Welcome to the audio-described version of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Ozark National Scenic Riverways visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, recreational opportunities, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 1 hour and 11 minutes which we have divided into 51 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1 through 15 cover the front of the brochure and include interpretive information regarding the geology, ecology, people, and history of the Ozark region. Sections 16 through 51 cover the back of the brochure, which consists of a map, park highlights, tips for planning your visit, regulations, services, and emergency and contact information.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways, located in south central Missouri, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The 134 miles of scenic and wild riverways is composed of two rivers, the Current and Jacks Fork. This park, established in 1964, is the first scenic riverway in the United States. Each year, visitors from countries all around the world come to enjoy the free flowing streams of the Missouri Ozarks. We invite you to explore the park's natural beauty and unique Ozark heritage. Float the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, visit natural and historic sites such as Alley Mill, Big Spring, and Round Spring, or camp along the beautiful riverways in one of our NPS campgrounds. For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit, please visit our park headquarters located in Van Buren, Missouri. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.
The front of this brochure includes a large map of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Several images or park highlights are along the top section. On the bottom section is a chart showing a map legend, park camping locations, boat horsepower limits and park amenities. On the right side of the brochure it explains river rules, regulations and park contact information.
A color photograph of Big Spring. Moss covered boulders and green foliage provide a backdrop to dark blue water rising from beneath the base of a dolo mite bluff on the right side. The water emerges in great quantity and with great force, flowing over submerged boulders to form whitecaps, but forms a calmer, clear pool filled with green underwater plants as it nears the viewer. Two small cave openings are visible in the face of the bluff and three people, facing away, are walking along a stone path that follows the base of the bluff just above the level of the water. Grass and foliage grow between the path and the water, and two trees extend over the water at a steep angle from the right.
CAPTION: Big Spring (above) puts out
enough water every day to fill a football stadium. It is the largest freshwater spring in Missouri and one of the largest in the United States. This water travels underground from as far away as 50 miles (80 km).
CREDIT: Francis/Donna Caldwell
QUOTE: "This area of boiling waters at the foot of the high, vertical, bare bluff of dough low might rock is a dramatic sight, clear, brawling waters which seem to leap to the surface, freed from the confinement of their underground channels."
CITATION: Beckman and Hinchey, The Large Springs of Missouri, Big Spring, 1944
Water gurgling out of the ground has fascinated people for thousands of years. Some springs in Ozark National Scenic Riverways do not just gurgle; they gush, powerful, rolling, steady bursts of water, millions of gallons every day.
Groundwater plays a premier role in the makeup of the springs and rivers of this spectacular national park. The springs’ flow reveals subterranean rivers that course through the readily eroded dolo mite subsurface and help carve the water table ever deeper into the landscape. While many of the park’s multiple dimensions seem magically hidden from view, this landscape also features underground caverns and surface rivers that transcend the boundary from underground to the surface.
With its scenic, free flowing Current and Jacks Fork rivers, caverns, and high volume springs, this area captured the attention of Congress in the 1960s. In 1964 Congress authorized the 134 miles of rivers as the first national scenic riverways. With many American rivers harnessed by dams, the nation awoke to the natural, scenic, and recreational values of these free-flowing rivers.
Each week the larger springs pour billions of gallons of clear, cold water into the Current and Jacks Fork rivers, the heart of Ozark National Scenic Riverways. This park exists to protect these largely spring fed streams that run through some of the Ozarks’ most beautiful scenery.
As residents from St. Louis and other cities were drawn to recreation in the Ozarks, river activities took on new meanings. People developed an appreciation of hiking, fishing, and family outings. Today this area is valued for how it preserves nature and offers outdoor recreation. Over 1.5 million people yearly visit to enjoy the quality of life ensured by the rivers’ protected status, a status only a tiny percentage of the nation’s rivers share.
A collage of historical photos of people recreating historically in the park. All photos are black and white or grayscale and are positioned horizontally across the brochure. First image, working left to right, shows a man in overalls with a flat felt hat sitting in the back of a wooden johnboat with a wooden paddle guiding the boat down the river. The second image shows a large family of a mom and dad plus eight children varying in age. All are dressed in clothing of 1900’s style, boys in overalls and girls in dresses. They are standing in front of a wooden hand hewed wood cabin with a large stone chimney on the side. The next image shows a group of five loggers in overalls with tools in their hands standing on top of a pile of large pine tree logs. The fourth image is of a young woman dressed in a black bath suit and hat standing on a rope bridge. She is standing on the wooden planks of the bridge that crosses the river and holding onto the netted rope side walls. A man is well behind her at the start of the bridge dressed in overalls and a white shirt. The fifth image is that of an old wooden rectangular river ferry crossing the river. A team of mules are on the front with an empty wooden wagon behind. A man in light colored overalls and big western style hat stands beside them. At the back of the ferry is another team of horses with a carriage attached, in the carriage is a woman in a white dress and a man in a black suit. The 6th image is of two men in a narrow wooden johnboat fishing. The man in the front is wearing all white, with a white cap and has a bent over rod in the water with a fish on it. The man in the rear is guiding the boat with a wooden paddle and has a striped shirt on. The boat is filled with supplies, including a cooler in the center. The front of the boat is visible and says “Snide the Guide.” The last photo on the far right is of Big Spring. A man dressed in a suit and a woman in a dress coat are standing on the edge of the rock looking toward the camera with the spring water at the edge. The woman is on a rock slightly higher than the man and the man is closer to the water’s edge.
Early settlers built farmsteads and mills along the riverways. In the late 1800s the watershed witnessed heavy logging and other exploitation. Tourism increased in the early 1900s as more people acquired automobiles. Improved roads and new bridges enticed urban visitors, and the Ozarks became a popular vacation destination.
The Ozark landscape is a three dimensional watershed. Water runs across the land’s surface in streams and creeks, down through cracks at different levels, and in underground rivers.
Springs form where these underground rivers burst onto the surface. The park is home to more first magnitude springs (springs with daily flows of over 65 million gallons of water) in one area than anywhere else on Earth. These springs offer people beauty and respite, and they supply most of the Current and Jacks Fork rivers’ flow. Some 81 million gallons gush daily from Alley Spring, while Big Spring’s daily flow averages 286 million gallons.
