Any river in Missouri has the most clear water

Jonathan Stokely | Eleven Point River, Missouri
Eleven Point River, Missouri | Photo: Charlie Llewellin

I grew up in Southwest Missouri, but going kayaking and canoeing on the rivers in Southeast Missouri. Current, Eleven Point, White, and Jack’s Fork are some of the best ones, if you haven’t been I strongly suggest checking them out. There’s a specific stretch on the White River called ‘the Narrows’, where these giant bluffs rise up out of the river and deep blue holes. You can catch everything from Northern Pike to small-mouth and large-mouth bass. And then there’s a campsite called Buford Springs, where my dad grew up going to the cabins that Mr. Buford actually used to own. He would cultivate and grow the seaweed that you needed for aquariums. But the government long took it over and turned it into a national forest and preserved it and tore down all the cabins.

My dad took me up there and I grew up going into the backwoods, seeing everything from foxfire wood to coyotes howling at the edge of our campsite at the full-moon. First thing in the morning, I would walk along the springs and jump-in to really get my day going.

So if you ever have the chance to check out the Eleven Point River, I strongly suggest it. And for that matter, any of the rivers in Missouri have the most clear and beautiful water that you will ever see. We need to protect them.

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