The Big River

The first bridge 300 yards down stream from Council Bluff where the Big River begins.

Where in Missouri does the Big River start, and why does it seem to defy most rivers and flow north? 

That question about the direction of flow has always puzzled me. Don’t rivers flow toward the sea? 

I figured I would be able to track the beginning of the Big River easily enough, but then when I started to track the answer down I was pleasantly surprised. 

I was indeed surprised, and that’s Enough. Yes, that’s Enough. 

No, this is not a “Who’s on first” skit. The town that is closer to the beginning of the Big River is, or was, the town of Enough. 

There are more than a few watersheds that contribute to the start of the Big River, but they all end up in one of Missouri’s most beautiful lakes, Council Bluff Lake. 

Council Bluff Lake is a little hard to find if you are looking for it in literature that only posts the counties separately.

Council Bluff is located on the northern part of Iron County, off State Highway DD. The closest gas station is in Belgrade on State Highway C. 

By the way, if you are traveling on Highway 21 and turn west on C, the bridge you cross over right before Belgrade is the Big River Bridge. 

Now, the Big River “ain’t too big” right there at Belgrade, but it gains volume headed East Northeast picking up Clear Creek, Dry Creek and Wallen Creek, then turns due north.

Some information given says the dam making Council Bluff Lake is made by damming up Big River, but it looks like there are many watersheds contributing to the lake with the Big River starting at the exit of the dam. 

Council Bluff Lake is 440 acres and is 87 feet deep in some places. There are two boat ramps and a large sand beach (Chapel Hill Beach).

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