This geological landscape, called karst, is riddled with caves and springs created as groundwater dissolves soluble rock like the sedimentary rock called dolo mite. As water flows from crack to crack, small underground chambers grow larger and longer, forming submerged caves. These caves are revealed when the springs and underground rivers run dry. Some of the park’s more than 400 caves, such as Round Spring Cave, are beautifully decorated with stalac tites and stalagmites.
Other karst features here include sinkholes like Devils Well, formed when the top of an underground cave collapsed, and “losing streams” like Sinking Creek, where much of the surface water drains into cracks in the bedrock. Water moving from the surface through this fractured bedrock and into groundwater and local wells is not purified. We must protect this resource from pollution— it is our only source of drinking water.
For centuries American Indians traveled these hills and hollows, moving with the seasons and following food sources. Spanish explorers in the 1500s and the French in the late 1600s encountered tribes that lived in villages, grew crops, and traveled to hunt deer and bison. The Indians’ life changed when different cultures arrived. By the late 1800s most tribes had been moved onto reservations.
In the mid-1800s American-born settlers of mainly Scots-Irish heritage established small hamlets along rivers and springs. Families practiced subsistence farming and gradually built trading networks that used the rivers for transportation. Social relationships centered on family and local communities. Commercial settlements gave rural settlers an incentive to come together. People gathered to share ideas at mills, stores, and one-room schools as well as on the rivers.
Railroads brought commerce with the larger world. By the late 1800s thousands of acres of Ozark forests diminished as railroads demanded wood for ties, trestles, and fuel for steam engines before coal became the fuel of choice. In this boom-and-bust economy, resources ran out or markets dried up.
The Current and Jacks Fork rivers acted as highways long before roads were passable. Ferries operated until modern bridges replaced them. In the mid-1920s tourism took hold with the establishment of state parks. Outfitting and guide operations sprang up. Most used wooden jonboats, which were inexpensive to build and—with their square, flat-bottom hull design—easy to navigate on shallow rivers and sandbars.
Today oral traditions and practical recreation reign: storytelling; hunting; fishing; trapping; picnicking; and, especially, family reunions. The distinctly regional culture of the Ozarks takes a pragmatic approach to life that respects loyal kinship, values personal independence, and relies on local resources.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways was the first national park to protect a river system in its wild, undammed state. The movement for the park started as a grassroots reaction to plans to build a series of dams on the Current and Jacks Fork rivers. While local residents and conservation groups in nearby cities disagreed on how the rivers should be preserved, most agreed the rivers should not be dammed but should be kept free-flowing.
In 1964, after much debate and compromise, Congress officially established Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The State of Missouri donated three state parks—Alley, Big Spring, and Round Spring—to the National Park Service as a gift from Missouri to the American people. Land along the rivers between the former state parks was purchased, and the whole area knitted together as America’s first national river park. The successful effort to preserve these rivers was the prototype for the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, which protects many of America’s free-flowing rivers.
Since 1964 millions of people have come here to enjoy the rivers’ beauty and their many recreational opportunities. Canoeing and water sports are popular, as are hiking, camping, and birdwatching. Spring wildflowers and autumn tree colors here are spectacular. Today the park continues to protect the rivers and the watershed to ensure enjoyment of these natural and cultural resources by you and generations to come.
IMAGE 1 of 2: Panoramic illustration
DESCRIPTION: From left to right, a watercolor painting depicts the landscape as it has changed over time. On the left, a cut view of the karst topography shows a tall, layered formation of tan rocks with rainwater filtering through cracks and open spaces in the rock layers, down to groundwater aquifers and emerging back onto the surface from a spring. The central image shows the Red Mill at Alley Spring. The spring branch flows from the mill into the Jack’s Fork River. A flat-bottom Jon Boat motors upstream with a person operating the motor in the back of the boat and an individual standing at the bough of the boat holding a long pole with a spear-like end and pointing it at the water. In the top of the illustration, a small hamlet along the river can be seen, with trees cut from the hillside for milling. On the far right, we show a modern-day scene where two visitors paddle a green canoe downstream. A light gray rock bluff lined with hardwood trees is in the background on the bank of the river.
CREDIT: NPS/Steven N. Patricia
IMAGE 2 of 2: River cane on far right of brochure
DESCRIPTION: A tall, thin plant with long, narrow green leaves protruding from the stalk and curving toward the ground.
CREDIT: NPS/Steven N. Patricia
IMAGE 1 of 3: Cave crayfish
DESCRIPTION: A light blue, transparent crayfish against a black background. The main body, while translucent, appears yellow in color. It is facing to the right with pinchers extended, and long antenna pointing away from its body. Its 6 legs are spread out while its tail is fanned toward the body.
CAPTION: Cave crayfish
CREDIT: Dante Fenolino, Photo Researchers
IMAGE 2 of 3: Gray bat
DESCRIPTION:A furry, dark gray bat perches on a small cave ledge with its smooth wings folded underneath its body. It stares into the distance with small, pointed ears turned upward.
CAPTION: Gray bat
CREDIT: Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation Int.
IMAGE 3 of 3: Grotto salamander
DESCRIPTION: A long, slender salamander with four legs and toes spread out. Its pink, transparent skin is smooth and shiny and its ribs show faintly through the skin. Its round head shows two faint black dots at the front.
CREDIT: William R. Elliott, Missouri Dept. of Conservation
A cave environment challenges wildlife. Animals must adapt to conditions of darkness, cool temperatures, and high humidity. They also need quality groundwater to survive. Bats come and go, finding food outside the cave and using it for shelter, hibernation, sleep, and raising their pups. Other animals, like grotto salamanders, live in caves full-time. Such species are often blind and acutely develop their other senses for cave life.
IMAGE 1 of 3: Bullfrog
DESCRIPTION: A green bullfrog with large brown eyes protruding from each side of its head, peeks out of the pale green, duckweed covered water. It appears to be sitting very still with specks of Duckweed stuck to its face.
CAPTION: Bullfrog in duckweed
CREDIT: Narciso Jaramillo
IMAGE 2 of 3: Black periwinkle
DESCRIPTION: A black-bodied snail slightly protrudes from its brown striped shell as it sits on a tan colored, sandy river bottom.
