Missouri June 18, 2017
11 Lazy Rivers In Missouri That Are Perfect For Tubing On A Summer’s Day
While Missouri is known for being the “cave state” there is a crucial element, abundant in Missouri, that is essential in the formation of caves – water! Missouri has 30 waterways that are recommended for floating and canoeing by the Missouri Canoe & Floaters Association. While the mighty Mississippi and Missouri River are not the safest or cleanest bodies of water to relax in, these 11 rivers are perfect for tubing this summer.
*Be sure to call ahead to any outfitters you’re looking to rent from or stay with as the spring flooding is still affecting the operations of many river businesses.
1. Niangua River - Bennett Springs
In the heart of the Ozarks is the Niangua River. This 125 mile long river slowly winds though the lush Ozark scenery into the Osage River. Enjoy the cool waters that flow through the river from Bennett Springs on a canoe from NRO canoe rental.
2. Meramec River - Leasburg
The Meramec River is one of the longest waterways in Missouri. The Meramec eventually flows into the Mississippi River but the areas south of Jefferson County offer perfect conditions for floating and tubing. There are many outfitters and campgrounds along the river and regardless of where you decided to float the Meramec, you're guaranteed a great time. Check out Ozark Outdoors to meet your needs.
3. James River - Galena
The James River is notable for its unusually green color which is caused by a naturally occurring and totally safe bacteria present in the waters. This 130-mile-long river, located in southeastern Missouri, has a nice calm current perfect for tubing on a hot day. If you are looking for more peaceful float the James River is worth the trip. James River Outfitters will get you out on the river in no time.
4. Gasconade River - Richland
The Gasconade River provides unique sights and stops for floaters. There are breath-taking bluffs, caves, and springs along the 280 miles of the waterway. This easy float is often peaceful with less floaters than rivers like the Huzzah, Currant, and Meramec. If you are wanting to drop a line, spot wildlife, or just relax the Gasconade River is a great choice. Check out Gasconade Hills Resort for camping and float trips.
5. Elk River - Noel
Looking to plan a float trip in the southwest corner of Missouri? Check out Elk River near Noel, almost to the Arkansas state line. The Elk River is know for it's extremely calm and clear stream and is great for a relaxing river weekend. Elk River Floats offers everything you need for a trip.
6. Eleven Point River - Riverton
The Eleven Point River is one of the most scenic rivers on the list, with minimally developed shorelines. Many of the floating resorts are only accessible only by boat. Eleven Point may be most popular for canoeing but the calm waters make it a great option for a float. Hufstedler’s Canoe Rental has got you covered.
7. Current River - Van Buren
The Current River may be one of the most popular floating destinations in the state. With that being said, if you're looking for a family friendly float the best times to visit are during the week. Missouri's largest spring, Big Spring, flows into the river near Van Buren where you will find most of the floating resorts and campgrounds. Enjoy the cool waters all summer long but be sure to call ahead if you are looking to rent tubes, rafts, or canoes because many outfitters book up! The Landing is THE place to go for your waterfront rental needs.
8. Huzzah River - Steelville
Another extremely popular floating destination, especially with people living in the St. Louis metro area is the Huzzah River. Located just 100 miles from the city this is another destination that gets a bit rowdy on weekends. the clear waters and abundance of rocky beaches make it a perfect to float and stop for swimming or picnicking. Huzzah Valley Resort not only offers outfitting trips, you can stay overnight.
9. Black River - Lesterville
Located in the southeast part of the state, the Black River flows through the popular swimming destination Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park. Besides swimming the river is perfect for tubing. The Black River is damned in Wayne County which forms Clearwater Lake. Twin Rivers Landing is a family-owned and operated business that has been in service for more than 40 years! They've got you covered when it comes to float trips.
10. Big River - Bonne Terre
The Big River flows through east-central Missouri. There are 83 miles of navigable waters with gentle currents perfect for floating. Check out the many parks surrounding the river if you are interested in camping for the weekend. Cherokee Landing rents canoes, kayaks, rafts and tubes.
11. Big Piney River - Duke
While most popular with fisherman, the Big Piney River is another awesome option for floating. The wide channels and calm waters are the perfect ingredients for a great float trip. The water levels can get low if the summer season has been exceptionally dry but typically the river is navigable all summer long. Rich's has been providing float trips, cabins and camping facilities since 1972.
What is your favorite Missouri river to float? Let us know about your favorite destination or about your experience on any of these 11 Missouri rivers in the comments below.
If you are also looking for camping options this summer check out these
14 awesome campgrounds!