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Ozark National Scenic River

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Ozark National Scenic Riverways was created by an Act of Congress on August 24, 1964, to protect 134 miles of the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers in the Ozark Highlands of southeastern Missouri. The clean, clear waters of these two beautiful rivers provide excellent opportunities for johnboating, canoeing, swimming, fishing and tubing. Hunting is also an authorized use within the Riverways' boundaries. The landscape is predominantly rural, with broadleaf forests and occasional open fields.

The southeast Missouri Ozark Mountains are typified by narrow steep-sided hollows, numerous streams, and bluffs.

Much of the area is underlain by soluble limestone and dolomite, giving rise to sinkholes, caves, and springs of a classical karst topography. There are over 300 recorded caves within the boundaries.

Sixty per cent of the rivers' flow comes from seven major springs and 51 other springs of various sizes within the drainage basin. Big Spring, one of the largest springs in the United States, has an average flow of 276 million gallons of water per day. The maximum recorded flow in one day was 840 million gallons in June 1928.

There are 112 species of fish, 196 species of birds, and 58 species of mammals found in the park. There are also 25 species of snakes found in the park, including 4 poisonous species.

   

CONTACTS

Email - OZAR_Superintendent@nps.gov

Fax- 573-323-4140

Write to
404 Watercress Drive
PO Box 490
Van Buren, MO 63965

Phone
Headquarters - 573 323 4236
Headquarters (TDD) - 573 323 4270
Round Spring Cave Information - 573 858 3297, ext 23

TRAVEL BASICS

Operating Hours, Seasons
Ozark NSR is open year around. There is no formal visitor center for the park, although the Alley Mill is open to provide information in the summer, and the park headquarters in Van Buren is open year round during business hours. The Superintendent's Office is located at Park Headquarters at 404 Watercress Drive in Van Buren, Missouri. Hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Information is available at the Headquarters information desk. Also, EASTERN NATIONAL, a cooperating non-profit association, sells books and other items representative of the natural and cultural resources of the Ozark region and the park. These publications are also available through mail order at the park address.

Getting There
PLANE - The nearest commercial airports are Saint Louis, Memphis and Springfield.

CAR - The area is best reached via Interstate 44 or U.S. Route 60.

Weather & Climate
Summers are hot and humid. Good sun screen and insect repellent are a must! Ticks are the most prevalent insect problem. The area is subject to severe thunderstorms, torrential rains, and flooding at any time of year. Winters are generally cool with variable precipitation.

Accessibility
Most developed areas have rest room facilities which are accessible. Accessible camping sites have been developed at Big Spring, Alley Spring, Round Spring and Pulltite Campgrounds. An accessible trail and picnic site has been developed at Big Spring and Round Spring. For more information on accessible facilities, call or write the park. 573-323-4236

Getting Around
Main roads throughout the park are well maintained state highways. These are hilly and winding, so be careful and take your time! Roads into backcountry areas are typically dirt and less maintained. Some are suitable for passenger vehicles and RVs, some are not. Please inquire locally before heading off on dirt roads in the area. A dirt road that was fine last year may be muddy or even washed out due to a recent storm. Ask at ranger stations, sherrif's offices, canoe rentals or local businesses for information.

FEES/PERMITS

Activity Fee
CAMPGROUND
Call 573-323-4236 for reservations.

ROUND SPRING CAVE TOURS
All children must be accompanied by an adult. School groups should call ahead: 573-858-3297, ext 23. Reservations are not accepted for private groups. Tours are limited to 15 people, tickets go on sale 30 minutes before each tour at the cave. Tours are at 10:00 and 2:00 daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Please wear sturdy footwear and dress warmly, as it is about 54 degrees in the cave.

CAMPING

Alley Spring
Open All Year
162 family sites that can accomodate a maximum of 6 persons and two tents. These are on a first come, first served basis. Group sites can accommodate from seven to 45 people. Reservations are required for group sites, call (573)323-4236. Fees depend on the size of the party. Group sites cannot accommodate recreational vehicles. There are no electrical or water hook-ups. For More Information on this campground please call 573 323 4236
For More Information on this campground please call 573 323 4236

Big Spring
Open All Year
123 family sites that can accomodate a maximum of 6 persons and two tents. These are on a first come, first served basis. Group sites can accommodate from seven to 45 people. Reservations are required for group sites, call (573)323-4236. Fees depend on the size of the party. Group sites cannot accommodate recreational vehicles. There are no electrical or water hook-ups. For More Information on this campground please call 573 323 4236
For More Information on this campground please call 573 323 4236

Pulltite
Open All Year
Fifty five family sites that can accomodate a maximum of 6 persons and two tents. These are on a first come, first served basis. Group sites can accommodate from seven to 45 people. Reservations are required for group sites, call (573)323-4236. Fees depend on the size of the party. Group sites cannot accommodate recreational vehicles. There are no electrical or water hook-ups. For More Information on this campground please call 573 323 4236
For More Information on this campground please call 573 323 4236

