Best places to spend your day floating on the river

Knowing how hot and humid summers are here, we are all in need of a place to make the heat more bearable. What’s a better way to cool off than floating down a river with friends? Here are 5 perfect places to make this possible.

Niangua River—Lebanon, Missouri

Located in the heart of the Ozarks is the 125-mile long Niangua River. To float down the river, you can choose from canoes, rafts, kayaks and tubes. Enjoy the lush greenery that surrounds you throughout the float. There are 60 acres of campgrounds located on the Niangua River. With a rental of canoes, rafts or kayaks, you get two nights of free primitive tent camping. Additional nights are listed on their website as, $6.25 per adult plus tax. Visit www.nrocanoe.com/camp for more details.

Elk river, Noel, MO

Elk River—Noel, Missouri

This calm and peaceful river, located near the Arkansas state line, is a great little getaway and welcomes canoeists of all skill levels. The river is clear, the scenery is shimmering and you’re bound to see beautiful birds or basking turtles along your float. You can pick an 8-mile or 5-mile float trip, either option will fill your entire day.  Plastic and aluminum canoes go for $25 per person on Saturdays, and $20 per person Sunday-Fridays. Kids three-years-old and under are not able to float on the river. There are many different camping options from tent camping, glamping to cabins. For more information go to www.riverranchresort.com/camping.

James River, Galena, MO

James River—Galena, Missouri

This 130-mile long river, located in southeastern Missouri, is known for its unusually green color. Don’t worry, it’s totally safe and caused naturally. This float is very calming and the current is perfect to lay back and let the river take you along for a peaceful day on the river. James River Outfitters offers rafts, canoes, kayaks and tubes for people of any skill level. Camping is also offered at James River, and you can find more information at www.jamesriveroutfitters.com.

Meramec river, Leasburg, MO

Meramec River—Leasburg, Missouri

This river is one of the longest waterways in Missouri, and guarantees you a great time. The Meramec River is popular for paddlers of all skill levels. People come here to enjoy the stunning bluffs, smooth calming waters and the chance to see one of the bald eagles that usually nest along the river. You can pick from canoes, kayaks, rafts or tubes. There is 1-mile of riverfront camping property and two resort beach areas. For more details visit www.ozarkoutdoors.net/camping-on-the-meramec-river.

Gasconade river, Richland, MO

Gasconade River—Richland, Missouri

Gasconade River offers many unique sights, beautiful bluffs, and caves along the 280-mile waterway. It wouldn’t be uncommon to spot an assortment of wildlife like eagles, otters and deer on your float. This float is on the easier side, making it perfect to spend your day on the river relaxing and admiring all of the nature surrounding you. Canoes, kayaks, rafts and tubes are offered for day trips ranging from four to ten miles. Providing 16 cabins, 18 RV sites and plenty of tent sites, you will be sure to find a spot that suits you. Visit www.gasconadehills.com/about-us for more details and information.

qrgvv@mail.umkc.edu

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