Canoe hope me?
June 17, 2008 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Help me plan some good canoeing weekends in Missouri.

I've just moved to (central) Missouri from Colorado, and I'd like to get outdoors, maybe camp for a few weekends this summer. It's dreadfully hot and humid here at this time of year, so I figure paddling is the way to go. I hear there are some great places to canoe around here; do you know where they are? I'll be renting the boat -- if you can recommend an outfitter for the rental, fantastic! Suggestions for good camping spots would be welcome, too.
posted by Spinneret to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are a ton of good places to camp and float (on a canoe) down a river.

For floats, check out They cover pretty much all of them.

For camping, splurge on this book: The Best in Tent Camping: Missouri and the Ozarks: A Guide for Campers Who Hate RVs, Concrete Slabs, and Loud Portable Stereos.
posted by nitsuj at 1:26 PM on June 17, 2008

I spent many many enjoyable outings on the Huzzah in my youth. Fond memories.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 1:32 PM on June 17, 2008

Well, there are tons of awesome rivers to choose from. Some of my favorites include the Current, and the Eleven point. If you are planning a trip on any river in the next week or so, you will want to check with an outfitter to make sure that the river levels are back to normal after the flooding we have had recently.

This map might help.
posted by schyler523 at 1:33 PM on June 17, 2008

I remember loving the Jacks Fork river.
posted by zsazsa at 2:01 PM on June 17, 2008

Niangua River. Stay at the HoHum campground, or if you don't want to camp, the Sand Springs Resort, which is really more of just a nice ma and pa motel. While you're there check out some solid trout fishing at Bennett Spring, and if bouldering is your thing, Elephant Rocks isn't too terribly far away.
posted by piedmont at 2:53 PM on June 17, 2008

We always go to the Jack's Fork river and it has generated some of my best memories. I'll forward this to my DH and see if he has any more input such as where to put in and take out.
posted by GardenGal at 4:38 PM on June 17, 2008

Niangua++. Jacks Fork++.
posted by Netzapper at 5:37 PM on June 17, 2008

the meremac river was a fond, fond location in my youth. check it out.
posted by CitizenD at 6:05 PM on June 17, 2008

I'm in southern Missouri, and my buddy at work (who is an outdoors and paddling nut) recommends the Meramec (especially if you like better odds for seeing naked chicks) and the Buffalo. Welcome to Show Me State, the humidity will be here for a while.
posted by shinynewnick at 6:29 PM on June 17, 2008

Thanks to all who've responded so far. Holy mother, I love metafilter. Keep the pointers coming.

(N.B., shinynewnick, I am a chick, and I'd just as soon avoid the more crowded drinking/floating routes. I'd rather spot birds than girly bits and beer cans. Thanks for the heads up, though!)
posted by Spinneret at 7:20 PM on June 17, 2008

Best single day river run in Missouri is the Current river, from Akers Ferry to Pulltite. It's a leisurely ten mile paddle (and not a lot of paddling is required, really.) It's beautiful any time of year, with stunning (and stunningly cold) springs, spiffy caves to explore, and lots of sand bars and other pull-outs along the way. Wanna make a weekend of it, consider Cedar Grove or Akers Ferry to Round Spring. Or check this map for more ideas.

If you're a hardy soul try it in the winter. A group of us had a tradition of a float on the current to ring in the new year... saw lots of nesting eagles (and frequently experienced the fact that a spring-fed river is often warmer than the canoe... though taking a swim on December 31 is ill-advised without a campfire blazing nearby.)

I've lost count of my floats on the Current, but the number is well into the dozens. And if you find a grey, felt fedora on the river, it's probably mine. That was my floating hat, and it survived all but my very last river run...
posted by deCadmus at 9:30 PM on June 17, 2008

Try Boiling Springs Campground south of Dixon, north of St. Robert. The owners are great and it is a family-friendly place.
posted by badger_flammable at 7:40 AM on June 18, 2008

Slightly off-topic, but you can also check out a recent post from Metafilter about Underground Ozarks. You can probably find some cool stuff to explore on there, as well.
posted by shinynewnick at 9:27 AM on June 18, 2008

I'm with deCadmus, though I usually start a little bit upstream from Akers Ferry.

The Huzzah and Courtois are also both nice for Canoeing. Since they're not spring fed you can spend more time in the water, but be careful if it's a dry year as you may spend a lot of time not paddling.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:12 PM on June 18, 2008

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