Missouri (MO) is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. The state is known for its diverse landscape, which includes the Ozark and the Appalachian Mountains, the Mississippi River, and the Great Plains. It is also one of the most easily recognizable states in all of the USA, both by name and by the shape of its border.
Missouri has a rich history and was home to several indigenous peoples before the European colonization took place. It was explored by French traders and later became a part of the United States, first as a territory and then as a full state. Missouri played a significant role in the American Civil War and was the site of several key battles that changed its trajectory. The largest city is Missouri, both by population (508,090 city, 2,392,035 metropolitan) and area (318.80 square miles). The capital of MO is Jefferson City.
Today, the modern state of Missouri is a diverse and thriving place with a strong economy. It is home to many major industries that include agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare. The state is also home to many colleges and universities, including Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Missouri. The state has several major sports teams that make the state proud. These include Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), Kansas City Royals (MLB), St. Louis Cardinals (MLB), and Sporting Kansas City (MLS).
Missouri is known for its rich cultural heritage, which includes a few big festivals and events that celebrate the state’s history and traditions. The state is also home to landmarks and attractions, including the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum in Independence.
Kayaking in Missouri
Missouri is home to a variety of kayaking spots, including both calm and more challenging waterways. It is important to note that these kayaking spots may have more challenging sections that may not be suitable for all paddlers, so it is important to be aware of your skill level and take appropriate precautions. Additionally, it is always a good idea to check the weather forecast and water conditions before heading out on the water and to follow proper safety guidelines. Some of the best kayaking spots in the state include:
1. The Missouri River
We have to address the elephant in the room first before talking about anything else. The Missouri River is the longest in North America and is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. It flows from western Montana through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri, before emptying into the Mississippi River in Illinois.
The Missouri River has a lot of important cultural and historical significance. It played a key role in the exploration and settlement of the American West, and many important American cities, including Omaha, Kansas City, and St. Louis, were founded along its banks. Today, the Missouri River is a popular spot for recreational activities such as rafting, fishing, and kayaking. It is home to a variety of wildlife, including fish, birds, and mammals.
In addition to its recreational and ecological importance, the Missouri River is also an important economic resource. It is used for transportation, irrigation, and the generation of hydroelectric power. However, the river has also faced several environmental challenges, including pollution and the construction of dams and other development that has disrupted the natural water flow.
2. Big Sugar Creek
Big Sugar Creek is a stream located in southwest Missouri that is known for its clear water and beautiful scenery. The creek is surrounded by forests and offers a mix of calm and more challenging stretches, making it suitable for paddlers of different skill levels.
3. Black River
The tributary of the White River, the Black River is very popular for kayakers who want to take it easy and go for some lighthearted, recreational paddling. It is mostly calm for its entire run with only a few short challenging stretches. As is the case with everything in MO, the river is surrounded in forests with many shallow stretches perfect for a dip.
4. Current River
The not-so-imaginatively-named Current River is another river in this water-rich state, popular for various water activities including canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Located in the Ozarks, it needs no introduction in terms of natural beauty and photo opportunities. The water itself has a nice mix of calm and steady floats and more challenging stretches for the pros. The river is surrounded by forests throughout its length.
5. Gasconade River
This is a popular spot for kayaking and offers a mix of calm and more challenging stretches. The river is surrounded by forests and features a number of sandbars and other natural features that are popular with paddlers.
6. Lake of the Ozarks
Lake of the Ozarks is a large man-made lake located in central Missouri that is a popular spot for kayaking. The lake offers a mix of east and rough stretches and is surrounded by forests and majestic views. Due to the popularity of the Ozark Mountains, the lake enjoys a lot of tourists as well.
7. Stockton Lake
This large lake in southwestern Missouri is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and other recreational activities. It offers a mixture of challenging and calm areas, making it great for beginners and veterans alike. Rentals are available throughout and the lake is home to a wide variety of fauna.
8. Meramec River
A tributary of the Mississippi River, it flows through eastern Missouri. It is known for its clear water and beautiful scenery and is a popular spot for paddling, fishing, and other recreational activities. The river is surrounded by forests and features a number of sandbars and other natural features that are popular with paddlers.
9. Niangua River
This is a tributary of the Osage River that flows through central Missouri. Very clear and scenic, it is a popular spot for all sorts of recreational and sports activities including kayaking. The river runs next to beautiful forests and sandbars popular with water-based sports enjoyers.