We started our trip on the Eleven Point at Greer Access. This is a good place to start most of the time because the Greer Springs is the second largest spring in Missouri and adds a significant amount of water to the river which ensures a decreased risk of low water.
This is a section of one of the original eight rivers chosen to be part of the United States National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Being only a little over half an hour away from the more popular Current River, the Eleven Point sees only a fraction of the use which makes for a more secluded trip. On this two-day trip we saw only one canoe and one other kayaker.
The water was very crystal clear and there were many signs of good water quality. Be cause of all the springs that feed the river the water is cool even on the hottest time of the year. We saw a large abundance of bird life from the smaller chickadee to a bald eagle. We paddled upon a blue heron rookery. We saw an abundance of fish too in the clear water.
The hills surrounding the Eleven Point were never clear-cutted so, unlike all the other Ozark streams, the river does not have lots of gravel bars. The Forest Service does have designated campgrounds that have been set up which have been cleared for camping. These sites can be as simple as a flat space of ground with stone fire ring to an area with picnic tables and a vault toilet.
A little after three miles from our put in, we came upon Mary Decker Shoals. It is a class II rapid, but was easily navigated by picking a clean route and paddling straight through it. Working at a easy pace and stopping frequently to explore the shore. We chose White Creek Float Camp and were treated to the sound of water running over a riffle to lure us to a restful night of sleep.
On day two we continued down the river and continued to see great wild life. We bumped into a rock which had a banded north american water snake on it, but he did not react. He was soaking up the heat of the sun after a swim in the cool water.
We stopped at Boze Mills and hiked up to see the old water wheel and dam. The color of the water at the spring was a great shade of aqua blue. Not to far from the mill site we came upon the only other class II rapid which was just a drop over a shelf that is best approached from the right.
We reached Riverton before noon and were taken back to our cars by Richard's Canoe Service, which provides a good shuttle at a reasonable rate. Because of the good flow and the average gradient of 5.4 this was an easy two-day paddle.
The forest Service has a campground at Greer that cost $10.00 a night. There are 4 outfitters in this area and we have always used Richard's Canoe Rental because of their good service and reasonable rates.
Dagger Crossover, Yukon Expedition kayaks
Greer Spring Recreation Area and Campground is 19 miles south of Wiona, MO on Highway 19.
The Forest Service has a map (pdf file) at:
- Trip Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)