Float #129: Big Piney River

29 Sep

Mineral Springs to Boiling Spring


Big Piney River
Texas County, Missouri
Saturday, September 5
11 Miles

The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend we met up with a few of our caving friends, our friend Rob and his kids to do a new section on the upper Big Piney River. This section is much smaller than below Boiling Spring and has a more creek-like feel to it. DW, Rob and I headed down on Saturday morning and they dropped me and the kids off at Mineral Springs while they ran shuttle and met up with the rest of our group. I spent some time hanging out at the access with the kids and trying to keep them from getting too bored. When everyone finally arrived we loaded the rest of our gear and hit the water. It was a warm, sunny day with the very earliest signs of fall approaching.

Mineral Springs Access

Mineral Springs Access

Big Piney River

Rob, his boys and Ocoee

Rob, his boys and Ocoee

Big Piney RiverThe water was a little low for my liking at this time of year. We didn’t scrape too much but we would have made a much faster pace with a couple more inches of water. I think this section is probably a lot of fun in the spring when the water is higher. There are many tight bends and scenic creek landscapes. The shallow sections are occasionally broken up by deep pools that appear to be good fishing spots. I didn’t get a chance to try my luck, as DW forgot to pack our fishing poles!

Big Piney RiverBig Piney River

DW coaches Rob's daughter on kayaking technique

DW coaches Rob’s daughter on kayaking technique

Big Piney RiverDW spent most of the trip coaching Rob’s daughter on her paddling and water reading skills. She is 11 or 12, a perfect age to get into paddling longer distances on her own. She did a great job and really rocked it! DW is an excellent teacher as well. Lord knows I don’t have the patience or the skills to translate techniques into words!

There are a few bluffs on this trip, but not as many as you will see on the lower stretches of the Big Piney. We did get to stop at a rope swing and play around there for a while. We saw a fair amount of wildlife, including a deer, the usual assortment of birds, one otter and a pack of hunting beagles.

Big Piney RiverBig Piney RiverBig Piney River

Boiling Spring

Boiling Spring

We arrived a Boiling Spring around 4:30 in the afternoon and spent a while jumping into the cold waters. The spring hole is not very large, but it is enough for a few people to stand in together. DW and I took several dips into the refreshing water and I threw the boys in for their own good. The access for Boiling Spring is just around the corner from the spring itself. We packed up our gear and headed home that evening after another enjoyable day on the river.

Critter Count: 1 Deer, 1 Otter, Hawks, Blue Herons, Kingfishers, Turtles, 4 Hunting Beagles

2 Responses to “Float #129: Big Piney River”

  1. Janis Kury September 29, 2015 at 11:10 AM #

    I thought Boiling Spring was on the Gasconade just past the Big Piney. I guess there are more than one in that area! I love reading your posts! Thank you!

    • groovealee September 30, 2015 at 7:39 AM #

      You are correct, there is also a boiling spring on the Gasconade. It is a popular name for springs. Blue Spring is even more common, there are 3 or 4 of those in Missouri. Thanks for reading!

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