Tag Archives: river round

Float #93: Meramec River

10 Dec

Red Horse to River Round


Meramec River
Franklin County, Missouri
Saturday, November 9
15 miles

Just as winter began to set in we were blessed with one more warm Saturday with sunny weather and highs in the mid 60s. DW and I set out for a float trip close to home on the Meramec. We dropped the truck at the take out and drove the 10 minutes to our access at Red Horse. The first five miles of this float went by quickly, as the water is swift on that section of the river. As we approached the bend before the highway 30 bridge, the water becomes still and lake-like. Of course that was when the wind decided to pick up as well. It was hard paddling around that corner!



Hwy. 30 bridge

Hwy. 30 bridge

We saw a large group of ducks on the slow water, there were probably at least 30. As we approached they all flew off down river until we met up with them again. After the Hwy. 30 bridge the water picks up a little bit. There is a large island on the left side of the river. Keep to the right as the left channel is shallow and often full of debris. There aren’t many gravel bars for the next five miles or so and most of the land on either side consists of steep banks and private properties.




Most of the trees were bare, but the oaks were hanging on to their leaves for a little longer, as they usually do. We stopped for lunch on the first large gravel bar we saw and heated up some leftover chili on our backpacking stove. It was really comforting to have a hot meal on a chilly float trip. I will have to remember to take the backpacking stove more often! We saw lots of birds on this trip, including turkey, hawks and one Bald Eagle. We also saw a buck in the woods. He was busy chasing after a doe and didn’t even notice us!


Bruns' bridge

Bruns’ bridge


Eventually we passed under Bruns’ Bridge, an old iron bridge and a modern concrete one. After the bridge the river curves around a large oxbow. The driving distance from Bruns’ Bridge to River Round is less than a mile, but it is about 4 miles of floating. We arrived at our take out before dusk set in and we were back at our house before dark.

Unfortunately this is probably our last float trip of the year. It doesn’t look likely that we’ll be able to get out in December. The weather here is currently below freezing and isn’t going to warm up for the forseeable future. I prefer to have a high temperature of at least 45˚ to float! Perhaps after the holidays we’ll be able to get out on the water again. It has been a great year of floating with a lot of new trips. My next post will be the year in review, where I tally our miles and look back on the highlights of the past year.

Critter Count: Herons, Ducks, Turtles, Kingfishers, Hawks, Turkeys, 1 Bald Eagle, 1 Deer

Float #8: Meramec River

23 Jun

Red Horse to River Round

Meramec River
Franklin  County, Missouri
Sunday, May 29
15 Miles

This is a float we do fairly often because it is close to home with an easy shuttle. DW’s family was over at our house for DW’s birthday dinner and we decided to fit a float in as well. The water on the Meramec was fairly high and muddy after a few days of rain. This stretch of river is pretty quick from Red Horse to the Hwy. 30 bridge. After that it gets pretty slow and requires a lot of paddling, but with the high water it went by much faster. The day was hot and very sunny. So we were forced to go swimming, muddy water or not!

red horse meramec river access

Red Horse access

meramec river
The water was actually down quite a bit from recent weeks. You can see that the access was rather muddy, which always makes for a slippery entrance into the water. It’s kind of difficult to get into your kayak and out onto the water without slipping or covering your entire boat cockpit with mud! We all managed to get on the water with no spills. DW took the canoe out for a spin as his mother had recently injured her wrist and could not paddle. I’m sure the canoe appreciated getting out on the water for the first time this year. DW’s dad took a sit-on-top kayak that DW had repaired. This kayak had fallen off a truck and been run over by a semi last spring and was in pretty bad shape. DW heated it back up so it returned to it’s original shape (all plastic boats have a shape memory and will return to it if heated to the right temperature). He then welded the plastic back together where it was cracked. It looks really good and floats just like new!

meramec river

River bend before Hwy. 30

meramec river blue heron

Blue heron

hwy 30 bridge meramec river

Hwy 30 bridge over the river

With the high and muddy water we did not see much wildlife on this trip. We did catch a glimpse of a Blue Heron, which are always on the river. From Red Horse to Hwy. 30 is about 5 miles. There is a campground and access at Hwy. 30, but you have to pay a small fee to launch from there. After the highway the river slows down for a few miles and there are not many gravel bars. It’s just as well because you don’t want to take too many breaks in this section, it’s best to paddle through the slow water and get it over with.

meramec river

High water on the river

meramec river

Bluff between Hwy 30 and Bruns Bridge

meramec river
After a couple of miles the river picks up pace again. The 6 miles from Hwy. 30 to Bruns bridge is fairly populated with houses and weekend cabins, but it is still a very pleasant section and relatively quiet. Bruns bridge has an unofficial access that I’ve documented in a previous post. After the bridge the river makes a 4 mile long horseshoe bend that is very pretty and quiet. After the bend we take out at River Round and end a good day on the water. Then it’s back to the house for some bbq!

Bruns' bridge meramec river

Bruns bridge

meramec river

Looking upriver toward the round of River Round