Current River (Missouri)

Current River (Missouri)
Current River
Country United States
States Missouri, Arkansas
Regions Ozark Plateau, Mississippi Alluvial Plain
 - left Sinking Creek, Little Black River, Welch Spring
 - right Big Creek, Jacks Fork, Big Spring
Cities Van Buren, Doniphan, Missouri
Source Pigeon Creek
 - location Montauk State Park, Dent County, Ozark Plateau, Missouri
 - elevation 1,450 ft (442 m)
Mouth Black River
 - location Pocahontas, Arkansas, Randolph County, Mississippi Alluvial Plain, Arkansas
 - elevation 280 ft (85 m) [1]
Length 184 mi (296 km)
Basin 2,641 sq mi (6,840 km2)
Discharge for Doniphan, Missouri
 - average 2,772 cu ft/s (78 m3/s) [2]
 - max 130,000 cu ft/s (3,681 m3/s)
Map of major Missouri Rivers
Canoers on the swift, clear upper Current below Welch Spring
Current River near Doniphan
Current River near Doniphan

The Current River forms in the southeastern portion of the Ozarks of Missouri and becomes a 7th order stream [1] as it flows southeasterly out of the Ozarks into northeastern Arkansas where it becomes a tributary of the Black River, which is a tributary of the White River, a tributary of the Mississippi River. The Current River is approximately 184 miles (296 km) long and drains about 2,641 square miles (6,840 km2)[1] of land mostly in Missouri and a small portion of land in northeastern Arkansas. The headwaters of the Current River are nearly 900 feet (270 m) above sea level, while the mouth of the river lies around 280 feet (85 m)[1] above sea level. The basin drains a rural area that is dominated by karst topography, underlain by limestone bedrock with a small area of igneous rock southeast of Eminence, Missouri. The annual daily mean discharge of the river near Doniphan, Missouri is 2,815 cubic feet (79.7 m3) per second.[1] In 1964, over 134 mi (160 km) of the upper course of the river and its tributaries were federally protected as the Ozark National Scenic Riverways,[3] the first national park in America to protect a river system.

The Current River begins in Montauk State Park located in the southwestern corner of Dent County in southeastern Missouri. The confluence of Pigeon Creek and Montauk Spring form the headwaters of the river. Montauk Spring makes up most of the consistent flow of the headwaters, providing ideal conditions for trout fishing. After leaving Montauk State Park the river enters the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The uppermost reaches of the river are swift with numerous riffles broken by deep pools of crystal clear water, further downstream the riffles continue but get further apart. Hardwood trees, rock ledges, caves, springs, gravel bars, and towering limestone bluffs line the banks of the river. Welch Spring, a first magnitude spring, enters the river approximately 14 miles (23 km) downstream from the headwaters, nearly doubling the flow of the river. Other notable springs to add to the river include Cave Spring, Pulltite Spring, and Round Spring. Downstream from the headwaters approximately 52 miles (84 km) the Current River receives its largest tributary the Jacks Fork from the west near the small town of Eminence, Missouri. Blue Spring, another first magnitude spring, empties into the river, 9 miles (14 km) downstream from the confluence with the Jacks Fork. The Current River is approximately 86 miles (138 km) long when it passes by the town of Van Buren, Missouri and under U.S. Highway 60. South of Van Buren a few miles the Current River receives its second biggest tributary, the largest spring in the Ozarks and one of the largest single spring outlets known in the world.[4] Big Spring empties into the river providing nearly 470 cubic feet (13 m3) of water per second.[5] From Big Spring the river continues southeasterly leaving the Ozark National Scenic Riverways 105 miles (169 km) from the headwaters. The river then flows through Mark Twain National Forest until reaching Doniphan, Missouri and passes under U.S. Highway 160. From here the river slows as it exits the Ozark Highlands, the river continues its slow silt laden path into Arkansas where it receives the Little Black River from the northeast before it joins the Black River near Pocahontas, Arkansas.

Canoeing, fishing, horseback riding, and camping are very popular activities along the Current River. The river is fairly gentle and is considered to have mostly class 1 rapids, and a couple class 2.

Some of the points of interest along the course of the river include Montauk State Park (trout park), Welch Spring and abandon hospital, Aker's Ferry, Cave Spring, Devil's Well, Deer Leap, Rock House Cave, Pulltite Spring, Round Spring, Jacks Fork, Blue Spring, Rocky Falls (on a small tributary), and Big Spring.

See also

  • List of Missouri rivers
  • List of Arkansas rivers
  • List of Ozark springs


External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Current River — ▪ river, United States       river of southeastern Missouri and northeastern Arkansas, U.S. It rises in Montauk Spring in the Ozark Mountains, in Dent county, Missouri, and is fed by the Welch, Cave, Pulltite, Big, Blue, and Round springs as it… …   Universalium

  • Current River — may refer to: In the United States: Current River in Missouri In Canada: Current River in Ontario Current River Neighbourhood in Thunder Bay, Ontario This disambiguation page lists articles about distinct geographical locations with the same name …   Wikipedia

  • Current-River — (spr. Kurrent Riwwer), Fluß in den Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika; entspringt in der Grafschaft Texas des Staates Missouri, fließt südöstlich in den Staat Arkansas u. fällt dort in der Grafschaft Randolph in den Black River; Lauflänge 60… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Current River State Park — Coordinates: 37°19′18″N 91°26′12″W / 37.32167°N 91.43667°W / 37.32167; 91.43667 …   Wikipedia

  • Current River Cavern — A passage in the cave before installation of the new boardwalk. Current River Cavern is a show cave located in one mile west of Van Buren, MO on U.S. Highway 60. The cave is located inside Cave Spring Park.[1] The cave was first opened as a show… …   Wikipedia

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  • Missouri Coalition for the Environment — Missouri Coalition for the Environment, a non profit, non partisan, 501(c)(3) state level conservation organization, is a force for clean air, clean water and clean energy in Missouri. Since 1969 MCE has educated and activated Missourians to… …   Wikipedia

  • Missouri State Capitol — showing the Missouri River in the background The Missouri State Capitol is located in the U.S. state of Missouri. Housing the Missouri General Assembly, it is located in the state capital of Jefferson City at 201 West Capitol Avenue. The domed… …   Wikipedia

  • Missouri — This article is about the U.S. state of Missouri. For the river, see Missouri River. For other uses, see Missouri (disambiguation). State of Missouri …   Wikipedia

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