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Current River, Missouri
Report by Marc W. McCord

Current River, Missouri photo copyright (C) 2006, Terry Webb. All rights reserved.

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

The Current River, located in Dent, Shannon, Carter and Ripley Counties, Missouri, is a year-around stream with adequate flow almost anytime. It is a flatwater river that is fed by more springs than any other Missouri river, keeping its flow constant. The Current River drops at a rate of about 4.4 feet per mile (fpm) on average, with a high rate of 8.7 fpm from Montauk State Park down to Akers, and a low rate of 3.2 fpm from Big Spring to Doniphan. Due to some phenomenon of nature, the Current River almost never freezes, making it accessible for cold weather paddling, if you are so inclined. The spring-fed water flows at a constant 58-60 degrees, which is probably why it seldom freezes. Most recreational paddlers prefer to paddle the top 90.2 miles down to Big Spring (but NOT in one day!), below which point the river widens, deepens, slows down and becomes a traffic pattern of motorboats and other motorized watercraft, none of which are too hospitable to open canoes or sit-on-top kayaks. Besides, there is plenty to see in the top 90 miles to keep you busy for a week or more, if you have the time.

Its designation as part of the National Scenic Riverways program protects the Current River under federal law from over-commercialization, damming or otherwise obstructing the flow of the river or disrupting natural plant and biological life on and around the river. The Current River is known for its astounding natural beauty amid Ozark vistas that were made for photo postcards. With many springs to see, and some are quite amazing for the volume they pump into the river, and other topographical wonders to explore there is plenty to keep you busy and interested on any part of this beautiful river. Be sure to bring along a camera (and drybag!) with plenty of film, compact flash cards or disc memory for the photos you will surely want to take.

Click the links below for information regarding the section of the Current River and its tributaries where you want to paddle.

[ Montauk State Park to Big Spring Campground ] [ Big Spring to Doniphan ] [ Jacks Fork River ]

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© September 15, 2002. All rights reserved.
Last updated September 2, 2015

Copyright © 1998-2015, Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. All rights reserved. Southwest Paddler, CobraGraphics and Canoeman River Guide Services are trademarks of Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. The textual, graphic, audio, and audio/visual material in this site is protected by United States copyright law and international treaties. You may not copy, distribute, or use these materials except for your personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All original photographs on this web site are the exclusive property of Marc W. McCord or other designated photographers and may not be copied, duplicated, reproduced, distributed or used in any manner without prior written permission under penalty of US and International laws and treaties.