CAPTION: Black periwinkle
CREDIT: Andrew J. Martinez, Photo Researchers
IMAGE 3 of 3: Red-eared slider
DESCRIPTION: A partial view of a turtle as it stretches its head and neck out from its shell. The turtles skin is black with white, thin lines running from its neck and shoulder area to its nose. It has a distinctive red line from the back of its head that ends at its eye.
CAPTION: Red-eared slider
CREDIT: Gregory G. Dimijian, Photo Researchers
Large and small springs punctuate the Ozark landscape. Essentially the mouths of underground rivers, springs attract plants and wildlife where the reliable flow, chemistry, and temperature of the water provide a stable habitat. Watercress, duckweed, and other plants provide organic matter for animals and habitat for aquatic insects. At least 38 animal species are found only in Ozark springs and subterranean waters—and nowhere else on Earth.
IMAGE 1 of 3: River Otter
DESCRIPTION: A partial view of an otter’s head and shoulders. It has short, light brown fur with whiskers protruding from its cheeks.
CAPTION: River otter
CREDIT: Stephen Bay
IMAGE 2 of 3: Hellbender
DESCRIPTION: A salamander with a long, lumpy body that is mostly green with black speckles scattered across its smooth skin. Four legs protrude from its body. The front two are positioned close to its rounded, flat head. The back two legs sit close to its long tapered tail.
CREDIT: J. Briggler, Missouri Dept. of Conservation
IMAGE 3 of 3: Goggle-eye
DESCRIPTION: A small, stocky fish sits peacefully amongst rocks. It has sharp, spiny fins that protrude from it’s back and belly. It is camouflaged with dark and light brown patches of scales and has a large red eye.
CREDIT: Ohio Department of Natural Resources
The rivers are home to scores of fish and other animals. Wading birds like great blue herons stalk the banks looking for snacks. Kingfishers dive to snatch unwary meals—perhaps a goggle-eye. Green herons patrol gravel bars looking for small creatures. Watershed changes—pesticides, stream disturbance, and development, including from areas outside park boundaries—threaten the rivers’ ecosystems. One affected species is the Ozark h ell bender, a salamander that can live for 30 years and weigh up to 4 pounds.
CAPTION: River cane
CREDIT: USDA-NRCS Plants/Ted Bodner
IMAGE 2 of 2: Swainson’s warbler
DESCRIPTION: A light brown bird with tan belly holds onto a thin, diagonal branch. It stares to the right of the picture with its black, beady eyes and pointed beak.
CAPTION: Swainson’s warbler
CREDIT: Kevin T. Karlson
These free-flowing rivers flood frequently, washing nutrient-rich mud and silt onto adjacent floodplains. Water may cover flat areas several times a year—or not at all. River cane, the only native bamboo, once grew here in vast thickets called canebrakes. Early-1800s settlers used the cane for animal fodder. When the overgrazed cane disappeared, farmers planted crops in the bare fields. Today canebrakes are being restored along riverbanks, slowing erosion and providing nesting for rare Swainson’s warblers.
IMAGE 1 of 2: White tailed deer fawn
DESCRIPTION: A reddish-brown deer curls up with its hooves tucked under its head. Its body occupies the full frame of the image. Its back is covered in white spots. Its pointed ears are turned out and its visible left eye is open.
CAPTION: White tailed deer fawn
CREDIT: John Serrao, Photo Researchers
IMAGE 2 of 2: Eastern chipmunk
DESCRIPTION: A small, furry chipmunk crawls over wood bark and dry leaves. It is shown at an angle from the side, revealing light brown fur on the face and legs, with stripes of black, white, and grey along its back from its neck to its short tail.
CAPTION: Eastern chipmunk
CREDIT: E.R. Degginger, Photo Researchers
Ozark forests testify to nature’s resilience. A century ago timber companies supplying lumber to the rapidly developing nation nearly stripped the hills bare. Today large white oaks and shortleaf pine, Missouri’s only native pine, cover the hillsides. Sycamore and green ash thrive alongside rivers. Dogwood, Missouri’s state tree, decorates the understory, providing shade for ferns and wildflowers. From white tailed deer to chipmunks, wildlife find shelter and food in these recovering forests.
IMAGE 1 of 3, Armadillo
DESCRIPTION, An armadillo perches on a log with grass in the foreground and background. Its pointed face and broad, round body are covered in thick gray armor mottled with light markings. Atop its head are round ears turned outward. Lines across its back show where its armor is divided into layers. One foot with three sharp toes peeks out from under the armor at its shoulder.
CREDIT, Alan Carey, Photo Researchers
IMAGE 2 of 3, Prickly pear cactus
DESCRIPTION, A plant with flat, round, green leaves covered in short, sharp bumps protrudes from rocky ground, topped by a round yellow flower.
CAPTION, Prickly pear cactus
CREDIT, Michael Gadomski, Photo Researchers
IMAGE 3 of 3, Collared lizard
DESCRIPTION, A colorful lizard, viewed from the side, appears to be crawling into the brochure, with the prickly pear cactus image in its background. Its head is olive green with a lighter color under the chin. Starting at the neck, the colors shift to light green, dark green, and red stripes, giving way to a dark green back and arms with light colored spots. Its visible left front foot is bright yellow and ends in sharp claws.
CAPTION, Collared lizard
CREDIT, Rabbit Photography
Dry rocky areas on hilltops, known as glades, are much like deserts with bare rock and gravel exposed to the harsh summer sun. Glades require periodic fire to keep them open and check vegetation. Plants and wild life here are desert like too. Cracks in the rocks might harbor just enough soil for a clump of grass, a prickly pear cactus, or a few cedar trees. A collared lizard may use a rock to watch its territory or find its next meal, perhaps a scorpion or a tarantula. Watch for armadillos; they run fast on those short legs!
The back side of the brochure features the park black band with name and arrowhead. A large collage from top to bottom makes up the brochure. In order from top to bottom. A large spring flowing from a rock cliff with visitors standing looking into the spring. The next section shows historical people recreating on the river with text describing water in the riverways and its importance. The next section down consists of colored pencil drawings with descriptions of landscape features, habitats and animals of the riverways. The very bottom shows pictures of common animals found within the park.
Seven highlighted locations that can be found within the park are listed on the top of the brochure with an image and description describing the location. The next sections describe these in depth.
