Located in Mark Twain National Forest, Beaver Creek offers excellent paddling, floating, and fishing for visitors.
With deep valleys, high bluffs, and indigenous wildlife that can be viewed from a canoe, one of the best ways to experience the Ozarks is from the river.
Hidden in the hills of the Mark Twain National Forest near Bradleyville, Beaver Canoe Rental is the only outfitter that serves Beaver Creek. Running approximately 41 miles, this spring-fed stream provides an easy Class I float. With deep pools scattered along its winding path, the upper portions of Beaver Creek provide great smallmouth and rock bass fishing beginning in May. In the summer, when the waters are warmer and lower, a quick, moderate rain can stir up the water and wash nearby insects into the stream, causing a feeding frenzy.
According to outfitter owners Dale Pennington and Sandy Wilson, Beaver Creek is floatable from April through June, depending on rainfall. If the precipitation is above average in the summer months, it is possible to float throughout the summer season. The only campgrounds are located at the Beaver Canoe Rental, which offers several campsites, with on-site restrooms and showers. For more adventurous canoeists, there are several islands and gravel bars to camp on.
Later in the season, the stretch below the campsite provides more water than the upper portions. Since the creek lies in a valley, heavy summer rains can cause the creek to rise quickly. If the water is too high, the outfitter won’t allow floaters to put in from his access point. And with many bends and brush-branches littered along the path, high waters should only be run by experienced canoeists.
These waters are clean, clear, and cool. While not as spring-fed as some of the other rivers and streams in the Ozarks, there are plenty of small waterways that feed into the creek. Listen closely for running water to find them flowing into Beaver Creek, and look for moss to find springs that spring forth from the ground.
While canoeists will not be able to float below the Bradleyville access without their own canoes and transportation, the outfitter services nearly 13 miles of water, so floaters can take time to enjoy the scenic views, wildlife, and fishing.