Missouri is Ready for Summer Float Trips

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How To Float in MO

If you’ve traveled around Missouri, you might have heard about a summer getaway called a “float trip.” If you’re new to floating or looking to pick up a few tips before you head to the river, this guide is for you.

What is Floating?

A float trip involves heading down one of Missouri’s idyllic rivers in a raft, canoe, kayak or tube. Depending on the type of trip you’re looking for, floats can range from a lazy afternoon to a multi-day journey. While there are floating opportunities from spring through fall, Missouri’s cool rivers are a popular escape from the summer heat.

What Kind of Experience Are You Looking For?

As a general rule, the closer you are to major metro areas like St. Louis, Kansas City or Springfield, the more likely you are to encounter larger crowds. Different rivers and outfitters can provide unique experiences. You can enjoy a laid back float while sipping a local craft beer, or bring a group of your friends for a trip you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Meramec, Huzzah and Courtois Rivers

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3 Bridges Raft Rental (Meramec)
Floating and primitive camping

Bass River Resort (Meramec, Huzzah and Courtois)
Camping, cabins, floating and more

Blue Springs Ranch (Meramec)
Lodging, RV park, camping, floating, horseback trail rides and more

Garrison’s River Resort (Meramec)
RV park, lodging, camping and floating

Huzzah Valley Resort (Meramec, Huzzah)
Lodging, camping, floating and more

Old Cove Canoe (Meramec)
Floating and camping for groups of 10 or more

Ozark Outdoors Riverfront Resort (Meramec)
Camping, lodging and floating

The Rafting Company (Meramec)
RV camping, camping, limited lodging and floating

Gasconade, North Fork and Niangua Rivers

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Bennett Spring State Park (Niangua)
Camping, lodging and floating

Dawt Mill (North Fork)
RV sites, lodging, camping, floating and more 

Gasconade Hills Resort (Gasconade)
RV park, lodging, camping, floating and more 

NRO (Niangua)
Lodging, camping and floating

Pettit Canoe Rental (North Fork)
Camping, lodging and floating

Ruby’s Landing (Gasconade)
RV park, camping, cabins, floating and more

Sand Spring Resort and Canoe (Niangua)
Lodging, camping, floating, fishing and more

Twin Bridges Canoe & Campground (North Fork)
Lodging, camping, floating, fishing and horse camping

Beaver Creek, Elk and James Rivers

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Beaver Creek Canoe Rental, Campground & Cabins (Beaver Creek)
Lodging, camping and floating

Big Elk Camp & Canoe (Elk)
Camping, lodging and floating

Eagles Nest Camp and Canoe (Elk)
RV park, camping and floating

Elk River Floats (Elk)
Lodging, camping and floating

James River Outfitters (James)
Camping, lodging and floating

River Ranch Resort (Elk)
Cabins, glamping pods, campground and floating

Two Sons Floats and Camping (Elk)
RV camping, camping, floating and more

Eleven Point, Jacks Fork, Current and Black Rivers

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Akers Ferry Canoe Rental (Current and Jacks Fork)
Lodging, camping, floating and more

Bearcat Getaway (Black)
Floating, camping and lodging

Carr’s Canoe Rental and Round Spring Campground (Current)
Camping and floating

Current River Canoe Rental (Current)
Camping and floating

Eminence Cottages and Camp (Current and Jacks Fork)
Lodging and camping

Hufstedler’s Canoe Rental (Eleven Point)
Lodging, camping and floating

Jacks Fork Canoe Rental & Campground (Jacks Fork)
Full RV hookups, camping and floating

Rocky River Resort (Current)
Camping, RV park and floating

What to Bring?

There are dozens of outfitters who can provide rafts, canoes, tubes and transportation up and down the river as well as lodging and camping opportunities. 

There are three essentials to bring on any float trip: a lifejacket, water and sunscreen. You’ll also find bug spray and a hat or sun visor useful when you’re out in the water. 

Missouri’s river beds and banks can be rocky, so a pair of water shoes or sports sandals can help protect your feet. 

Food, including Missouri-made snacks, and coolers filled with drinks are common sights on the river. Or plan to enjoy a picnic lunch on a sunny bank.

If your float trip is longer than a single day, make sure you are prepared with camping gear, additional food and water

Finally, bring a container for trash — you can be fined for littering, including leaving cans loose in your boat!

One Last Thing … 

Before you head out the door, make sure to check river conditions. Be prepared to make the safest decisions for you and your group, even if that means postponing your trip. Your outfitter is a great resource to help make those important decisions.

That’s it — you have all the info you need to enjoy your Missouri float trip.
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