Ozark National Scenic Riverways
P.O. Box 490
Van Buren, MO 63965
Ozark National Scenic Riverways is the first national park area to protect a river system. The Current and Jacks Fork Rivers are two of the finest floating rivers you’ll find anywhere. Spring-fed, cold and clear they are a delight to canoe, swim, boat or fish. Besides these two famous rivers, the park is home to hundreds of freshwater springs, caves, trails and historic sites such as Alley Mill.
FOR KIDS: Junior Ranger Program: ask a ranger or campground host for a free Junior Ranger book. Complete the self-paced activities and turn it in at a Campfire Program, the Alley Mill, Big Spring or Round Spring Cave and get the Official Junior Ranger badge you’ve earned!
Become a Junior Wildland Firefighter and meet “Scorchy Squirrel”. For your free Junior Wildland Firefighter booklet visit one of our visitor centers. Once completed stop by an Ozark National Scenic Riverways Visitor Center at Van Buren, Alley Spring or Round Spring for your official swearing in ceremony and badge.
Join a ranger for Ranger Guided Activities such as slide shows, cave tours and historic demonstrations that take place all summer long. Click to learn more.
Of course kids are welcome at all programs, tours, hikes and slide shows! For some fun ideas on things to do right around your campsite or cabin, look at our Park Fun page.
FREE LOAN OUT ITEMS
You can borrow a few things to make your adventure more fun:
River Exploration Kits, available at Round Spring, Park Headquarters, Alley General Store and the Alley Campground Hosts. These kits include nets, field guides, bug boxes, all the stuff young minds need to explore nature along the river or at the campsite.
GUIDED TOURS: Alley Mill: You can visit the historic Alley Mill anytime, the grounds are always open. The building itself is open everyday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., during the summer months starting Memorial Day Weekend. Tours by request. Free.
Campfire Programs: Rangers present slide shows on a variety of fascinating subjects involving the nature and history of the Ozarks. They are held each Friday and Saturday (from Memorial Day through Labor Day only) at 8:30 pm in the amphitheaters at Alley Spring and Big Spring campgrounds. Free.
Round Spring Cave: Let park rangers take you on an adventure to the wonders below your feet! Cave tours are held from Memorial Day through Labor Day at 10:00 am, Noon and 2:00 pm.Tickets are $5.00 for adults, $2.00 for children under 12, and go on sale 30 minutes before each tour (Cash Only). Schools should call 573-323-8093 to arrange educational tours. PLEASE do not bring any clothing, equipment, lights or anything else that has ever been in another cave into Round Spring Cave. This is to help control the spread of White Nose Syndrome, a fatal disease of bats.
Junior Ranger Program: ask a ranger or campground host for a free Junior Ranger book. Complete the self-paced activities and turn it in at a Campfire Program, the Alley Mill or Big Spring and get the Official Junior Ranger badge you’ve earned!
PLACES TO SEE: There is so much to explore in and around the Ozark National Scenic Riverways! There are springs, caves, mills, even a waterfall. These pages will give you some idea of what awaits you, but the best thing to do is just get out there and explore. Who knows what you’ll discover?
Alley Spring and Mill
Round Spring and Cave
Jam Up Cave
Welch Spring and Hospital
Also available is HUNTING, FISHING, CANOEING, FLOATING, AND HORSEBACK RIDING. See their website for more information.
See the pictures below for upcoming events.