The Little Niangua River provides a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Our trip was originally supposed to be a two-day, 18 mile trip but the distance turned to only be around 15 miles based on our later calculations. We canoed the entire 15 miles the first day and then paddled around the lake of the Ozarks the second day.
We went with the Cedar Camp outfitters for the trip. We stayed Friday night at the campground ($6/person per night) and were pleasantly surprised to find out they cooked breakfast for all campers (all you can eat pancakes coupled with 2 sausages each). The canoe cost is $70 for 2 days ($35/person).
Saturday morning we pushed off - there were 6 of us in three canoes + a dog. I was pleasantly surprised by the river. It was very windy at times, but widening out occasionally and providing us a chance to race our canoes and see who paddled the fastest :-) The river would then funnel into a more narrow channel, with increasing current speed and fairly sharp turns to navigate. It was a blast.
While we scrapped the bottom 2 or 3 times, the only portage opportunity came when we had to cross a small bridge construction area. There were also 1 or 2 trees that had fallen but thankfully the river provided a way around. There's also an awesome tree swing about 5 miles or so into the trip. That provided about an hour's worth of fun.
If we could do it over again, we would ask the outfitter to take us upstream 13 miles and then float down passed the campground and down to the lake. The would be about a 27 mile trip which is a perfect distance.
Nice facilities with showers. Breakfast provided in the morning.
2 - 17' Aluminum Grumman Canoes
1 - 16' Old Town Fiberglass
$6/person per night; $70 per canoe for two days ($35/person)
Here's the web address to the campground. Directions are on the site: www.cedarcamp.net/