DESCRIPTION: A color photograph with a clear river in the foreground. In the distance across the river a rectangular ferry with a wooden flat bottom and metal railings sits on the bank of the river. Two young girls in one piece swimsuits, one orange and one blue stand on the edge of the deck of the wooden ferry. A gravel road leads down to the back of the vessel. A brown sign and post is next to the ferry on the left side.
CREDIT: Don Shorock
For decades ferries transported vehicles and people across the Current River, including crossings at Powder Mill and Akers. Eventually bridges replaced ferries at busy crossings. Today Akers Ferry is the last in the park; it holds 2 cars. Year round except December 25, weather permitting. Fee. On MO Rt. K, 23 miles south of Salem.
DESCRIPTION: A color photograph showing a deep, dark blue body of water in a cavern below the surface. Large grey brown stone walls are immediately behind the body of water. A diver in a black dive suit is in the middle swimming in the water. A light is illuminating the underground cavern. To the right is a yellow metal cage, attached to a chain for lowering the diver. A large black hole on the left of the stone wall signifies another cavern passage.
CREDIT: Mike Tatalovich
This sinkhole formed when a cavern roof containing a lake collapsed. A spiral staircase leads to a viewing platform. The lake, 80-100 feet below the platform, is larger than a football field. Gravel road to Devils Well is steep; use caution. Open daily. Free. Off MO Rt. KK, east of Akers.
DESCRIPTION: A close up color photograph inside a cave. White, brown, and black mixed tinted stalagmites and stalac tites are reaching from the bottom and top of the cave. The formations are thicker on the right side of the photo and a space lacking formations exist on the left.
CREDIT: William O'Donnell
Ranger led lantern tours take 2 hours. Wear sturdy shoes and a jacket. Areas may be slippery. The cave is 58°F year round. You must climb stairs to get to the cave. Stooping is required inside. No reservations needed, but group size is limited. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Fee. On MO Hwy. 19, 20 miles north of Eminence.
DESCRIPTION, A colored photo showing Alley Mill. The bright red painted flour mill is standing 3 stories tall with windows facing the banks of a flowing spring. The mill has a peaked roof and white stone foundation that extends to a dam across the spring branch at the same height as the foundation. Water is pouring out of the dam into the spring branch below. On top of the dam nearer the mill is a balcony overlooking the spring. A large sycamore with white and grey bark is in front of the mill and extends beyond the peak of the roof. Several smaller sycamores line the branch.
This three story building and turquoise water are a photographer’s delight. Much of the original equipment, like a turbine instead of a water wheel and rollers rather than grinding stones, is still in place. A one room schoolhouse is nearby. Grounds open year round; mill in summer. Free. Missouri Highway 106, 6 miles west of Eminence.
DESCRIPTION: A vast pool of calm, clear water with darker blue areas fills the image. In the distance in the upper left corner of the image, a white haired man has his hands resting on the waist high frame around a wooden deck and he gazes out on the scenic view. To his left and along the top of the image is a natural rock cliff that frames in the body of water, which has no beach. The cliff has many green, tree like bushes growing from it, just taller than the man on the deck, and is reflected in the water. At the edge of the water underneath the surface is vibrant green plant life.
CREDIT: William O'Donnell
At 310 feet this clear, blue spring is Missouri’s deepest. If the Statue of Liberty stood on the bottom, her torch would be underwater. The color comes from minerals dissolved during the water’s underground journey. A 0.5 mile trail starts at the parking lot. Spring and trail open year round. Free. Off MO Hwy. 106, 12 miles east of Eminence.
DESCRIPTION: A color photograph showing a large waterfall flowing down an incline of grey rocks. The waterfall flows into a pool of water in the foreground of the picture. At the top of the falls are green trees, and a large bushy green tree is on the right of the pool of water.
CREDIT: Jack Olsen
Rocky Falls is an example of a shut in, an Ozark term for a river naturally confined in a narrow channel. A steep cascade pours into a pool of water. Part of the Ozark Trail passes by the falls. Trails and park open year round. Free. Off MO Rt. NN, 9 miles southeast of Eminence.
DESCRIPTION: A small white stone cottage is pictured. The stone cottage is framed out with large timber beams around the windows and roof sections. A wall of the same stone extends from the building to the right, with an archway over a creek, and out of the small square picture frame. There is a yard of rough trimmed green grass in front of the cottage. Two towering cedar trees are to the side of the cottage in front of the bridge, with branches starting almost as high as the cottage.
CREDIT: Jack Olsen
Designated Missouri’s first state park in 1924 Big Spring was a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) project in the 1930s. CCC crews built trails, roads, bridges, picnic shelters, and buildings. Trails and park open year round. MO 103, south of Van Buren.
Short Map Description:
This illustrated map titled "Ozark National Scenic Riverways" shows all of Ozark and is oriented with North at the top. It provides wayfinding information for points of interest, including interpretive areas, historic buildings, picnic areas, campgrounds, and the many river access points throughout the park. It includes major roads and services, as well as the main trails and geographic information such as springs, caves, and rivers. Two main rivers are the prominent geographical feature of the map, Current River and Jacks Fork. Dozens of small creeks flow into both rivers from all directions. Current River runs from the northwest corner of the map to the southeast corner. Jacks Fork runs from the southwest corner of the map eastward for the first third of its length, turns northeast in its middle third, and turns east again before joining the Current River in the center of the map.
The map fills most of the page on the backside of the brochure. Seven Park highlights line the top of the page, these popular destinations are pictured and described. Under the Park highlights but on the right side of the page, Tips for Planning Your Visit are listed. Below the tips is a watercolor illustration of two people rowing in a canoe, which overlaps some of the lines on the map but not the Park boundary. Along the bottom of the map are the map legend, paddle sport and tubing rental information, services, and the maximum boat motor horsepower allowed on specific river sections.
