Tag Archives: Boiling Spring

Float #143: Big Piney River

11 May

Mineral Springs to Boiling Springs

F129_BigPiney

Big Piney River
Texas County, Missouri
Saturday, April 8, 2017
11 Miles
Temperature: 77˚/44˚
Wind: S at 15mph
Water Level: 4.75ft. at Big Piney gage

The Big Piney river is one of my favorites in Missouri. It’s a pretty river with excellent fishing and is usually not too crowded in the summer. This is a float trip we have done before, so if you want more detail about this stretch read Float #129.

We were joined on this float by our friends Lucas & Kristine and our brother-in-law Henry. Lucas & Kristine don’t float with us often, so it was really nice to be with them on the river. It was a sunny day, although a bit too cold for getting in the water.

Big Piney River

Big Piney River

Early to mid-April is probably my favorite time of year for floating in Missouri. Spring is starting to really get going. There is plenty of water in the rivers. Everything is getting green and the flowers are blooming, but the trees haven’t leafed out yet so you can still see into the woods. This section of the Big Piney has some narrow turns and moves at a nice pace. There are spots where the trees form a tunnel over the river so it feels a bit more like a creek.

Big Piney River

We saw the usual array of wildlife. The turtles were out if full force sunning themselves on logs and rocks. We also saw a beaver. He was on the bank, but slipped into his den before I could grab the camera.

Toward the end of the journey Kristine wanted to try out my kayak, so I let her use my boat and I paddled the canoe with Lucas. She had fun in the kayak and did pretty well. Most women I’ve encountered enjoy paddling a kayak rather than stuck in a canoe with their husband! I enjoyed paddling the canoe and decided I should brush up my canoe skills this summer. It’s been a really long time since I’ve manned the back of the canoe and it will be a nice change of perspective.

Big Piney RiverBig Piney River

This float ends at Boiling Spring, which is a mid-size spring that boils out of the main river channel. I have a mandatory policy of jumping into springs regardless of the air temperature. So even though it was kinda chilly I made the plunge. It felt amazing as always. I tell everyone that’s what keeps me young!

Unfortunately Boiling Springs Resort where we camped was completely destroyed by the historic flooding earlier this May. All of their cabins and facilities were washed away or destroyed. It was an epic amount of high, fast-moving water. I’m sure this river will look quite different for the near future.

Critter Count: Herons, Hawks, Turtles, 1 Beaver

Float #129: Big Piney River

29 Sep

Mineral Springs to Boiling Spring

F129_BigPiney

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