Nothing beats the heat quite like a float trip on one of Missouri’s beautiful rivers. What could be better? Cool water, friends and family, scenic views, and not a care in the world. Missouri has countless places to float, and we have the best spots for you to beat the heat this summer! Check them out below!
The North Fork River – Map
The North Fork River is an awesome spring fed river located in southern Missouri near the Arkansas border. It rises in Wright County, Missouri and ends up feeding into the White River which extends into Arkansas.
The crystal clear waters are birthed from the 8th largest spring in the state. This means amazing floating practically year round. For canoe, kayak, or rafting rentals, Twin Bridges Canoe in West Plains has you covered for a great time on the North Fork.
Eleven Point River – Map
The Eleven Point is a breathtaking scenic river located in the heart of the Ozarks. Running through the Mark Twain National Forest, the scenic views floating along the Eleven Point are breathtaking.
The Eleven Point is floatable all year round and has countless caves, springs, old mills, and bluffs along the way. To really experience the river, definitely check out Eleven Point River Canoe! They’ll guide you to some of the best views in the Mark Twain National Forest along the Eleven Point.
Jacks Fork River – Map
The Jacks Fork River is one of the most, if not the most, scenic river in the entire state. The stretch of the river from Alley Spring to Eminence is usually floatable year round courtesy of the spring that feeds it.
Although it’s a pretty calm river overall, it does have the occasional white caps for those ‘pick me up’ adrenaline rushes. When you want to hit up the Jacks Fork river you need to give Jacks Fork Canoe Rental & Campground a call. Located along both the Jacks Fork and the Current, they have everything you’ll need for the perfect float trip!
The Upper Meramec River
About an hour and a half Southeast of St. Louis lies some amazing float trips on the Upper Meramec. An easy-going river, the Meramec is a scenic masterpiece. One masterpiece, Fishing Springs Cave, is located along the river. Here you can pull up and explore the cave.
To truly experience the Meramec River, check out The Rafting Co.! All of their float trips pass along beautiful bluffs, and Fishing Spring Cave. The best getaway if you’re from the St. Louis area.
James River – Map
Located in Southern Missouri, a relaxing float along the James River provides you with breathtaking rock bluffs and abundant wildlife. Along with the views, the James is known for some of the best fishing you can get while floating in the State, nothing beats going on a float and catching dinner along the way.
A hidden gem in Missouri, the James River needs to be on your list. The Ozarks is on full display here, and nothing beats a relaxing float with friends/family. To experience the James, hit up Hootontown Canoe Rental & Campground! Located in Crane, Missouri they have all you’ll need to beat the heat and relax.
The Huzzah River / Courtois Creek – Map
The Huzzah and Courtois are both parallel to each other and run into the Meramec River; with limestone bluffs creating an amazing backdrop the entire time. The Courtois flows into the Huzzah River eventually and is lined with dense tree cover and known for great fishing.
The two are both within the Mark Twain National Forest, and leave you with an amazing experience. To float the Huzzah River / Courtois Creek, Bass River Resort is the place to go, as they have all your rental needs covered. They also offer camping and awesome cabin rentals!
The Current River – Map
With some of the clearest water you’ve seen, the Current River is THE place you need to be floating, swimming, and exploring about. Natural springs and caves are scattered all around on the Current. The river is located in Southeastern Missouri, and flows down into Arkansas.
Nothing is better than cool crystal clear water, scenic caves, family and friends. When you want to float the Current, definitely look into Akers Ferry Canoe Rental for all your heart’s floating needs. Their floats guide you to all the best caves and springs to make for an unforgettable experience.
The Elk River – Map
The Elk River is a river in Southwestern Missouri and parts of Oklahoma that is formed by the conjoining of the Big and Little Sugar Creek around Pineville, Missouri. It’s one of the best floats to take a group out with you.
It houses some of the clearest waters in the entire state along with numerous gravel bars to take a break and enjoy the views. For floating the Elk River, we highly recommend Shady Beach. They offer canoeing, kayaking, rafting rentals, and upstream shuttles for an awesome experience on the Elk.
The Niangua River – Map
Rated at a lower level I – II difficulty, the Niangua River makes for a pretty peaceful float. A huge perk of this river is the fact that it is one of the absolute best fishing streams in the state of Missouri.
It’s a fairly long river stretching 125 miles through the Ozarks region of southern and central Missouri. Feel free not only to kayak and canoe but also tube or raft. All available for rental at Riverfront Camping and Canoe. Give them a call to reserve yours.
Lake Taneycomo – Map
A Float doesn’t necessarily mean a river… and Lake Taneycomo makes quite the case. Fed by the White River, Taneycomo is a cold water lake, making it the spot to beat the heat. Being a lake that is stocked, its another great spot for fishing as well.
Although Taneycomo is defined as a lake, its really acts and feels like a river. With its winding waterways in the heart of the Ozarks, you’ll need to check out Lake Taneycomo. When you do, go to White River Kayaking! Whether its kayaking, canoeing, or exploring on a Stand-Up Paddle board, they’ll have what you need for the best float.
There you have it, 10 amazing floats to help you cool down as the weather warms up. Missouri isn’t called the “Show Me State” for nothing, it’s a beautiful place. Free up a weekend, hit up some friends, and plan your next adventure on a river.
Share with Friends and Plan your Float Trip on one of Missouri’s Rivers!