Explore Alley Spring and Mill within the Ozark National Scenic Riverways

    Rate this Adventure 1.4 miles 200 ft gain  - Loop Trail

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

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    Leave No Trace

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

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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