Missouri has many streams and rivers. This guide discusses taking float trips on some of the best water in the state – best float trips in missouri.
Having grown up and lived my life in the state of Missouri, I am well-versed about the opportunities to go float trips in its many rivers and streams. Missouri is laced with rivers that have headwaters that allow for a lot of fun floating with a minimum amount of risk involved. A float trip requires some sort of floating device and a good place to use it. Normally, float trips are arranged through a resort that offers an easy way to get into the river and an easy predetermined exit from the river. The cost per person is moderate.
While their are probably scores of locations to float a river for 3 to 5 miles in the state, I will only outline a few here to give you some examples of good place to go. The first one is the Meramec River near Steelville and Cuba, Missouri. There are about a half dozen or so excellent resorts that specialize in helping people float this river. You can rent tubes, canoes, and 3 to 5 man inflatable boats for the ride. Most of these resorts offer two different lengths of floats. On weekends these resorts like most in the state in the summer become major hives of activity. You will find it much better to float during the week if you do not like the overcrowding, loud music and noise, and drinking.
The upper Black River near Lesterville, Missouri, is another excellent and well-used section of water. While not as many resorts and campground to help you with your float, there are still several to choose from. This venue draws a lot of younger late-teen floaters. The float prior to the dog-days of summer is better because the water level tends to be higher. This makes for fewer times that you have to portage your boat or tube. Lesterville is a small town, but still has a decent store and gas stations. It sits at the foot of Taum Sauk, the highest point in the state. There are a number of other areas like Elephant Rocks State Park in the vicinity to explore if you want to make it a multiple day outing.
In the south-central part of Missouri, you will find the town of Eminence. Near Eminence are the Current and Jack's Fork rivers. These are fast flowing cold streams. You can experience more intense rapids in these rivers. This area of the state is even less developed than the previous two mentioned. For the person looking for rustic and back woods areas, there are plenty to be found here. Like the other areas, the campgrounds here make it easy to float. They utilize the more well-know and safer areas of the rivers to insure the well-being of their guests.
No matter where you go to float, the resorts will guide you to enter the river and be waiting for you when you exit. Buses and vans transport floaters back to their campgrounds or to the floater's cars making the return trip very easy. Workers will attend to the boats and tubes once you pull ashore.
Always bring along food and drink for a float trip. Most will take from 2 1/2 to 5 hours to complete. They tend to be somewhat leisurely and relaxing in most areas. There are generous areas to pull ashore and explore or have a picnic meal. Some of the floating areas encourage a moderate amount of fishing if you like to do that.
Shade can be difficult to come by during parts of any float trip. Sunscreen with a 45+ Spf rating is recommended. Apply it often during the day. It will more than likely be hot also. Bring plenty of liquid to stay hydrated. Something besides copious amounts of alcohol are needed to keep your water loss covered.
If you have an older swimming suit, it is recommended. The water can become a little murky after it rains or if the crowd is dense. This can leave muddy stains on swim wear. Bringing your old suit keeps you from putting a new one at risk. Even cutoffs might be the best way to go. Plan on swimming along side your canoe or boat if you rent one. This helps cool you off and is a nice diversion from paddling through large pools. Swim shoes are better than being bare-footed. Some of these rivers have sharp rocks or debris left behind by inconsiderate floaters in the past. Protecting your feet is important. Wearing a good had may be necessary too. This will protect your head, nose, and ears from overexposure to sunlight.
Wrap your towels in plastic to keep them dry in case your boat tips. Leave anything you do not want to loose at home. It will be better there than lost at the bottom of the river. Bring a water proof camera. There are invariably some great photo opportunities on every float trip.