Float Camping the Upper Current (Recommendations) Jul 11, 2011 20:11:17 GMT -6
Post by Steve King (Admin) on Jul 11, 2011 20:11:17 GMT -6
If you like seclusion, like I do, then you need to float camp the upper current. One such trip is one that I plan on doing mid-August 2011. I plan to rent from the outfitter at Pulltite Spring and leave my vehicle there. They will take me upstream 18 miles along with my camp gear to put in at Cedar Grove. I plan on doing this on a Friday morning. I think the bus leaves at 8:30am and 10am. I will catch the early bus. Since I want to avoid the Saturday crowds when I float camp, I will want to float down past Akers Ferry (8 mile point which takes me roughly 6 hours since I'm a slow floater) to about 1-2 hours below that which will put me at a gravel bar along the river just above Cave Spring. This will put me there around 5pm and allow me 2 hours to set up camp. This is TOTAL seclusion from everything and everyone, and how I like it. This is total peace and tranquility.
The reason that I float 2 hours below Akers to pitch camp is that when I wake the next morning and break camp, I will be always about 2 hours ahead of the Saturday crowds (which I avoid like the plague). If I break camp and take back off on the river by 10am, this works, since most crowds start floating at either 10am, 11am or 12pm from Akers. After breaking camp, I will have roughly 4-5 hours left to lazily float at an average of 1.3 miles per your down to Pulltite. I will arrive at Pulltite at roughly 3pm and be back in the St. Louis area by 6pm Saturday night.
Now some may ask why not extend the float on down river to Round Spring. Well, sure, this can be done, however, that will add about 9 miles past Pulltite and floating at a slow 1.3 miles per hour, I wouldn't get there till dark. If you don't have a long drive back home or are camping at Round Spring the final night, then this is the way to go.
Remember, the key is the avoid the crowds. If you camp above Akers on Friday night and plan on floating down to Pulltite the next day, you will definitely hit the crowds. Don't do it! Besided, above Akers there are only a couple of good gravel bars along the river just past Medlock Spring. The campsite selection is greater below Akers if you like float camping.
As of 2011, there were 2 notable canoe flip spots denoted on this stretch. One is between Cedar Grove and Medlock Spring and the other is about 1 to 2 miles upstream from Pulltite Spring around what is called "Troublesome Hollow" which is denoted on the map.
My final 2 cents. The stretch from Cedar Grove to Pulltite is the most popular floated stretch. To avoid the crowds on a day trip, avoid Saturdays during Memorial Day and Labor Day. To avoid the crowds on an overnight trip camping along the river, do as I say above for a Friday/Saturday float or float camp 2 weekdays back to back. Never do a float camp on a Saturday/Sunday along this stretch from Memorial Day to Labor Day. You won't be able to avoid the crowds.