The park boundaries follow along both sides of the two major rivers. The audio description for the map is organized in three geographic sections for clarity. Upper Current District, Lower Current District, and Jacks Fork District:
The Upper Current District stretches from the north end of the park down the Current River to the junction with the Jacks Fork at Two Rivers. The Jacks Fork District stretches from the western end of the park along the Jacks Fork past the junction with Current River and includes the section of Current River from Two Rivers to Logyard. There is a 4 mile gap along the Jacks Fork River, two miles above and below the town of Eminence, that is not part of the national park. The Lower Current district stretches from Logyard down the Current River to the southeastern end of the park at Gooseneck. The Lower Current District also includes a 4 mile gap, two miles above and below the town of Van Buren.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways sits in southeastern Missouri, surrounded by the Mark Twain National Forest. A hillshade base map under the wayfinding lines, labels, and symbols show the Park flows across a terrain of rolling mountains. Key areas surrounding the park include three Missouri State Parks, Montauk State Park, adjacent to the north tip of Ozark, and Current River and Echo Bluff State Parks just north of Round Spring. Peck Ranch Wildlife Management Area is a large 5-mile by 6-mile area north of US Highway 60, and south of the Park highlight Rocky Falls. Cities surrounding the park are Salem (with a hospital) to the North, Ellington to the East, and Mountain View (with a hospital) to the southwest. The city of Eminence sits west of the center of the map along the Jacks Fork River and at the junction of State Highways 19 and 106. The city of Van Buren is located in the southeast part of the map where US Highway 60 crosses the Current River.
Nine towns are marked on the map surrounding the Ozark Riverways. Several of these towns will be used as points of reference for directions.
The town of Mountain View is located in the lower left corner of the map and has a hospital. US Highway 60 passes through Mountain View, traveling east and west. From Mountain View, traveling east on US 60, are the towns of Birch Tree, Winona, and Van Buren.
Winona is home to the Twin Pines Conservation Education Center. At Winona, Highway 19 crosses Highway 60 going north and south. North of Winona on Highway 19 is Eminence, which is centrally located in relation to the Ozark Riverways. Much farther north on Highway 19 is Salem, which has a hospital. Salem is located at the top of the map and is the meeting point for Highways 19, 32, 72, and 68.
At Eminence, Highway 106 crosses Highway 19 going east and west. The town of Ellington is located east of Eminence on Highway 106 and north of Van Buren on Highway 21. Highway 21 can be reached by taking Highway 60 east from Van Buren or via Highway D north from Van Buren. The town of Summersville is located at the junction of Highways 106 and 17, west of Eminence and north of Mountain View.
The town of Bunker is farther removed from the park. It is located at the junction of Highway 72 and Highway A, and can be reached most easily via Highway A, which branches off of Highway 19 6 miles north of Round Spring.
Directions for the Upper Current District are oriented with the town of Eminence as the starting point.
Two Rivers can be accessed by traveling 5 miles east from the town of Eminence on Highway 106, making a left turn on Highway V, and traveling approximately 3 miles to the highway's end.
Jerktail Landing can be reached by traveling 7 miles north from Eminence on Highway 19, making a right turn on a gravel road (indicated by the sign for Jerktail Landing), and traveling 6 miles on that road to its end.
Round Spring can be accessed by traveling 16 miles north from Eminence on Highway 19.
Echo Bluff State Park can be accessed by traveling 1 mile north from Round Spring on Highway 19.
Current River State Park can be accessed by traveling 2 miles north from Round Spring on Highway 19.
Pulltite can be accessed by traveling a further 4 miles north from Round Spring on Highway 19, making a left turn on Highway EE, and traveling 4 miles to the highway's end.
Devils Well can be reached by traveling a further 7 miles north from the junction of highways 19 and EE on highway 19, making a left turn on Highway KK, traveling 3 miles and making a left turn on a gravel road (indicated by a sign for Devils Well), and traveling approximately 1.5 miles to the road's end.
Akers can be reached by following the directions for Devils Well but remaining on Highway KK until its end (6 miles from Highway 19).
Welch landing can be reached by traveling 1 mile north from Akers on Highway K, making a left turn on a gravel road (indicated by a sign for Welch Landing), and traveling approximately 1 mile to the road's end.
Cedar Grove can be accessed by traveling 8 miles north from Akers on Highway K, making a left turn on Highway ZZ, and traveling 4 miles until you reach the river crossing at Cedar Grove. Highway ZZ transitions to gravel approximately 2 miles from Highway K.
Baptist can be reached by traveling approximately 15 miles north from Akers on Highway K, making a left turn on Highway E and travelling approximately 1 mile, making a left turn on Highway YY and traveling approximately 6 miles, then making a left turn on County Road 653 and following it approximately 1 mile to its end.
Montauk State Park can be reached by following the directions for Baptist but continuing on Highway YY past County Road 653 until you reach the state park. the road turns to gravel temporarily and becomes paved again inside the park.
The Jacks Fork district is oriented with the towns of Eminence and Mountain View as starting points.
Logyard can be reached by traveling east 18 miles on Highway 106 from Eminence, making a right turn on Highway HH, and traveling 6 miles to the highway's end.
Roberts Field can be reached by traveling east 7 miles from Eminence on Highway 106, making a right turn on Highway H and traveling 5 miles, making a left turn on Highway NN and traveling approximately 4.5 miles to the highway's end where two gravel roads split off. Follow the right gravel road approximately one half mile to its end.
Powder Mill can be reached by traveling 14 miles east from Eminence on Highway 106, making a right turn on a paved road indicated by a sign for Powder Mill, and following that road 1 mile to its end.
Two Rivers can be accessed by traveling 5 miles east from the town of Eminence on Highway 106, making a left turn on Highway V, and traveling approximately 3 miles to the highway's end.
Shawnee Creek can be reached by traveling 4 miles east from Eminence on Highway 106, making a left turn on a gravel road (indicated by a sign for Shawnee Creek), and following that road approximately 1 mile to its end.
Old Horse Camp can be reached by traveling 3 miles west from Eminence on Highway 106, making a right turn on the gravel road opposite Highway E, and traveling approximately 1 mile.
Alley Spring can be reached by traveling 6 miles west from Eminence on Highway 106.
Bay Creek can be accessed by traveling 10 miles west from Eminence on Highway 106, making a left turn on a gravel road (indicated by a sign for Bay Creek), and following that road approximately 2 miles.
Rymers can be accessed by traveling 6 miles east on US Highway 60 from the town of Mountain View, making a left turn on Highway M and traveling 4 miles until the pavement ends, and continuing on the gravel road until it ends.
Blue Spring (on Jacks Fork River) can be reached by traveling 1 mile east from Mountain View on Highway 60, making a left turn on Highway OO, making a left turn at the end of the pavement, and following the road to its end (approximately 4 miles total from the start of Highway OO).
