By Bill Wakefield
Located on the northern edge of the Ozarks is an often overlooked river with picturesque scenery, great fishing opportunities, and it is almost untouched by civilization.
The Bourbeuse River (French for “muddy”) is one of two major tributaries of the Meramec River, the other being the Big River.
The Bourbeuse flows to the northeast from its source near the town of Dillon, just northeast of Rolla in Phelps County and travels through Maries, Gasconade, Crawford and Franklin counties, where it empties into the Meramec River near Moselle.
The total length of the river is 154 miles, while the distance between source and mouth as a crow would fly is 53 miles.
The Bourbeuse may well be the king of crooked rivers as one stretch through Franklin County spans 107.6 river miles, but in a straight line (as that crow would fly) is a distance of only 27 miles.