MDC Outdoor Recreation Spotlight – Float Trips in Central and Northeast Missouri

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COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages people to cool off and discover nature on Missouri’s rivers and streams this summer. Here are five great opportunities to paddle and float in central and northeast Missouri.

Learn more about these, and other public paddling opportunities at, download the MO Outdoors App for mobile devices, or get a copy of A Paddler’s Guide to Missouri from the MDC Nature Shop online at

Always paddle safely on Missouri waters:

  • Wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD)
  • Make a float plan and tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to return
  • Use caution and yield to larger boats
  • Pack food, water, flashlight, dry clothes, and anything else you may need if your trip takes longer than planned.

DuPont Reservation Conservation Area

If you want to try your hand at paddling on the Mississippi River, put in at US Lock and Dam No. 22 south of Saverton and float for around seven miles to the take-out at Dupont Reservation Conservation Area.

For a longer float, put in at the DuPont Reservation Conservation Area and then float around 12 miles to the take-out at Louisiana Riverfront in the town of Louisiana. Watch for bald eagles and osprey as you go.

To learn more about paddling opportunities on the Mississippi River, visit the National Recreation Trail Database at

Learn more about DuPont Reservation Conservation Area at

Gasconade River

For a tame, daylong float on the Gasconade River, put-in at Rollins Ferry Access and take-out at Pointers Creek Access. This 7-mile float offers stunning views of steep bluffs and forested hills. Both accesses offer primitive camping sites and disabled-accessible privies.

Learn more about the Gasconade River at

Rebel’s Cove Conservation Area

Nearly five miles of the Chariton River run through Rebel’s Cove Conservation Area, near Livonia. This portion of the river is known locally as "The Narrows," because the river makes a 2.5-mile loop around Parson's Bend in the center of the area. At this point the river doubles back to within a few hundred feet of itself. Two float trip options start on this conservation area:

  • 4-mile float — put-in at access on Blackberry Trail; take-out at access on North 135th Street.
  • 8-mile float — put-in at access on North 135th Street; take-out at Archangel Access on US Highway 136, east of Livonia.

Learn more about Rebel’s Cove Conservation Area at

Taylors Landing Access

MDC recently reopened Taylors Landing Access on the Missouri River in a new location. Put in here and float down to the river parking lot at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area (around 8 miles).

Learn more about Taylors Landing online at

Paddle up and float down in northeast Missouri streams

The rivers in northeast Missouri have a gentle current, which allows paddlers to paddle up stream and float down. This is a great option for people who don’t want to shuttle vehicles. Find river accesses by visiting