Missouri's Current River


Most spring-fed of all the Ozark rivers, the Current River may be floated at almost any time of the year, particularly below Welch Spring. It seldom freezes over and has been a favorite for the annual New Year's float of one large group of Missouri canoeists. Due to the increase in size of the river and the frequency of motor boats below Big Spring, most canoe trips are made on the sections above Big Spring. In normal water, it is a very safe river with no sections which could properly be termed rapids.
Difficulty: I, occasionally II.
Gradients: General -- 4.4; Montauk to Akers Ferry -- 8.7; to junction of Jacks Fork -- 5;
to Big Spring -- 3.8; to Doniphan -- 3.2.
Quadrangles: Montauk, Cedargrove, Lewis Hollow, Round Spring, Eminence, Cardareva, Van Buren, Grandin, Doniphan.
Counties: Dent, Shannon, Carter, Ripley.

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0.0 Montauk State Park: camping, meals, lodging, fish hatchery, trout fishing, springs. No access.
0.9 Tan Vat access.
2.1 Baptist Camp Access.
2.4 Duckworth Spring Branch enters from left where a gravel bar is usually present.
4.3 Ashley Creek on right.
6.8 Derryberry Hole. Well known by local fisherman who named it after a local landowner. Note the small bluff on the righ with its steeply dipping rock strata. Potential campsites are on the left here and just downstream.
7.5 Parker Hollow on left, fed by Schafer Spring 1.2 miles upstream. The historical Susie Nichols homestead is about a quarter of a mile up parker hollow where Schafer Spring flows into the Current River.
9.0 Cedargrove: low-water bridge, campground, put-in.
9.9 Big Creek on right.
11.9 Flying "W" Ranch Ford Campsite. There is a deep swimming hole here and a small bluff where people stop to jump off.
12.6 Medlock Cave and Spring on right just before a large rock in the river. Cave contains lake. Entrance good shelter.
13.7 Welch Spring and Cave on left. Cave stream and lakes have been traversed by canoe, but are now barred up to protect the bats. Spring is the sixth largest in state. Mr. Thomas Welch, the first settler here, built a gristmill and gneral store ont he left. A National Park Service marker tells about a later attempt to devolop an asthma sanatorium at this location. The flow of water from the spring on the left into the river is very strong, so be cautious in passing this point.
14.2 Welch Spring Access and Historic Site: There are two access points located here. Both are accessible from the north by an undesignated road from County Road K. This was also the site of a ferry crossing int he past. Maggard Cabin, on a hill across the river from the downstream access point, is considered to be an historical site. The power line, which cross the river, marks the approximate location of the lower access point and historic site.

