Float #67: Mineral Fork

2 May

Hwy. 47 to Merrill HorseF67_MineralFork

Mineral Fork Creek
Washington County, Missouri
Sunday, March 31
12 miles

DW wrote this guest post. I was sick the day this float trip occurred, so he went by himself with our friends Charlie and Alex.

Continuing with a weekend of creek floating, our friends Charlie and Alex joined me for a leisure Sunday creek float on the Mineral Fork. The Mineral Fork only has one location, Kingston Access, for accessing the creek that is on public property with parking available, so we worked out another arrangement to access the creek at the Highway 47 Bridge. All along the road are no parking signs. This access had a steep carry for the boats while the distance to carry was minimal. This access is used by numerous locals during the summer as a swimming and fishing location. I presume they either only use the easement by the bridge like we did or have permission from Kingston Ranch who owns numerous thousands of acres in northeastern Washington County. The area surrounding the bridge is very well-marked where you will cross the line and start trespassing out of the easement area.

Hwy. 47 bridge

Hwy. 47 bridge

Bluffs along the creek

Bluffs along the creek

F67_03

We put on the river around 11:30am and begin our journey down another new section of water. Previously, we have used Kingston Access to float down to the Big River. This section of the Mineral Fork is quite pretty with a couple impressive bluffs, the beautiful countryside, and the wonderful weather as we traveled downstream. Shortly into our journey we ran into some other folks from the area who also used the Highway 47 bridge access to start their fishing trip courtesy of a friend dropping them off at the put in. Like us, they were surprised to see other kayakers out floating. My memories of this creek are that of fallen trees and a few portages and this trip contained several downed trees that forced some portaging. As is the case so often, just a little bit more water and we would have been able to avoid the portages.

Alex ducks a tree branch

Alex ducks a tree branch

Charlie & Alex portage

Charlie & Alex portage

To the river left side of the bridge that typically creates a portage was a cool spill way that made for a fun little rapid to shoot. This was the first time I’ve been able to run this little rapid and as happens often, I found myself paddling backup to run it again!

Charlie portages a low water bridge

Charlie portages a low water bridge

F67_07

Alex drops into the rapid

Alex drops into the rapid

Charlie's action shot

Charlie’s action shot

After tackling the last of the portages, it wasn’t long before we entered the confluence of the Big River. It’s a good thing I took pictures as my floating partners completely missed the confluence! Fortunately the take out wasn’t upstream as has happened to me before, so we just paddled on down to Merrill Horse Access. One thing that we did notice at the Highway H bridge, which is just upstream from the Merrill Horse Access, were all these orange globes and what looked like owls. The owls had some type of electronic call on them. The best we could figure is the fake owl and orange globes were some type of deterrent for the swallows that typically frequent the bridge for nesting.

Confluence of Mineral Fork and Big River

Confluence of Mineral Fork and Big River

Hwy. H bridge

Hwy. H bridge

It was great to get to go farther up the Mineral Fork and cover an additional 2.3 new river miles. Overall, quite a good way to cap and excellent weekend of creek floating!

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2 Responses to “Float #67: Mineral Fork”

  1. Jan Kury May 15, 2013 at 4:06 PM #

    What kind of waterproof camera do you use? THANKS, Jan

    • groovealee May 17, 2013 at 10:45 AM #

      I actually don’t have a waterproof camera, but I do have a waterproof housing. My camera is a Canon Powershot SD990. It’s a few years old but it’s still a good camera.

      You can buy waterproof housing for almost any small camera, but they are a little bulky. If you can afford a new waterproof camera I would suggest buying that instead. Canon and Nikon are my favorite brands for small cameras.

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