Map of Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri
Basic information for visitors to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways In southeastern Missouri, near Van Buren.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways in southeastern Missouri, near Van Buren.
Around 134 mi of waterways along the Current and Jacks Fork rivers provide scenic settings for canoeing, tubing, fishing, and swimming. More than 300 springs pour thousands of gallons of clear, cold water into the streams, while forests and meadows fill in the surrounding hills and valleys. Ozark culture also is preserved throughout the 80,790-acre park. The park was authorized in 1964 and established in 1972.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Boating, canoeing (rentals at campgrounds, and in Eminence and Van Buren), fishing, hunting, swimming, tubing. Facilities: 2 visitor centers: Alley Mill (Alley Spring, near Eminence) and park headquarters (Van Buren); outdoor interpretive exhibits. Covered picnic tables. Programs & Events: Evening programs (Memorial Day-Labor Day, weekends), Round Spring Cave tours (Memorial Day-Labor Day, daily at 10 and 2), concerts (June-Aug., weekends). Tips & Hints: Wear life jackets on river (required for children 12 and under). Canoeing possible any time of year. Busiest July and August, least crowded Jan. and Feb.
FOOD, LODGING & SUPPLIES
Camping: 5 campgrounds ($12; flush toilets, showers) in the park: Alley Spring (162 sites), Big Spring (123 sites), Pulltite (50 sites), Round Spring (60 sites), Two Rivers (19 sites). Near Salem: Montauk State Park (Rte. 5, tel. 573/548-2201; 877/422-6766 reservations; 156 sites; $14-$8; flush toilets, showers, hook-ups). Hotels: In the park: Big Spring Cabins (Rtes. 103 and Z, off U.S. 60, near Van Buren, tel. 573/323-4332; 14 cabins; $55-$110; closed mid-Nov.-Mar.). In Van Buren: Smalley's Motel (702 Main St., tel. 573/323-4263 or 800/727-4263; 28 rooms; $45). X Restaurants: In the park: Big Spring Historic Dining Lodge (Rtes. 103 and Z, off U.S. 60, tel. 573/323-4423; $4-$7; closed Labor Day-Memorial Day). In Van Buren: Float Stream Cafe (102 Main St., tel. 573/323-9606; $5-$16). In Eminence: Winfields Restaurant (106 S. Main, tel. 573/226-3400; $5-$7). Groceries & Gear: Camp stores at Akers Ferry, Alley Spring, Round Spring, Two Rivers.
FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS
Free. Cave tours $5 adults, $2 ages 12 and under. Missouri state fishing and hunting licenses ($5-$ 10 for one day) required. No inboard motors. No Jet skis. Horsepower limits apply. Leashed pets only. Park open daily. Alley Mill Visitor Center open Memorial Day-Labor Day, daily 9-4; Labor Day-mid-Oct., weekends 9-4. Park Headquarters Visitor Center open weekdays 8-4:30.
HOW TO GET THERE
175 mi south of St. Louis and 250 mi southeast of Kansas City via Rte. 19 to Akers Ferry, Pulltite, and Round Spring; from Eminence via Hwy. 106 to Alley Spring and Two Rivers; and 4 mi from Van Buren via Rte. 103 to Big Spring. Closest airports: St. Louis and Springfield (140 mi).
Ozark National Scenic Riverways (404 Watercress Dr., Box 490, Van Buren, MO 63965, tel. 573/323-4236, fax 573/323-4140).
Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
Basic information for visitors to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways In southeastern Missouri, near Van Buren