Dropping steeply out of the St. Francois Mountains, the St. Francis pummels through the narrow gorges and "shut-ins" of the Mark Twain National Forest before it mellows out through Arkansas on its way to join the Mississippi. The river's four-mile stretch through Mark Twain's Millstream Gardens Conservation Area and the Silver Mines Recreation Area is easily its most scenic as it passes beneath tall pines, boulders, and bluffs. This section also contains Missouri's only stretch of notable rapids, also the site of the Missouri Whitewater Championships each March.

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Review of St. Francis River

Active and Adventure Review of St. Francis River

Away Travel Editor: Alistair Wearmouth
editor favorite Editor Favorite
Editor Rating 4.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Rafting,Whitewater Kayaking
Editor Tips & Helpful Hints
  • With Class II-IV ratings, the whitewater between Millstream Gardens and Silver Mines is the best you're going to get in Missouri. Visit www.americanwhitewater.org for information on water levels, put-ins, and other Ozarks paddling resources.
  • The Missouri Whitewater Championships take place each March at the Millstream Gardens section of the St. Francis. The natural rock amphitheater here is a great place from which to take in the action, plus there are numerous scenic trails that run alongside the river and through the forest.

Mark Twain National Forest
c/o Potosi/Fredericktown Ranger District, Highway 8 West
Potosi, Missouri 63664

Visitor Information

The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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