Memories Made on Missouri’s Rivers and Streams

Summer is here and there is a river nearby just waiting for you to explore!

Float trip camp-outs offer more time to create lasting family memories.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are from family camping and float trips. I learned how to skip rocks across the water’s surface and chase tadpoles through the water. I learned how to fish, kind of, and how not to get pinched by a crawdad.

I can now roast a marshmallow without burning it (although I still prefer to torch it!). And while gathered around the fire with the stars shining bright, my uncle would spin one of his famous ghost stories, which I’m pretty sure was more to blame for any wet beds rather than the “playing in the fire” myth.

I look back at those trips and marvel that I cannot recall one argument between my brothers and me. Instead, we worked together to get thru the next riffle on the water or shared in the excitement of seeing what was around the next bend.

We felt like we were the first to explore those uncharted waters and could see what the Indians saw centuries before us. We always searched for those “hidden treasures” beneath the surface and occasionally had success with an arrowhead or two and a ton of interesting rocks. Even today, most of Missouri’s rivers are as natural as they were then and yes, I am still packing home rocks!

So whether you want to reconnect with your family, meet up with friends or just escape from your daily routines, floating down one of Missouri’s beautiful rivers is a great way to leave the “rush” behind and slip into a great adventure. So sit back, relax and make memories!

Visit the Missouri Canoe and Floaters Association (MCFA) website to plan your next adventure. Missouri has more than 30 floatable streams just waiting for you to explore and there are outfitters available on every one of them. Outfitters offer different floating options such as canoes, kayaks, rafts, and tubes. Many outfitters also offer different amenities such as camping, cabins, stores, restaurants, zip lines, horseback riding and more.

MCFA works with many state agencies to “Promote, Protect and Preserve the Steams of Missouri.” Outfitters who participate in the MDC’s Stash Your Trash program will provide mesh trash bags to floaters and will properly dispose of all litter.

There also are many Stream Team river clean-up events held during the summer months. If you’re interested in learning more about the Missouri Stream Team, visit MoStreamTeam.org.

Memories are waiting on a river near you. Have fun, be safe and we’ll see you on the river!

Written by Michelle Lambeth, executive director of the Missouri Canoe and Floaters Association

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