Ozark National Scenic Riverways Big Spring Double Loop

West Plains, Missouri

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This hike combines the Spring Branch Trail and a portion of the Stone Ridge Trail. Big Spring is one of those hikes that shouldn’t be rushed because you’ll want to allow plenty of gawking time. See the largest spring in Missouri and one of the three largest in the United States at a rate of 286 million gallons per day. Big Spring was one of Missouri’s first state parks and operated as such from 1924 to 1969, when it became part of a national park. Begin at the dining lodge. Be sure to check out the stone water fountain to the right of the lodge. Then climb the set of stairs next to the water fountain, shortly coming to an overlook. Down on your left, you can see the confluence of the Big Spring Branch with the Current River. The Big Spring flow constitutes enough water to be a river unto itself, but it only flows a few hundred yards before mixing with the Current River.
Five-Star Trails The Ozarks

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Five-Star Trails The Ozarks

by Jim Warnock (Menasha Ridge Press)

This hike combines the Spring Branch Trail and a portion of the Stone Ridge Trail. Big Spring is one of those hikes that shouldn’t be rushed because you’ll want to allow plenty of gawking time. See the largest spring in Missouri and one of the three largest in the United States at a rate of 286 million gallons per day. Big Spring was one of Missouri’s first state parks and operated as such from 1924 to 1969, when it became part of a national park.

Begin at the dining lodge. Be sure to check out the stone water fountain to the right of the lodge. Then climb the set of stairs next to the water fountain, shortly coming to an overlook. Down on your left, you can see the confluence of the Big Spring Branch with the Current River. The Big Spring flow constitutes enough water to be a river unto itself, but it only flows a few hundred yards before mixing with the Current River.

© 2017 Jim Warnock/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: West Plains
Distance: 3.1
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 404 feet
Top Elevation: 777 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Ozark National Scenic Riverways, 573-323-4236, nps.gov/ozar
Local Maps: USGS Big Spring
Driving Directions: Directions to Ozark National Scenic Riverways: Big Spring Double Loop

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Apr 2018