if you go/canoeing the current

Sunday, July 28, 2002

IF YOU GO ...

Ozark National Scenic Riverways is operated by the National Park Service.

The following are some basic tips that can help you plan your trip: Operating hours

The river and surrounding park is open year-round. There is no formal visitor center for the park, although the Alley Mill is open to provide information in the summer, and the park headquarters in Van Buren, Mo., is open year-round during business hours. The superintendent's Office is located at Park Headquarters at 404 Watercress Drive in Van Buren, Missouri. Hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Information is available at the headquarters information desk.

Getting there

From Cape Girardeau, the best route is U.S. 60. The roughly 185-mile trip is mostly two-lane roads.

Weather

Summers are hot and humid. Good sun screen and insect repellent are essential on these trips. Ticks are the most prevalent insect problem. The area is subject to severe thunderstorms, torrential rains, and flooding at any time of year. Winters are generally cool with variable precipitation.

Accessibility

Most developed areas have restroom facilities that are accessible. Accessible camping sites have been developed at Big Spring, Alley Spring, Round Spring and Pulltite Campgrounds. An accessible trail and picnic site has been developed at Big Spring and Round Spring.

Getting around

Main roads throughout the park are state highways. These are hilly and winding, so be careful and take your time. Roads into backcountry areas are typically dirt. Some are suitable for passenger vehicles and RVs, some are not. Please inquire locally before heading off on dirt roads in the area. A dirt road that was fine last year may be muddy or even washed out due to a recent storm. Ask at ranger stations, sheriff's offices, canoe rentals or local businesses for information.

Contact

For more details, call the park at (573) 323-4236.

Source: National Park Service Web site

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