The James River is our "Go To" River for most of our rentals and our personal float trip. Just Minutes from Springfield and Branson the James is a local gem that is enjoyed all year long. Known for Small Mouth Fishing and Laid back summer float trips there is something for everyone on the James river. The James River is floatable most of the year unless we get a long dry spell then you will drag a little, however where one section may be to low there is lower setions that are still enjoyable to float during these rare low water times.
The Finley River is unique because it flows right through the City of Ozark Mo. At Finley River Park you are able to unload and put in and actually paddle up river. This section is dammed up by the old Ozark Mill and it forms 3 pools that you can paddle through with virtually no current. During the Spring and after rains you can put in at Lindenlure and float back to the park making it around a 5 mile float. But, if it's lazy you want simply putting in at the park and paddling up to find yourself a gravel bar then this is the trip for you. No Shuttles are needed.
Springfield Lake had been known in the past to be a dirty useless lake. But, with the help of Stream Teams, James River Basin Partnership and hundred of volunteers of the the years Springfield Lake has transformed into a fantastic lake to spend the day paddling on. It is part of the James River, dammed up at the powerplant on the southwest part of the lake. There is marshes, lillys and cool little areas to explore. You can even paddle up into the Springfield Nature Center walking trails where you will find some great fishing.
2.5 hours from Springfield, The 11 Point River is one of our favorite Float Trip/Road Trip destinations. Winding through the Mark Twain National Forrest the 11Point river is a serene, springfed river that stays pretty cold even through the summer. This makes for some refreshing swimming holes. Known for the large springs that feed the river it is a great year round destination to float. Some of the best Brown Trout fishing can be found on the 11 Point. Pictured above is Boze Mill Spring, an enormous spring the provides an awesome natural jungle gym and ice cold swimming hole. You can hike to the source of the spring about 100 yards from a little inlet gravel bar.
A new river we added to our list is the Big River in St Louis "Eureka" Missouri. It includes the typical river beauty but also some ironic man-made beauty. The Big River Snakes its way through Eastern Missouri and dumps into the Meremac River. About half way into your trip you will come up on what looks like a junk yard. From a distance it really does until you paddle up and see what is hanging from the shoreline. You don't see your old chevy s10 truck or buick century. You actually see old 40's, 50's, 60's cars and trucks with giant trees growing through them. We even came up on an old split window VW bus. Its like a little steam punk gallery as you float on by. The Big Rivers water is clear, has a lazy current and the put in access is huge and ha safe parking.
When you think of a float trip your first thought might not be "Missouri River" when in fact you have no idea what you are missing. The Missouri River offers endless float trips and distances, you can do a 5 mile float from one boat ramp to another or you can go from 3 forks Montana to St Louis. But for the casual floater there is a few float trips we suggest and our favorite is Jefferson City "State Capital" to Chamois Missouri. This 26 mile stretch may seem long but at 4mph average, you can paddle straight through in about 4 hours or so. During normal levels there is a giant sandbar right where the mouth of the Osage meets the Missouri. During a hot summer day the sandbar island will be ringed with pontoon boats, jon boats canoes and kayaks. The best part about the Missouri River is the people. Missouri River paddlers are some of the most laid back and coolest people you can meet, and when you paddle into a small town like Chamois, New Haven, Hermann etc... they tend to roll out the red carpet for you. The best part about a Missouri River float is the history.
We will be building a full list of Midwest places to paddle as time goes on. We will also be including maps and attractions as well.