MDC Out of doors Recreation Highlight – Float Journeys in Central and Northeast Missouri

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Colombia, Mon. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages people to cool off this summer and explore nature on Missouri’s rivers and creeks. Here are five great paddling and swimming opportunities in Central and Northeast Missouri.

Learn more about these and other public paddling opportunities at https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places, download the MO Outdoors app for mobile devices, or request a copy of A Paddler’s Guide to Missouri from MDC Nature Shop online at mdcnatureshop.com.

Always Paddle Safely on Missouri Waters:

  • Wear a personal flotation device (PFD)
  • Make a float plan and tell someone where you’re going and when you’re going to return
  • Be careful and give way to larger boats
  • Pack groceries, water, flashlight, dry clothes, and anything else you may need if your trip is taking longer than planned.

DuPont Reservation Conservation Area

If you want to try paddling the Mississippi, dock at US Lock and Dam No. 22 south of Saverton and hover approximately 7 miles to take-out in the Dupont Reservation Conservation Area.

For a longer swim, dock in the DuPont Reservation Conservation Area and then float approximately 12 miles to the Louisiana Riverfront take-out in the city of Louisiana. Keep an eye out for bald eagles and osprey along the way.

To learn more about paddling the Mississippi, visit the National Recreation Trail Database at Americantrails.org.

Learn more about the DuPont Reservation Conservation Area at https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/dupont-reservation-conservation-area.

Gasconade River

For a tame, full-day excursion down the Gasconade River, hop on at Rollins Ferry Access and disembark at Pointers Creek Access. This 11km drive offers stunning views of sheer cliffs and forested hills. Both approaches offer primitive campsites and disabled toilets.

Learn more about the Gasconade River at https://mdc.mo.gov/fishing/fishing-prospects/areas/gasconade-river-phelpspulaski-county.

Rebel’s Cove Nature Reserve

Nearly five miles of the Chariton River runs through the Rebel’s Cove Conservation Area near Livonia. This part of the river is known locally as “The Narrows” because the river makes a 2.5 mile loop around Parson’s Bend in the center of the area. At this point, the river doubles back to within a few hundred feet of itself. Two rafting options begin at this conservation area:

  • 4-mile float – put-in at Blackberry Trail access; for takeout at the North 135th Street entrance.
  • 8-mile float – board at the ramp on North 135th Street; Take-out at Archangel Access on US Highway 136, east of Livonia.

Learn more about the Rebel’s Cove Conservation Area at https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/rebels-cove-conservation-area.

Taylor’s Landing Access

MDC recently reopened Taylors Landing Access on the Missouri River in a new location. Board here and float to the river parking lot at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area (about 8 miles).

Learn more about Taylor’s Landing online at https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/taylors-landing-access.

Paddle up and float down the creeks of Northeast Missouri

The rivers of Northeast Missouri have a gentle current that allows paddlers to paddle upstream and float downstream. This is a great option for people who don’t want to commute vehicles. Find river entrances by visiting https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places.