintenance program does not exist within the park, so conditions may vary.

Camping enthusiasts will enjoy six developed campgrounds within the park. They are located at Alley Spring, Big Spring, Powder Mill, Pulltite, Round Spring and Two Rivers. There are no electrical or water hookups. Primitive campgrounds are located throughout the park. These are accessible by vehicle and have minimal facilities. Backcountry camping is permitted on gravel bars. Please keep a clean camp, bury human waste away from water and have an escape route in case of flash floods.

Climate - Summers in southeastern Missouri are hot and humid. The area is subject to severe thunderstorms, torrential rains and flooding at any time of year. Winters are generally cool with variable precipitation. Good sun screen and insect repellent are a must during the summer months. Ticks are the most prevalent insect problem.

Location - Ozark National Scenic Riverways lie in Shannon County, Carter County, Dent County and Texas County, Missouri. Each of these counties lies in the southeast section of the state. The riverways are surrounded by the lands of the Mark Twain National Forest.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: joe barnes (licking, mo)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: cedar grove no longer has free camping

Filed By: BOOMer Knight (Key West Florida, fl)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The toughest part was dealing with all the ticks!They really sucked!!!I found thaT MY BIGGEST reward was actually experiencing the most beautiful riverways in the country and the scenery was breathtaking!I was impressed on the clarity of the water and did a little snorkeling and scuba divng for some underwater photography.I found the park rangers to be extremely friendly and very helpful to me while camping.The town of Eminence was really cool and saw a horse and buggy parked in front of one of the local stores.I never did find a good place to eat but did me own cooking/bar-b-que.The next time I go back to this area I will make sure I bring an alternate elctric power source for me campsite such as a generator and an air compresser for me scuba tanks and schtuff!My suggestion for next time is for me to remember to put on that frontline plus-tick repellent and keep the ticks off and bring a tweeser to yank the little suckers off in case they become attached to you!

More Information

Contact Information:
Ozark National Scenic Riverways, P.O. Box 490, 504 Main St. , Van Buren, MO, 63965, Phone: 573-323-4236

Additional Information:
Missouri - This state in the country's mid section is historically a transition point from east to west. It is teeming with historic sites, state parks and natural areas great for all types of recreational pursuits.


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