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Float #89: Salt River

10 Oct

Warren G. See Spillway Recreation Area to Corps Boat Ramp


Salt River
Ralls County, Missouri
Saturday, September 14
7 Miles

DW and I were in the Hannibal area for the weekend and we wanted to check out some northern Missouri floating. The only two options near us were the Mississippi and the Salt River. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend that day and the Mississippi float was 16 miles long. So we decided to try out the Salt. There didn’t appear to be too many access points on the map, so we stuck with a 7 mile float just below the dam. The Salt River runs out of Mark Twain Lake. The section we floated is between two dams, so it was slow and murky.

Gearing up below the dam

Gearing up below the dam




We floated with our friends Charlie & Greg and Jake came up from Nashville. We also had DW’s friend Bob and his wife, Robin who joined us in their canoe. Bob and Robin planned to fish along the way, but they soon found out their trolling motor was stuck in reverse, so they did a lot of paddling instead. The day was bright and pleasant. Thankfully it wasn’t too hot because the water wasn’t too inviting for a swim. This section of the Salt is basically a river-shaped lake. There was almost no current and not much to see in the way of scenery. We did see plenty of birds, including a fair number of Bald Eagles.


A Bald Eagle

A Bald Eagle


We stopped for lunch at a small creek where there was a place to pull up on the shore. There were no gravel bars on this section and the banks were a little steep. We spent about a half hour at lunch and then got back to paddling. It was a good exercise float!




We finally reached our take-out around 5:30pm. Northern Missouri is much more flat than where I live, but it is pretty in its own way. We loaded all the boats in the trucks and headed back to the put-in to shuffle everyone’s gear into their cars and then we headed back to our campsite. The next float trip is to the Eleven Point, just about the exact opposite of the Salt River!

Critter Count: Hawks, Herons, Kingfishers, Turtles, 3 Bald Eagles