BlueSpringsRanchResort.com - A campground & vacation resort located in Bourbon, Missouri
Canoeing, Rafting, Cabins, Camping, Float Trips on Meramec River, Missouri Ozarks.
About fifteen miles Southeast of the town of Salem in Southeastern Missouri, near the junction of Dent County Roads 559 & 560, a spring-fed brook begins its journey North. Before long, the brook merges with the �Dry Branch� (on the right), �Wofford Branch� and �Carty Branch� (both on the left) and becomes the source of the Meramec River. For many millions of years the Meramec has been carving its twisting, sometimes tortuous 240 mile course into the solid rock of the Ozark Plateau, scouring its way through a deep, slowly widening valley, bordered by limestone bluffs and steep hills. It is joined along the way by innumerable springs, creeks, and four large tributaries, which transform the Meramec into a one hundred yard - to two hundred yard wide flood plane stream at its confluence with the Mighty Mississippi eighteen miles below St. Louis.
Maramec spring (note the spelling) is the first of the four major contributors, it pours an average volume of one hundred million gallons of cold clear water into the Meramec per day, swelling the river to twice its size. It is interesting to note that the Dry Fork, which is about the same size as the Meramec in that area, loses most of its volume underground to become a major contributor to Maramec Spring, and in a round-about way - a major contributor to the Upper Meramec. Over the next thirty miles, the inflows from many smaller branches turn the river into a prime stream. Then, from the right, the translucent waters of the second and largest of the headwater contributors, the Courtois--(pronounced code-away)--Huzzah creek, mingles with the Meramec, giving it the impression of a truly big river. Swirling on past Onondaga Cave (Leasburg), Meramec State Park (Sullivan), and the Meramec Caverns (Stanton)--all on the left-- the Meramec receives the cloudy waters of the Bourbeuse River--its only major contributor from the west. As the darker waters flow on, the valley widens, and the river becomes a series of long, slow, wide pools, connected by short, fast, riffles. Around twenty-five miles below the Bourbeuse River confluence, the last major contributor, the Big River, flows into the Meramec from the right. Now, even wider and more sluggish, it enters the Mississippi flood-plain, and wends its way another thirty miles before draining into the Mississippi.
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