Jacks Fork River

Missouri’s Jacks Fork River

This tributary of the Current River is one of the wildest and most scenic of the Missouri Ozark streams. Its deep valley is nearly a canyon, with no bottomland fields for the first 25 floatable miles. It is therefore advisable to camp well above river level if there is any chance of sudden rain. Trips with loaded canoes above Alley Spring are recommended only in spring or after good summer rains. The few miles immediately above Alley Spring are especially wide and shallow and may have to be walked in low water. Upper sections of the river provide fine fly fishing water.

Difficulty: I and II.
Gradients: general — 7.3; Prongs to Hwy. 17 — 8.6; to Bunker Hill — 8; to Alley Spring — 7; to Current River — 6.3.
Counties: Texas, Shannon.


Jacks Fork River – Mile-By-Mile Description

0.0 MDC South Prong Access at Hwy. Y Bridge. Beautiful section, but not recommended during low-water.
6.8 State Hwy. 17 Bridge at “Buck Hollow.” Usual put-in for upper section of river. Park Service campground.
9.2 Salvation Army camp on left. Access, camp.
9.6 Blue Spring comes from cave on left nearly hidden from river by boulders. Narrow run just below spring may be difficult.
12.6 Jam Up Bluff and Cave. River entrance of cave is one of the most spectacular cave entrances in state. Cave may be explored in daylight back to lake which is plunge-basin for falls from upper part of cave. Upper section entered through a sinkhole in Lost Hollow which may be reached by climbing up the bluff.
15.9 Ebb and Flow Spring on left.
16.2 Rymers Access and campground on right.
17.1 Bunker Hill (Missouri State Teachers Association resort) on left. No access.
22.2 Leatherwood Creek on left.
25.2 Bay Creek on left. Access, camp.
31.0 Alley Spring, 10th largest spring in state. Old mill, camping, access.
32.3 Horse Hollow on left. The old Salem, Winona and Southern R.R. used to run up this hollow and continue up Sinking Branch after following the Jacks Fork from Mahan’s Creek.
35.3 Mahan’s Creek on right. Site of old R.R. river crossing just above mouth of creek.
37.3 Eminence. Stores, cafes, lodging. Take-out at Lions Ball Park on right side, one-quarter mile below Hwy. 19 Bridge.
41.9 Shawnee Creek on right. Access, camp.
42.3 Little Shawnee Creek on right.
44.6 Confluence with Current River. Best take-out 0.75 mile downstream at ferry landing.

This is an electronic reprint of a Missouri Department of Conservation document. More or updated information on this topic can be found at the Missouri Department of Conservation web site located at: mdc.mo.gov. Copyright 2003 by the Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri. 
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Under Missouri law, an outfitter is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in paddlesport activities resulting from the inherent risks of paddlesport activities pursuant to the Revised Statutes of Missouri. Chapter 537 RSMO revised to 537.327
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