Float #8: Meramec River

23 Jun

Red Horse to River Round

Meramec River
Franklin  County, Missouri
Sunday, May 29
15 Miles

This is a float we do fairly often because it is close to home with an easy shuttle. DW’s family was over at our house for DW’s birthday dinner and we decided to fit a float in as well. The water on the Meramec was fairly high and muddy after a few days of rain. This stretch of river is pretty quick from Red Horse to the Hwy. 30 bridge. After that it gets pretty slow and requires a lot of paddling, but with the high water it went by much faster. The day was hot and very sunny. So we were forced to go swimming, muddy water or not!

red horse meramec river access

Red Horse access

meramec river
The water was actually down quite a bit from recent weeks. You can see that the access was rather muddy, which always makes for a slippery entrance into the water. It’s kind of difficult to get into your kayak and out onto the water without slipping or covering your entire boat cockpit with mud! We all managed to get on the water with no spills. DW took the canoe out for a spin as his mother had recently injured her wrist and could not paddle. I’m sure the canoe appreciated getting out on the water for the first time this year. DW’s dad took a sit-on-top kayak that DW had repaired. This kayak had fallen off a truck and been run over by a semi last spring and was in pretty bad shape. DW heated it back up so it returned to it’s original shape (all plastic boats have a shape memory and will return to it if heated to the right temperature). He then welded the plastic back together where it was cracked. It looks really good and floats just like new!

meramec river

River bend before Hwy. 30

meramec river blue heron

Blue heron

hwy 30 bridge meramec river

Hwy 30 bridge over the river

With the high and muddy water we did not see much wildlife on this trip. We did catch a glimpse of a Blue Heron, which are always on the river. From Red Horse to Hwy. 30 is about 5 miles. There is a campground and access at Hwy. 30, but you have to pay a small fee to launch from there. After the highway the river slows down for a few miles and there are not many gravel bars. It’s just as well because you don’t want to take too many breaks in this section, it’s best to paddle through the slow water and get it over with.

meramec river

High water on the river

meramec river

Bluff between Hwy 30 and Bruns Bridge

meramec river
After a couple of miles the river picks up pace again. The 6 miles from Hwy. 30 to Bruns bridge is fairly populated with houses and weekend cabins, but it is still a very pleasant section and relatively quiet. Bruns bridge has an unofficial access that I’ve documented in a previous post. After the bridge the river makes a 4 mile long horseshoe bend that is very pretty and quiet. After the bend we take out at River Round and end a good day on the water. Then it’s back to the house for some bbq!

Bruns' bridge meramec river

Bruns bridge

meramec river

Looking upriver toward the round of River Round

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