Ozark National Scenic Riverways

On August 27, 1964, Congress passed an act to create the Ozark National Riverways to protect the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers. This was the first act of its kind and led to the creation of wild and scenic rivers across the United States. These two spring-fed rivers are terrific places to go canoeing and fishing. The area surrounding them contains over 300 caves and over 100 historic sites. This location near Van Buren, Missouri, is great for wildlife viewing and bird-watching. 

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Ozark National Scenic Riverways

There are over 100 historical sites to explore in the Ozark National Scenic Riverway, including Alley Mill, Big Spring State Park, and Welch Hospital. You may want to go on a family-friendly canoe trip or on a fishing adventure because this park is home to more than 112 fish species. Join a park ranger for a cave tour or join them for their evening summertime campfire programs. Go for a drive along some of the 318 miles of roads at this location, especially in the springtime when wildflowers are blooming and in the fall when the trees are changing colors. This area is also a great place to go on a hike.

Hiking Trails



Nearby Shops and Restaurants

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Consider starting your visit to Ozark National Scenic Riverway at the visitor center in Van Buren. It is easy to get to this address from Branson, Missouri, by heading north on US-65 North. Take the US-60 East exit. Turn left onto James Street. Turn right on Main Street. Turn left on Watercress Road. Your destination will be on your right. This park is busiest on summer weekends, with Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends being jam-packed. 


404 Watercress Road, Van Buren, Missouri 63965

Fee: Entry Fee (per person)

There is no entry fee.

With over 100 historical sites to visit, two major rivers, and many tributaries to paddle and fish, along with many miles of hiking trails, you will want to visit Ozark National Scenic Riverway for as long as possible. The best plan is to bring your RV because the sites can be in diverse locations. If you do not have one, rent one on RVshare.com. That way, you can rest easy because you are covered by 24/7 roadside assistance.