Bluff View can be accessed by traveling 8 miles north from Mountain View on Highway 17, making a right turn on Highway O and traveling approximately 1 mile, turning right on a gravel road (indicated by a sign for Bluff View), and traveling two miles to the road's end.
Buck Hollow is located where Highway 17 crosses the Jacks Fork River and can be reached by traveling approximately 6 miles north on Highway 17 from Mountain View.
The Lower Current District is oriented with the town of Van Buren as the starting point.
Logyard and Beal Landing can be reached by traveling 14 miles north from Van Buren on Highway D, making a left turn on Highway 21 and traveling 8 miles to the town of Ellington, making a left turn on Highway 106 and traveling 14 miles, making a left turn on Highway HH and following that highway 6 miles to its end. Beal Landing is accessed by making a left turn onto a gravel road at Logyard and traveling less than one half mile.
Paint Rock can be accessed by traveling 13 miles north from Van Buren on Highway D, making a left turn on County Road 626, and following that road to its end.
Waymeyer and Chilton Creek can be accessed by traveling 1 mile west from the town of Van Buren on US Highway 60, making a right turn on Highway M, and traveling 10 miles to Waymeyer. The road turns to gravel and continues another mile to Chilton Creek.
Raftyard can be reached by traveling 1 mile west from Van Buren on Highway 60, making a right turn on Highway M and traveling approximately 4 miles, making a right turn on a gravel road (indicated by a sign for Raftyard), and traveling approximately 1 mile to the road's end.
Watercress Park can be accessed via Watercress Drive, off of Main Street in Van Buren.
Big Spring can be accessed by traveling 4 miles south from Van Buren on Highway 103.
Big Tree can be accessed by taking Highway Z south from Big Spring approximately 7 miles and making a left turn on a gravel road (indicated by a sign for Big Tree).
Hickory Landing can be accessed by traveling 20 miles east on Highway 60 from Van Buren, Making a right turn on Highway 21 and traveling 4 miles, making a right turn on Highway E, traveling to the end of the pavement where two gravel roads split off and taking the left gravel road to its end (a total of 5 miles from the start of Highway E).
Panther Spring can be accessed by continuing south on Z highway past Big Tree for approximately 5 miles. The pavement ends approximately 1 mile past Big Tree.
Gooseneck is located at the South end of the park and can be accessed by traveling 5 miles west from Van Buren on Highway 60, making a left turn on Highway C and traveling 11 miles, making a left turn on a gravel road (indicated by a sign for Gooseneck), and following that road for 7 miles to its end.
The Ozark Riverways currently has 5 ranger stations and the Park headquarters.
The Park Headquarters is located at 404 Watercress Drive, just off of Main Street, in the town of Van Buren.
Three are in the Upper Current District at Round Spring, Pulltite, and Akers.
One is in the Jacks Fork District at Alley Spring.
One is in the Lower Current District at Big Spring
Two types of campgrounds are displayed on the map. Those indicated by a white tent in a black square, simply labeled "Campground" in the map legend are larger developed campgrounds with the most amenities. Those indicated by a black tent, labeled "Primitive campsite" in the map legend, are smaller campgrounds with basic amenities. Call or visit a ranger station for more information on specific campgrounds and amenities.
Pulltite, Upper Current District - Includes ranger station, river access, picnic area, and hiking trails.
Round Spring, Upper Current District - Includes ranger station, river access, picnic area, boat access, and hiking trails.
Alley Spring, Jacks Fork District - Includes ranger station, picnic area, river access, and hiking trails.
Two Rivers, Jacks Fork District - includes river access, boat access, and picnic area.
Big Spring. Lower Current District - includes ranger station, river access, boat access, picnic area, and hiking trails.
Cedar Grove, Upper Current District - includes river access and picnic area.
Akers, Upper Current District - Only group sites available, includes ranger station, river access, and picnic area.
Jerktail Landing, Upper Current District - Includes river access.
Broadfoot, Upper Current District - no road access is displayed on the map, contact a ranger station for directions.
Powder Mill, Jacks Fork District - Includes river access, picnic area, and hiking trails.
Roberts Field, Jacks Fork District - Includes river access.
Shawnee Creek, Jacks Fork District - Includes river access and picnic area.
Old Horse Camp, Jacks Fork District
Bay Creek, Jacks Fork District - Includes river access
Rymers, Jacks Fork District - Includes river access and picnic area.
Blue Spring on Jacks Fork, Jacks Fork District - Includes river access and picnic area.
Big Tree, Lower Current District
Gooseneck, Lower Current District - Includes river access and picnic area.
River access points are listed by River Mile and organized by district: Upper Current, Lower Current, and Jacks Fork. Each list starts in the center of the park and moves outward. The river is not bordered by a road, rather they are accessed by driving for miles out away from the river to highways and back into another river access point. River Mile Zero is at the far south end of the park and river miles increase upriver.
The Upper Current District includes Current River miles 55 to 105 and contains the following river access points.
Two Rivers - River Mile 54. Includes a picnic area, campground, and boat ramp. By river, it is near Coot Chute, Martin Bluff, and Twin Rocks geologic features and Broadfoot primitive camping sites.
Jerktail Landing - River Mile 61. Includes primitive campsites. By river, it is near Twin Rocks and Bee Bluff geological features.
Round Spring - River Mile 71. Includes a campground, picnic area, Ozark Trail access, a boat ramp, and ranger station on the east side of the highway and Ozark highlight Round Spring Cave.
Pulltite - River Mile 82. Includes a campground, picnic area, ranger station, and hiking. On the far side of the river, accessible by river only, is Pulltite spring, and historic Pulltite Cabin. Current River and Echo Bluff State Parks are to the east, and the Upper Current's Cave Spring is 4 River Miles up river.
Akers - River Mile 91. Includes a picnic area, ranger station, and Ozark highlight Akers Ferry. 3 miles east on Highway KK, is a picnic area, hiking, and Ozark highlight Devils Well. The Upper Current's Cave Spring is 6 River Miles down river.
Welch Landing - River Mile 92. Includes the historic Howell-Maggard Cabin (on the far side of the river), Welch Spring, and historic Welch Hospital.
Cedar Grove - River Mile 98. Includes primitive camping and a picnic area.