16.7 Akers Ferry (Hwy. K) and put-in. Good camp area upstream from ferry on left. Large sinkholes known as "The Sunkland" and "Burr Oak Basin," 3 to 4 miles south of Akers, may be reached on foot via Lewis and Hieronymus Hollows. See Lewis Hollow topographic map. Akers Ferry Canoe Rental and small store is here.
17.1 Gladden Creek enters from the left.
18.8 Lewis Hollow Ford and Creek: Enters the river from the right.
21.9 Cave Spring on left. Water at back of cave is 120 feet deep and comes from Devil's Well via nearby Wallace Well Cave. Devil's Well, a sinkhole more than 200 feet deep and partly filled with water, is one mile north of Cave Spring. Average flow is 20 million gallons a day.
24.2 Rock House Cave on right. A meander of a cave, cut off by the deepening river valley, it is now more like a natural bridge than a cave and makes a good shelter. On the right side of the river.
24.8 CAVE: There is an unnamed cave in the fluff ont he left, where the river bends to the right.
26.3 Pulltite Spring Access and Campground on the left, at the ford on the upstream end of the campground. This campground extends along the left side of the river for approximately three-quarters of a mile. It can be reached from Missouri hwy. 19 by taking county road EE. Complete facilities are available here along with Current River Canoe Rental and small store.
27.2 Pulltite Spring and branch on right. In the next three miles there are several good gravel bars for campsites. A walk of the trail up to the spring you will see Pulltite Cabin on the left, a historic site. Average flow is 20 million gallons to more than 38 million gallons a day.
27.3 Fire Hydrant Spring on right. This spring gushes from a small cave in the bluff. The roar of gushing water can be easily heard as you approach it.
28.2 Boyds Creek on right. Possible campsites in this area.
30.7 Bat Cave is located high on the bluff on the left side of the river and entry is restricted.
31.2 Current River State Park on left. (Former Alton Box Club) There are a couple of Johnny-on-the-spots located here.
32.1 Merritt Rock (Little Gem) Cave & Spring on right at the bend in the river. Look for a gravel bar on the left and bluff on right with three small caves. The first, Merritt Rock (Little Gem), has an ebb-and-flow spring small waterfall in it towards the back. The roar of water can be heard sometimes near the entrance. The second is Blue Pearl Cave. The third cannot be readily seen from the river. Shannondale Lookout Tower can be seen directly ahead down river.
33.8 Sinking Creek enters on left. Established campsites here on the left accessible by hwy. 19. By putting in at The Sinks, where the creek takes a short-cut through a hill via a cave, 6.5 miles of the creek can be floated in good water. Gradient is 10 feet per mile. In 2013 the Missouri State Park had acquired the former Camp Zoe which is located up this creek. The plans are to connect it by a foot trail to Current River State Park and have camping available here come 2016.
35.2 Round Spring Access. Camping, large spring, Round Spring Caverns, take-out or put-in. Carrs Canoe Rental and small store located here visible from the take-out.
35.3 Hwy 19 Bridge.
43.5 Big Creek enters on left. Campsites.
45.7 Bee Bluff and campsite. Bluff on left, gravel bar on right at south bend of river. "Bee Bluff" is incorrectly located a mile south of this point on the Eminence topographic quadrangle.
52.1 Ebb and Flow Spring, reached by walking one-quarter mile up creek on left.
52.5 Jacks Fork River flows in on the right. Point locally known as "Two Rivers." Two Rivers Canoe Rental and small store is here.
53.3 Ferry and take-out.
57.2 Blair Creek on left.
59.7 Hwy. 106 Bridge. Old ferry site just downstream. Access downstream 0.1 mile.
61.0 Blue Spring, ninth largest in the state, has deepest blue color. Reached by a one-quarter mile walk up its branch on the left.
64.1 Rocky Creek enters on right. The Fall of Rocky Creek, 3 miles southwest of this point, are a scenic attraction of the area.
67.1 Spring on left.
67.6 Carr Creek and Cardareva Mountain on left.
70.0 Log Yard on left. Access, camp.
71.8 Beal Landing on left. Access.
73.5 Paint Rock Bluff and Gravel Spring. The spring flows from a gravel bar on the left.
78.7 Chilton Creek on right. Spring 0.5 mile up branch.
82.5 Pine Valley Creek (also called Henpeck Creek) on left.
84.5 Bass Rock on left.
85.3 Watercress Park (Forest Service) on left. Access from Hwy. 60 in Van Buren. Camping.
85.9 Van Buren (U.S. Hwy 60) Bridge. Stores, meals, lodging. Take-out.
90.2 Big Spring. Camping, meals, lodging, access. One of the largest springs in the world.
94.5 Clubhouse Landing. Camping. Access from Hwy. 60 over rough road.
98.8 Hickory Landing. Access from Hwy. E at Hunter. Cave Spring-Jordan Spring Branch on left. Jordan Spring, 0.5 mile and Cave Spring, 1 mile up branch.
99.0 Catarac Landing on right. Access only. Access from Van Buren, Hwy. 103 to Hwy. Z and 2 miles of gravel below blacktop.
101.3 Panther Spring up small hollow on right.
104.2 Bog Hollow. Phillips Bay and Spring on right. Spring about 0.25 mile from river. Favorite campsite.
105.2 Gooseneck campground on right. Access.
106.8 Forest Service campground on left. Bagamaw Bay on right. Limited access road.
108.7 Big Barren Creek on right. Twin Springs 0.75 mile up creek.
111.5 Cedar Creek on left. Forest Service campsite in this area.
113.8 Buffalo Creek on right.
114.0 Compton Camp. Forest Service campsites, on right.
119.8 Deer Leap Forest Service access ramp and parking area (east bank).
120.3 Float Camp No. 7 (U.S. Forest Service) on left.
121.3 Dun Roven unimproved access and swimming beach on right (west).
124.8 Doniphan. U.S. Hwy. 160 Bridge. Stores, meals, lodging, take-out.
125.0 MDC Doniphan and T.C. Wright Memorial access (two concrete ramps) on east bank.
126.2 City park on left.
130.8 Big Island.
136.0 Goose Lake, a lake-like pool of the river.
137.3 Missouri-Arkansas state line.
139.0 Current View. Private take-out.


SOURCE: Missouri Department of Conservation (electronic reprint)


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