Nice areas to paddle outside STL

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    • #2978
      • Total Posts: 2

      How are you all doing?

      I’m new to kayaking, new to the forum, and new to Missouri for that matter. I’m in the process of purchasing a fishing kayak and was hoping for some recomendations for paddling within 1.5 hrs of Ellisville. I’ve floated the Meramec and camped on the Current River since I have been here, but am looking for a nice place to paddle in addition to those. I would like a place thats not moving to fast so I can paddle upstream and then float back to where I put in. Any suggestions? Good fishing would be a plus, but not necessary, really just looking for a relaxing day on the water.


      Thanks in advance.

    • #2981
      Steve Stilwell
      • Total Posts: 87

      Welcome to Missouri the float stream/float fishing capitol of the nation. In addition to what you mentioned, the Huzzah-Courtois, Upper Meramec (Steelville), Jacks Fork, Eleven Point, Black, Gasconade, Big River, Bourbeuse, Piney just to name a few popular ones. Most of them have outfitters that will shuttle you upstream. Back when I fished a lot I had some good times and catches on all of these. Especially smallmouth!

      Google them or check out these sites among many others:

      This is a good resource for recreational paddling:




    • #2987
      Sheldon Dale
      • Total Posts: 51

      Steve’s first link has a link to the book, A Paddler’s Guide to Missouri.

      Information from that book can be found here:

    • #3007
      Sarah Watson
      • Total Posts: 120

      Back when I fished more, I used to go to the Bourbeuse a lot and paddle upstream and float back.  But watch water levels, in the spring the  water moves pretty fast and there are a lot of trees/strainers which can be dangerous.  I also used to fish at Simpson Lake in Valley Park, George Winter Park in South County, and put in on the Meramec at Route 66 Park and paddle upstream.  The St. Louis Canoe and Kayak Club that Steve linked to above has several folks who float fish (not the we do not, but I think they have more and they post pop up fishing trips on their message board).  If you are new to paddling, I do recommend that you take some instruction.  The Alpine Shop offers classes, so does the St. Louis Canoe and Kayak Club (usually early-mid summer clinic).  We offer a clinic in April, and we are hoping we might have a pool class in the fall, keep an eye on our board if you are interested (our clinic is geared towards whitewater instruction) .  Welcome to St. Louis and our paddling community!   Let us know if you have any further questions!



    • #3035
      • Total Posts: 2

      I ended up putting in at ozark outdoors and paddling upstream about 3 miles or so and then floated back to the launching area. It was nice in the morning before the weekend crowd arrived, but by the time I was getting out it was crazy down there. Tons of people floating and camping, I must have stayed in front of the crowds most of the day. Nice river though, really nice scenery and caught a couple small mouth.

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