Baptist - River Mile 104. This is the furthest north river access point in the park. By river, historic Nichols Cabin is 2 River Miles east.
The Jacks Fork District includes Jacks Fork River miles 55 to 59 and 66 to 89 as well as Current River Miles 37 to 55 and contains the following river access points.
Logyard - River Mile 37. Includes primitive campsites.
Roberts Field - River Mile 43. Includes primitive campsites and is located near Ozark highlights Rocky Falls and historic Klepzig Mill.
Powder Mill - River Mile 47. Includes primitive camping, picnic area, boat access, and Ozark Trail access and is 1 mile upstream from Ozark highlight Blue Spring (on Current River).
Two Rivers - River Mile 54. Includes a picnic area, campground, and boat ramp. By river, it is near Coot Chute, Martin Bluff, and Twin Rocks geologic features and Broadfoot primitive camping sites.
Shawnee Creek - River Mile 57. Includes primitive camping and a picnic area.
Alley Spring - River Mile 69. Includes campground, ranger station, picnic area, hiking trails, and Ozark Highlights Alley Spring geological feature and historic Alley Mill.
Bay Creek - River Mile 74. Includes picnic area and primitive campsites, and is located near Chalk Bluff and Bee Bluff geologic features (both located upstream and accessible by river only).
Rymers - River Mile 82. Includes picnic area and primitive campsites and is located near Rymer Spring geologic feature. Ozark highlight Jam-Up Cave (accessible by river only) is located approximately 3 miles upriver.
Blue Spring (Jacks Fork River) - River Mile 87. Includes picnic area and primitive camping and is located across the river from the Blue Spring geological feature. Ozark highlight Jam-Up Cave (accessible by river only) is located approximately 2 miles downriver.
Bluff View - River Mile 87. Located across the river and slightly upriver from Blue Spring river access.
Buck Hollow - River Mile 88. Includes picnic area.
The Lower Current District includes Current River miles 37 to 0 and includes the following river access points:
Logyard and Beal Landing - River Mile 37. Includes primitive camping.
Paint Rock - River Mile 33.
Waymeyer and Chilton Creek - River Mile 27 and 29. Includes picnic area and non-motorized boat access at Waymeyer and motorized boat access only at Chilton Creek.
Raftyard - River Mile 24. River access only, no other features or amenities.
Watercress Park - River Mile 21. Watercress Park is a US Forest Service river access, picnic area, and primitive campground that also includes the Ozark National Scenic Riverways Park Headquarters building and is located in the town of Van Buren.
Big Spring - River Mile 16. Includes picnic area, ranger station, hiking trails, campground, boat access, and the Civilian Conservation Corps Historic District.
Hickory Landing - River Mile 7. The location of the Lower Current Cave Spring geologic feature.
Gooseneck - River Mile 0. Includes a picnic area and primitive camping area.
Points of interest are listed by district and by distance from the central region of the park.
UPPER CURRENT DISTRICT:
Round Spring and Round Spring Cave geologic features - Includes ranger station, campground, river access, boat access, picnic area, and hiking trails.
Pulltite Spring geologic feature and historic Pulltite Cabin - Accessible by river only, located across the river from the Pulltite Campground.
Devils Well geologic feature - Includes picnic area and hiking trails.
Cave Spring on the Upper Current geologic feature - Accessible only by trail from Devils Well or by river from Akers.
Akers Ferry - River ferry where Highway K crosses the Current River. Includes ranger station, picnic area, river access, and primitive camping (group sites only).
Welch Spring and historic Welch hospital - Accessible only by trail from Welch Landing or by river from Cedar Grove.
Historic Howell-Maggard Cabin - Visit a ranger station for directions.
Historic Nichols Cabin - Visit a ranger station for directions.
Montauk Spring geologic feature - Located outside the Ozark Riverways in Montauk State Park at the headwaters of the Current River.
JACKS FORK DISTRICT:
Blue Spring on Current River geologic feature - Located on Current River, accessible by trail from a nearby parking area or by trail from Powder Mill. Includes picnic area.
Rocky Falls geologic feature - Includes picnic area and Ozark Trail access point.
Historic Klepzig Mill - Includes Ozark Trail access point.
Two Rivers - The confluence of the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers. Includes campground, river access, boat access, and picnic area.
Alley Spring geologic feature and historic Alley Mill - Includes ranger station, campground, picnic area, river access, and hiking trails.
Rymer Spring geologic feature - Located upstream and across the river from Rymers campground, accessibly only by river from Blue Spring or Buck Hollow river access points.
Jam Up Cave geologic feature - Accessible by river only from Blue Spring or Buck Hollow river access points.
Blue Spring on Jacks Fork geologic feature - Located across the river from Blue Spring campground and river access.
LOWER CURRENT DISTRICT:
Gravel Spring geologic feature - Accessible by river only, located approximately one half mile downstream from Paint Rock Access Point.
Watercress Spring - Located outside the Ozark Riverways at Watercress Park. Includes river access, boat access, campground, and picnic area.
Big Spring geologic feature and Civilian Conservation Corps Historic District - Includes ranger station, campground, river access, boat access, picnic area, and hiking trails.
Cave Spring on the Lower Current geologic feature - located near Hickory Landing river access.
Panther Spring geologic feature - accessible by road or by river from hickory landing.
The Ozark Trail extends from the northeast corner of the map southwest through the central part of the map and turns southeast and leaves the map in the southeast corner. Access points to the Ozark Trail are as follows.
UPPER CURRENT DISTRICT
There are three trailheads for the Brushy Creek Spur of the Ozark Trail in the Upper Current District. They can be found at Round Spring, Echo Bluff State Park, and Current River State Park.
JACKS FORK DISTRICT
There are four locations where the Ozark Trail can be accessed in the Jacks Fork District. The first and most accessible is the Powder Mill Trailhead, located at the Powder Mill Campground.
The Owls Bend trailhead can be accessed by traveling approximately 11 miles east on Highway 106 from Eminence, making a right turn and traveling 1.5 miles on a paved road (indicated by a sign for Owls Bend), at the end of which is a right turn onto a gravel road. The trailhead is reached after traveling approximately 1 mile on the gravel road.
A 1 mile spur trail gives access to the Ozark Trail from Rocky Falls.
