Ozark Zen: Paddling Safety Tips

If you have ever paddled Pulaski County, Missouri’s Ozark mountain float streams you have experienced the rejuvenation that time in the outdoors, surrounded by Mother Nature’s splendor, brings to the human experience. Passing time in a kayak or canoe with family and friends on the timeless Gasconade & Big Piney rivers indulges a profound connection to Mother Earth and her wild creatures.



Before seeking your Zen this season review these rules, regulations, & safety tips provided by Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Water Patrol Division:

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• There is no replacement for common sense and individual responsibility. Be courteous and respectful to everyone you encounter on Missouri’s float streams.
• Watercraft operators are REQUIRED to have an appropriate personal flotation device for EACH person on board.
• Anyone under the age of seven who is on board MUST WEAR a personal flotation device.
• If alcohol is part of your float trip, make smart choices and obey the law. The use of beer bongs or other devices used to consume alcohol on Missouri’s rivers is prohibited.
• Packing snacks and beverages to help you refuel is a good idea. Do NOT bring beverages in glass containers.
• Take your trash with you after your float. Most outfitters will provide a potato sack for storing refuse during your float.
• Missouri State Highway Patrol has a zero-tolerance approach to illegal drug use throughout the state, including on Missouri’s waterways.
• Respect property boundaries during your float trip.
• Any person operating a vessel or watercraft must do so in a careful and prudent manner.

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• Protect yourself from the sun.
• Wear water shoes.
• Be familiar with the river and its individual characteristics. Reputable outfitters alert paddlers of potential trouble spots before putting in on the river.
• Learn to recognize hazards such as strainers, dams, boulders, barb wire across the river, etc.
• Know your limits and do not attempt a section of river beyond your skill level. (Pulaski’s rivers typically are appropriate for all skill levels, especially for beginners. Advanced paddlers love the dramatic bluffs & scenery, fishing, and serenity.)
• Do not paddle rivers in flood stage or after a heavy rain. Reputable outfitters will not put people on the water in hazardous conditions.
• IF you capsize, hold onto your kayak or canoe and move immediately to the upstream side. Float on your back, feet together and pointed downstream. Gradually work your way to the shore.
• Carry dry clothing and a first aid kit in a secure, watertight container.
• Tie all your gear into the boat but NEVER lash children or pets to the craft.
• Stay sober and avoid being “too”- too tired, too drunk, too much sun, too far from safety, too much strenuous activity.
• Learn basic water rescue techniques and remember the adage of “Reach-Throw-Row-Go for Help” if attempting a rescue.

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Order your free Pulaski County, Missouri Visitors Guide today! The Visitors Guide includes helpful information on area outfitters.

Welcome to Pulaski County USA!

Welcome to Pulaski County USA!

Summer is Floating Season in Pulaski County!

Canoes by Garden State Hiker

Image by Flckr user Garden State Hiker

You may have heard about the flooding that took place late April along the Big Piney and Gasconade Rivers in Pulaski County. Luckily, for those of us who love to canoe, kayak, and tube, Pulaski County’s outfitters are a resilient bunch. In true Ozark fashion they began cleaning up their campgrounds and rivers as soon as the waters receded. This weekend paddlers across the state can enjoy their hard work and efforts by floating our scenic streams.

Support Missouri’s river outfitters this weekend by booking a float with your family and friends.

Pulaski County Float Trip Directory Summer 2017

Boiling Spring Campground
18700 Cliff Road
Dixon, MO 65459

BSC offers floats on the Gasconade and Big Piney Rivers. Camping and cabins are also available.

Devils Elbow River Safari


Devils Elbow River Safari offers floats on the Big Piney in canoes, kayaks, rafts, or tubes.

Gasconade Hills Resort
28425 Spring Road
Richland, MO 65556

Gasconade Hills Resort offers 4, 6, 10, or 20 mile float trips on the Gasconade River. Camping and cabins are also available.

Rich’s Last Resort
33401 Windsor Lane
Duke, MO 65461

Rich’s last Resort offers Big Piney River floats in canoes, kayaks, rafts, and tubes. Stay tuned to their website for cabin and camping accommodations.

Ruby’s Landing
22474 Restful Lane
Waynesville, MO 65583

Ruby’s offers 5 and 10 mile float trips on the Gasconade River in canoes, kayaks, or rafts. Camping and cabins are available.

Wilderness Ridge Resort
33850 Windsor Lane
Duke, MO 65461

Wilderness Ridge offers 7 and 15 mile floats on the Big Piney River. They also offer overnight float trips. Trips are made in either canoe, kayak, rafts, or tubes. Cabins are available.

Pulaski County Outfitter Association River Heritage

The Pulaski County Outfitter Association welcomes you to the rivers and streams of Pulaski County. We are blessed here to have some of the best recreational outdoor opportunities found in the Missouri Ozarks. Pulaski County has a great river heritage where generations of families have enjoyed swimming, camping, floating and fishing along our many rivers and streams.

I know you will be excited to see our towering limestone bluffs and the pristine scenery found along the Big Piney and Gasconade Rivers. Our floatable streams are spring-fed and offer year round opportunities for you and your family to see nature at its best.

Big Piney, Devils Elbow

Big Piney, Devils Elbow

Our rivers and streams are served by our association member outfitters who offer great camping, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, tubing, cabin and lodge rentals opportunities. A float trip on the Big Piney or Gasconade River is a great way to relax and to see the wonder of the Missouri Ozarks.

Our association members encourage you to let us help you plan your next outdoor adventure. We are here to serve you and look to earn your business while you are here in Pulaski County. As you discover the majesty of all there is to do here please take time to connect – or reconnect with the outdoors; our float streams have much to offer.

Fishing Along the Big Piney

Fishing Along the Big Piney

Welcome to Pulaski County. Please enjoy your vacation and all our wonderful county has to offer…

Larry Helms, President

Pulaski County Outfitter Association