This was my first time ever canoeing on a river. I took my 12 year old daughter and one of her friends with me and probably way to much gear. But it was a definite learning experience.
Started out just below the Possom Kingdom damn, HWY 16 bridge crossing, and ended up at Rochelle's Canoe rental, FM 4 Bridge crossing. This is considered a 2 day trip by Rochelle's but I made a 3 day trip.
Even during a drought the river was mostly floatable considering I probably had my canoe loaded with about 500lbs of gear and people. There where many low spots in the river that required me to stand up and lean forward to adjust the center of weight. I only had to portage the canoe about 3 times and that was mainly due to me reading the main river flow incorrectly around the gravel bar islands in the river. The small rapids, ripples or fast sections of the river during this low time taught me a lot about canoeing in a river.
The summer months are hot in Texas, so I do recommend taking a lot of water and juice. I took 60 bottles of water and 16 bottles of Sunny D and went through it all. Not to mention all the fruit I went through just to keep me hydrated.
For someone like me that has never canoed down a river, this is the place to go. I would just recommend going during the Spring or Fall when the water levels might be higher and the temps cooler.
Many primitive camping sites along the way, but do pick up after yourself please. One of the spots I found was littered with beer cans, whiskey and vodka bottles and soda cans. If I had more room in my canoe I would have cleaned the place up myself.
Old Town Guide 147
Ozark Trail 9x8 Dome Tent
Rochelle's charges shuttling fee