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5 Places to Float this Summer

May 25, 2021 01:39PM ● By Bram Teague
5 Float Trips [9 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

5 Places to Float this Summer

If you are looking for a quick weekend getaway, consider soaking up the sun and enjoying the cool breezes of the river while floating with an ice-cold beer in your hand. Missouri offers some truly fun and scenic river floating locations to enjoy with friends and family.


The White River and Tanneycomo are excellent floating options in the Branson area. There are many outfitters along the route as well for rentals and supplies for any kind of floating that appeals to your group. Options for trip reservations include floats of just a few hours to all-day events. As you take in the branching creeks, waterfalls, and wildlife your group will be gently taken along by the slow current. There are places along the routes for taking breaks off the river to eat and even do some hiking and cave exploration. 

Branson has campgrounds available for those looking to remain fully emersed in nature. However, there are plenty of comfortable lodging options, dining, and shows to take in after you have had your fun in the sun. 

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West Plains

The North Fork of the White River is a popular floating and camping destination. Not far from West Plains, The Sunburst Ranch is a well-reviewed operation offering raft, kayak, canoe, and tube rentals. They will shutter your group to and from put in and out locations. They also offer lodging for longer excursions. This area of the North Fork has several creeks and springs to paddle into or take short hikes to visit small waterfalls. 

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Lake of the Ozarks

The Ozarks are rich in scenic views and wildlife and one of the most popular floating destinations on our list. The Nianga River is popular for its clear cold waters and multiple-day float trip possibilities. Camp along the way or find lodging in cabins to make a full vacation of your trip. Those looking to fish should definitely consider float trips on the Nianga River. For overnight accommodations, Missouri float trip enthusiast, Kelsi Plumlee, recommends One-Eyed Willy’s. It is a smaller family campground for folks looking for a quieter stay. 

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Meramec River

Floating the Meramec River is an adventure family and friends return to year after year. This is the closest river float to the city of St. Louis. The trip downriver consists of beautiful views of rocky bluffs, a gentle pace for relaxation, and multiple swimming holes along the way. Stay at the Ozark Outdoors Resort after your float and you will have access to lodging in cabins or camping. They have plenty of activities on the resort for the whole family and can provide gear and support for your float trip. There is an ariel rope course and nearby caverns to explore for off-river activities. Many of the outfitters along the Meramec also offer guided kayak and canoe trips down the Meramec as well as child-focused ecological guided trips. 

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Current River

Our final floating destination on the list is the peaceful Current River. The Landing on the Current River offers floating craft and tube packages and is the only lodging available directly on the river. There are options for several different river miles floats taking part or all of a day. Many adventurers like to make it up to five days of time on the water and overnight camping. Along the Current River, there are several neat springs to check out. The Cave Spring flows directly from a cave you can access by canoe or kayak. The Current River float has grown in popularity every year, so depending on your ideal trip you may want to consider a weekday float for a quieter more relaxing trip downriver. Weekends while still filled with sun-filled fun are more of a party atmosphere and quite a bit busier. 

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When planning your summer fun and much-needed vacation time, consider floating one of Missouri’s scenic rivers. Relax with a cold beverage of choice and float your troubles away as you take in the natural beauty this state has to offer.