The Ozark Trail can also be accessed from Klepzig Mill.
LOWER CURRENT DISTRICT
There is no direct access to the Ozark Trail in the Lower Current District. However, a spur can be accessed via park trails in the Big Spring area. Visit the Big Spring Ranger Station or the Park Headquarters Visitor Information Center in the town of Van Buren for more information on Big Spring trails.
A trailhead can also be found outside of the Ozark Riverways, approximately 4 miles west of the town of Van Buren on U.S. Highway 60.
Additional hiking trails can be found at Devils Well, Pulltite, Round Spring, Alley Spring, and Big Spring. For information and maps of these trails, which are not displayed on this map, visit the Visitor Information Center at Van Buren or the ranger stations at Big Spring, Alley Spring, or Round Spring.
The Legend has symbols for amenities and wayfinding information. Amenities symbols include, river access (symbol white figure rowing a boat over wavy line), campground (symbol white tent in black square), primitive campsite (symbol black tent), ranger station (symbol white building with flag on the pitched roof), picnic area (symbol white picnic table), hiking trail (symbol white walking figure with backpack and hiking stick), boat access (symbol white boat trailer on a ramp), and hospital (symbol white letter H on a blue background).
Wayfinding symbols include, Ozarks authorized riverways boundary (green shaded area with green outline), distance indicator (symbol red wedge and red text with miles and kilometers), unpaved road (symbol white line outlined in black), and river mileage (blue dot with number).
Things To See and Do: Many people come to Ozark National Scenic Riverways for its refreshing water and premier opportunities for boating, floating, and fishing. In addition to watersports, you can camp, hike, tour historic sites, examine springs, ride horseback, and join ranger led activities (offered seasonally).
The park is open year round. Most people float the rivers from late May through Labor Day. Weekends in summer are especially crowded. If you enjoy soli tude or discovering wildlife, visit on a weekday or in the off season.
Neighboring communities offer lodging, food, and services. For details about camping and services in the park, see the chart below or visit the park website.
The park, partners, and communities are working together to clean up the riverways and it is making a difference. Rowdy behavior, excessive noise, and drug or alcohol abuse are not tolerated. All laws are strictly enforced. For information about laws and policies, including firearms regulations, contact the park or visit the park website.
If you get hurt, you may be a long way from help. Cell phone service is unavailable in most areas. Getting medical help to you can be difficult. Please enjoy the park safely.
Springs are delicate ecosystems and more sensitive to disturbance than rivers. Protect plants, animals, and water quality. Do not pick plants, drink the water, wade, swim, or fish in springs or spring branches.
• Do not swing from ropes or dive or jump from trees or cliffs. Every year someone dies or is seriously injured.
• Caves are closed to protect bats; obey closure signs.
• Glass containers are prohibited on canoes, kayaks, inner tubes, and other non-motorized vessels.
• Pets must be on a leash. Do not leave pets in vehicles or unattended.
• Visit the park website for hunting, trapping, and fishing regulations.
• Use fire rings and grills, and extinguish all campfires.
• Be alert for venomous snakes, poison ivy, ticks, and stinging insects. Watch where you step, sit, and place your hands. Wear insect repellent.
• Carry plenty of fresh water, and wear sunscreen.
• ATVs are not allowed in streams and off-road; ride on unpaved roads only.
Always wear a life jacket (PFD). Children age six and younger must wear a PFD on the river.
• Swim at your own risk; there are no lifeguards.
• NEVER tie a person or pet in a watercraft. Do not lash tubes or canoes together.
• If you hang up on a rock or log, lean downstream to keep water from filling the canoe.
• If you capsize, stay upstream from the canoe to avoid being pinned against a rock or log.
• As you approach obstacles, look for a glassy V. This is the chute, the safest route through.
• Flash floods are a risk at all times. Watch the weather, and be aware of changing river levels.
• Inboard motors and motorized personal watercraft (PWC) are prohibited.
• Emergencies call 911 or 844-460-3604.
DESCRIPTION: A watercolor style image of two people paddling a canoe on the water. One is positioned in the front and is paddling on the left and the other is in the rear of the canoe and paddling on the right. Both are wearing life vests. There are two bundles wrapped in tarps and a spare paddle lashed down in the middle section of the canoe between the two paddlers.
CREDIT: NPS Steven N. Patricia
Seventeen concessioners in the Riverways provide rentals and shuttle service. For a list contact the park or check our website: www.nps.gov/ozar.
Table broken down into columns from left to right: Area, Camp Sites, Group Sites (7 - 45 people), Rentals, Store, Meals, Lodging, Public Telephone, Sanitary Dump. An asterisk at the bottom of the table is marked stating reservations are required for group sites and phone number 877-444-6777.
Services for each area as displayed in the table are as follows:
Akers: 4 group sites, rentals, store, public telephone.
Pulltite: 55 camp sites, 3 group sites, rentals, store, public telephone.
Round Spring: 55 camp sites, 9 group sites, rentals, store, public telephone, sanitary dump.
Two Rivers: 19 camp sites, 2 group sites, rentals, store, public telephone.
Powder Mill: 10 camp sites.
Big Spring: 131 camp sites, 3 group sites, meals, lodging, sanitary dump.
Alley Spring: 146 camp sites, 17 group sites, rentals, store, public telephone, sanitary dump.
Two charts broken up by river name (Current River or Jacks Fork River) to list the maximum horsepower in each area. Note: None of these limits apply from two miles above to two miles below Eminence and Van Buren.
Above Round Spring Lower Access: 25 Maximum horsepower.
(except above Akers May 1 to Sept. 15): 10 Maximum horsepower.
Round Spring Lower Access to Big Spring: 40 Maximum horsepower.
Below Big Spring to park boundary: No limit on horsepower.
Jacks Fork River:
Above Alley Spring Campground: 25 Maximum horsepower.
(except above Bay Creek March 1 to first Saturday before Memorial Day): 10 Maximum horsepower.
Alley Spring Campground to Two Rivers: 40 Maximum horsepower.
We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For information, go to a visitor center, ask a ranger, call, or check our website.
ADDRESS: PO Box 490, Van Buren, Missouri 63965
WEBSITE: www.nps.gov/o z a r
Ozark National Scenic Riverways is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks, visit www.nps.gov.