Long & crooked: the Gasconade River 

By Len Stagoski

It has been called one of the world’s crookedest rivers, and looking at a map of it will reveal why the Gasconade River of central Missouri earns that title. 

At 265 miles, it is the longest river flowing wholly within the state. 

The Gasconade forms in the Ozarks of Wright County, then flows northeast (and every other direction on the compass rose) to its Missouri River confluence near the Town of Gasconade, in its namesake county between Jefferson City to the west and St. Louis to the east. 

From its headwaters the river lazily flows through a deep valley that is adorned with many large caves and springs along its upper half. (Source: Website—Southwest Paddlers, Outdoor Paddlers Guide( 

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