This river has enough gravel bars for tent camping. As promised in last month’s issue of the River Hills Traveler, I want to give you some GPS coordinates and approximate gravel bar sizes along a certain section of the river.
The most popular section I get asked about for gravel bar availability is the Greer to Turner South section. It is a 4.9 mile section. Now, just keep in mind that the river always changes. When flooding occurs, or high water is out of its banks, the channels change. Some gravel bars are covered over or partial covered. Even new gravel bars start showing up.
The river right now is higher than it normally is during this time of year. Before going on a float trip on any river in Missouri, it is always good to check the weather, forecast, and what river level it is to make sure you have a safe, enjoyable trip.
Some of these gravel bars have some vegetation on them, but are big enough to tent a couple people or a group on.
Right below Greer is the first fork in the river. The left fork is where most canoes or kayaks go through, which is called the “Stair Step Hole” after the historic concrete steps (103 to be precise) on the steep left bank. The right fork is known as the “Motor Chute” because its deep water allows motor boats to pass through.
The second gravel bar you come to is an island one. It has vegetation/grass (some of these are sandy, too). The GPS coordinates are: N36 47 6.72, W91 18 51.156. It is about 40 feet long by 30 feet wide.
There is another gravel bar right below this one. The gravel bar is located: N36 46 59.772, W91 18 17.747. It is around 40 feet by 20 feet in front and open in the middle, also along a pathway to about 30 feet by 20 feet.
The next gravel bar is located at: N36 47 9.78, W91 17 48.624. It is around 50 feet by 40 feet in size. There are two gravel bars after this one. One is located as an island in the middle of the river and one down from here to the right. I was unable to get a good GPS coordinate for these two.
The next gravel bar is located at: N36 46 29.784, W91 17 14.46. It is around 60 feet by 20 feet in size. This one is right before the Mary Decker Shoal. This spot you cannot miss on the river. There are several huge rocks that are all the way across the river that you have to canoe or kayak through. I usually take the middle when paddling through.
These rocks were placed here in the 1800’s to catch logs that were traveling from upstream at the Boom Hole area below Cane Bluff (about six miles up). Logs were taken out from the river here at Mary Decker Shoal and loaded onto rail cars. The logs were hauled to the Ozark Land and Timber Company Mill at Winona, Mo.
Now, just past this area to your right is a small “camp” area which is a really nice one. It is not graveled at all.
There are three outfitters that provide canoes, kayaks and rafts for people that want to use them to float the Eleven Point River. The outfitters are:
• Down River Canoe and Tube Rental, located in Myrtle, Mo., on Highway V; (417) 938-4255. They do mostly the lower river section from Riverton to 142 access.
• Eleven Point River Canoe Rental, located at the junction of Highways 19 and 160, in Alton, Mo.; (417) 778-6497.
• Hufstedler’s Canoe Rental, located on Highway 160 in Riverton, Mo.; (417) 778-6116.
If you have any questions on river levels or conditions of this river for your upcoming float, you can contact any outfitter or you can contact me.
If I don’t answer, please leave a short message with your name and number and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
I look forward to seeing you on the river!
By Dana Sturgeon
(Dana Sturgeon is a recreation technician for the U.S. Forest Service, Mark Twain National Forest, in the Eleven Point Ranger District, Winona, Mo. She can be reached at 573-325-4233 or by email at email@example.com.)