Upper Current River
Upper Current River – Salem, MO
Fellow Ozark trail riders’ spring is upon us! We are all looking forward to being able to saddle up and head out on the trail. May brings early summer weather, sunshine and a much greener landscape.
This month I would like to take you to the upper Current River area around Salem, MO. While this is not actually on the Ozark trail, it is in the Ozark region and this area contains some of the prettiest riding in the state.
The Current river headwaters occur at a confluence of Pigeon Creek and Montauk Spring. The Current River and Jacks Fork River were the first two rivers to receive protection in a 1964 act known as The Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
To hit the trails a great place to stay is Pinecrest Cabins and Campground on HWY YY, Salem, MO. Owners Ethan and Marie Tuttle can rustle up some of the best customer service around for campers in the area. The campground is family friendly and well equipped to handle trailer-pulling rigs of all sizes. There are bathhouses and stalls for the horses that are clean and well kept. If there is an angler in the group, you are within driving distance of Montauk State park where trout fishing is at its finest!
You can hit several trails directly from the campground heading north or south through both private and public land. One of my favorite rides out of camp is the Baptist Camp trail. Approximately a 10-mile ride it travels north along the river, crossing back and forth the entire way. It is one of the most wild and beautiful places along Current River. As you approach the river, look skyward, as there are frequent sightings of the bald eagles that call the river area home. You will find numerous spots along the river to stop and soak in the beauty of the Ozarks, have lunch or just stop and unwind.
Head South out of camp where the park service has restored the Susie Nichols Cabin near Shafer Spring in Parker Hollow. It is a wonderful trip back in time, where you can contemplate how hard life may have been in such a beautiful place. Every time I ride there, I try to imagine how it must have been when Susie was alive farming the small homestead.
Here’s to a great year of trail riding in the Ozarks!