Round Spring
Open All Year
Sixty family sites that can accomodate a maximum of 6 persons and two tents. These are on a first come, first served basis. Group sites can accommodate from seven to 45 people. Reservations are required for group sites, call (573)323-4236. Fees depend on the size of the party. Group sites cannot accommodate recreational vehicles. There are no electrical or water hook-ups. For More Information on this campground please call 573 323 4236
For More Information on this campground please call 573 323 4236

Two Rivers
Open All Year
19 family sites that can accomodate a maximum of 6 persons and two tents. These are on a first come, first served basis. Group sites can accommodate from seven to 45 people. Reservations are required for group sites, call (573)323-4236. Fees depend on the size of the party. Group sites cannot accommodate recreational vehicles. There are no electrical or water hook-ups. For More Information on this campground please call 573 323 4236
For More Information on this campground please call 573 323 4236

LODGING

Big Spring Cabins
14 rustic cabins built by the CCC. Accomodates 2 - 8 people. Feature one or two bedrooms and bath, stove, refrigerator and small outside grills. Screened in porches. Restaurant nearby.
For More Information on this lodging please call 573-323-4332

Lodging Around the Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Open All Year
There are numerous motels, guest houses, bed & breakfasts, cabins and private campgrounds in the communities around the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

FACILITIES

Museums
ALLEY MILL
Phone - 573-226-3945
Location - Located on Missouri Route 106, six miles west of Eminence, Missouri.
Special Programs - Bluegrass and mountain music concerts are held each summer. Nature hikes and evening slide shows are held nearby the Alley Spring Campground. Informal tours of the building are held anytime by request.
Exhibits - The Alley Mill was built in 1894. Much of the original miling equipment is still in place, although the Mill no longer operates. Exhibits explain the life and culture of the Ozarks.
Available Facilities - Exhibits, book and postcard sales, free literature. No restrooms in the Mill.

STOREYS CREEK ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE
Phone - 573-226-3945
Location - Located within walking distance of Alley Mill, six miles west of Eminence, Missouri on State Route 106.
Closures - Open on summer weekends. Grounds always open, but access into the school is limited.
Exhibits - Traditional one room school. See how the 'three R's' were taught in the Ozarks and throughout rural America until recently.

Visitor Centers
WATERCRESS HEADQUARTERS
Open All Year 8:00 - 4:30
Phone - 573-323-4236
Location - Located at 404 Watercress Drive in Van Buren, Missouri. Directly across the street from the Van buren High School. This is just east of town on Main Street, also known as 'Old Route 60.'
Closures - Closed Federal Holidays
Exhibits - Exhibits on the resources and history of the Ozarks, including interactive map of the area. Informational brochures and sales items such as books, videos, postcards, etc are available.
Available Facilities - Information, restrooms. Forest Service campground and river access nearby at Watercress Park.

  Map
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Detailed Map


Contact Info
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Phone, Email, Address, GPS coordinates


Campgrounds Nearby
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List of Nearby Campgrounds


Weather
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Local weather forecast


OUTDOORS
These outdoors activities are available near Ozark National Scenic River.
 Campgrounds Near Ozark National Scenic River:
Big Springs River Camp, Van Buren, 0 miles away
Cave Springs Campground, Van Buren, 0 miles away
Deer Run Campground and Canoe/Tube Rental, Van Buren, 0 miles away
Big Spring River Camp, Van Buren, 1 miles away
Current River Outfitters and Campground Inc., Van Buren, 1 miles away
Hawthorne Landing Canoe & Tube, Van Buren, 1 miles away
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort, Van Buren, 2 miles away
 Marinas Near Ozark National Scenic River:
Webb Creek Marina, Ellington , 19 miles away
 Hotels Near Ozark National Scenic River:
Super 8 Poplar Bluff Missouri, Poplar Bluff , 40 miles away
Holiday Inn POPLAR BLUFF, Poplar Bluff , 40 miles away
Hampton Inn - Poplar Bluff MO, Poplar Bluff , 41 miles away
Comfort Inn Poplar Bluff, Poplar Bluff , 41 miles away
Drury Inn Poplar Bluff, Poplar Bluff , 41 miles away
Days Inn & Suites Pocahontas, Pocahontas , 42 miles away
Plain Fancy Bed Breakfast, Ironton , 43 miles away
 Ski Areas Near Ozark National Scenic River:
Hidden Valley, Missouri , 88 miles away, 250 foot drop, 6 lifts, 9 runs
 Whitewater Near Ozark National Scenic River:
Black River, Wayne Butler County , 17 miles away, Class I - 37.5 miles long (Clearwater Dam to Highway W)
Big Creek, Iron Wayne County , 28 miles away, Class I-II - 19.2 miles long (Highway K west of Annapolis to Sam Baker State Park)
 Public Lands Near Ozark National Scenic River:
Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park, Missouri , 31 miles away
Sam A. Baker State Park, Missouri , 36 miles away
Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri , 39 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Ozark National Scenic River:
Deer Run Golf Course & Country Club, Van Buren , 0 miles away

Copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. - Pictures of park and text about park by the US National Park Service. Operating hours and fees are valid at the date of publishing and are subject to change, please contact park directly for current information.