Float #103: Little Piney Creek

20 Jun

Newburg to Jerome

F103_LittlePiney

Little Piney Creek
Phelps County, Missouri
Sunday, June 15
6 Miles

This is a short little float from Newburg access on the Little Piney down to the confluence with the Gasconade River. We have always wanted to do this float in order to complete the whole Little Piney and this past Sunday was our opportunity. We met up with our friend Richard who lives near St. Robert and is always down for a Piney float of Little or Big variety. The shuttle between Newburg and Jerome access did not take long and we were on the water shortly after noon. It turned out to be a warm, sunny day despite driving through some storms on the way there.

The Little Piney is more creek than river and has excellent fishing and technical paddling. It doesn’t often get cleared of debris, so there are a lot of fallen trees that can cause jams. That is where the technical part comes in. If you are in a kayak you may be able to wriggle around most of them. In a canoe not so much. It also takes some precise turning to get around the jams, so if you are a novice you will be either be portaging or falling out of your boat a lot (both good options).

Little Piney Creek

The bridge at Newburg access

Little Piney Creek

Little Piney Creek

Floating under a fallen log

Little Piney Creek

A heron poses on a tree

The water was at a good level for this float, we didn’t bottom out much at all. The Little Piney does have a year round source at Lane Spring and a few smaller creeks that feed it, but it is usually best to float in the spring when there is more rain. In the late summer it can get pretty low in spots. I didn’t bring my fishing pole on this trip, so of course I spotted a few big fish in the creek. We also saw plenty of herons, turtles and a couple of turkeys.

Little Piney Creek

Little rapid on the Little Piney

Little Piney Creek

A decrepit bridge

Little Piney Creek

RR bridge

Little Piney Creek

We floated under several bridges on this trip. The first was an old concrete bridge that hopefully has been closed. It looked pretty scary and unstable. There was a lot of debris jammed underneath it and one little section that was clear to float through. I would not want to approach that sucker in high water! We also floated under a railroad bridge, I-44 bridge and another railroad bridge at the confluence.

Little Piney Creek

DW floats by

Little Piney Creek

Floating under I-44

Gasconade River

Looking upstream at the RR bridge across the Gasconade

Gasconade River

Jerome access

The water was flowing at a nice pace so we didn’t have to paddle too much. We stopped for lunch on a gravel bar about a mile above the Gasconade and swam a bit too. Once you pass under I-44 the confluence is just around the corner. The Gasconade was up a bit and flowing rather quickly. The Gasconade is usually a painfully slow river, so it was nice to not have to slog through it for a change. Jerome access is just a mile down from the confluence. You can’t miss it as it is an imposing pile of limestone that glows brightly in the sunlight. Jerome access has a nice boat ramp, plenty of parking and a restroom. We arrived around 3:30, loaded our gear into Richard’s truck and he shuttled us back to Newburg to our car. We had a great time and it was nice to finally complete the Little Piney.

The next trip is an overnight fishing float on the Big Piney and then we are scheduled to do the Eleven Point for the 4th of July!

Critter Count: Herons, Turtles, Turkey

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