Float #42: Bryant Creek

26 Jul

Hodgson Mill to Warren Bridge

Bryant Creek
Ozark County, Missouri
Sunday, June 17
7 Miles

Bryant Creek is located just over the ridge from the North Fork River. It is usually where you will find the locals on a busy Saturday when the North Fork is full of people. I’ve been told the Bryant has good fishing as well. We put in on Sunday morning at the Hwy. 181 bridge, next to Hogdson Mill. Hogdson Mill is one of many historic mills in the area. It was still in operation, making stone ground grains up until the late 70s. The company has since moved to a more modern facility, but the mill still stands and I believe it is open for tours part of the year. Since we were there on a Sunday the mill was closed, but we did stop and swim in the spring that empties into the Bryant. There is nothing better than a cold dip in a spring on a Sunday morning! If you don’t want to park on the gravel bar at the bridge there is a public fishing access, Sycamore, on the other side of the highway. However, you may have to carry your boat a little way down to the water.

Bryant Creek

Hwy. 181 Bridge

Bryant Creek

Spring branch at Hodgson Mill

Bryant Creek

DW drags the rope swing

Bryant Creek

A little way down from the spring was a nice rope swing. DW tried it out, but he didn’t get enough height and drug his butt across the water. He decided it was too much work to try a second time. We barely saw any other paddlers on the river the whole day. There were some locals relaxing along the banks and a couple kayaks tooling around nearby. I’m sure the North Fork was crazy busy, as it had been all weekend, so the solitude was a nice break. We saw many birds on this trip. Maybe the good fishing and lack of crowd draws them there as well.

Bryant Creek

Bryant Creek

Bryant Creek

Bryant Creek

Bryant Creek

We stopped for lunch on a large gravel bar across from a bluff. There was a large, deep swimming hole and we all spent some time swimming and jumping off some low rocks. Although the scenery isn’t as grand as the North Fork and the water isn’t as fast, it was still plenty cold and very enjoyable. Toward the end of the trip I saw three little fawns on the edge of the river. I was a little ahead of the group, so they didn’t hear me right away. I think they were supposed to be hiding in the field above the river, because they acted pretty guilty and scampered back when they finally saw me.

Bryant Creek

3 Fawns

Bryant Creek

Bryant Creek

The swimming hole at Warren Bridge

We took out at Warren Bridge. This isn’t an official access, but there is some parking along the side of the road if you can get it. It seems to be a popular hangout and swimming spot. After Jess and DW ran shuttle, we loaded up the boats and went our separate ways. It was a great weekend and I hope to do it again next summer!

Critter Count: Kingfishers, Ducks, Green Herons, Blue Herons, Hawks, 3 Baby Deer

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