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Explore Alley Spring and Mill within the Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Eminence, Missouri

Details

Distance

1.4 miles

Elevation Gain

200 ft

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Lucas Bremer

An icon of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

Alley Spring is the seventh largest spring in Missouri. It is known to extend at least 3000 feet into the hillside and has a known depth of 155 feet. Water surfacing here is known to begin its journey 15 miles away near the town of Summersville as rain enters sinkholes and then travels through many cave systems of limestone. Then after a half mile journey on the spring branch creek, the water enters the cold waters of the Jacks Fork River.

If botany is your pleasure, this crown jewel preserve of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways is one of the highest quality old-growth white oak and shortleaf pine forests in the Ozarks. 

The Alley Mill was built in 1894. Today the National Park Service protects this spring and mill for everyone to enjoy. Inside one can wander the three story building for exhibits and items from the era. The mill still works to this day and interpreters visit daily with those wanting to learn more on pioneer life in Missouri.

A half mile trail from the spring and along the spring branch is a great introduction to the fauna that live in its waters. Several Ozark native fish reside in it, and many wildflowers are seen most of spring and summer.

If you choose a better view, a trail leading to an overlook above the spring makes for a great photo of the Ozark Mountains and the mill.

A one room school house is also on property as well as various shelters and picnic tables.

This is also a put-in and pull-out for many paddlers and boaters enjoying this section of the Jacks Fork River.

For campers, there is a great campground here and operates year round, but flush toilets and showers operate from Mid-April- Mid-October. Group campsites, Electric, and non electric sites can all be reserved here.

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Features

Canoeing
Chillin
Camping
Photography
Kayaking
Swimming
Hiking
Bathrooms
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Swimming Hole
ADA Accessible

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Explore Rocky Falls

Hike to Blue Spring

Paddle Current River via Cedar Grove

Explore Big Spring in the Ozark National Riverways

Explore the Johnson Shut-Ins

Backpack the Bell Mountain Loop