Big Spring is one of the most impressive sights in all of Missouri and possibly the Midwest. An underground river boils out of side of a massive bluff and surges 1000 feet to the scenic waters of Current River. It is one spring that lives up to its name and should definitely be on every photographer’s and nature-lover’s To-Do-List in the Missouri Ozarks.
Location: Ozark NSR
Access: Paved Road
Nearest Town: Van Buren, MO
Photogenic Rank: 5
Solitude Rank: 1
Best Time: Early Morning
Best Season: Late Spring/Early Fall
Largest Spring in Missouri, Scenic Bluff, Hiking Trails, Surging Spring
Slippery Rocks, Open-Area around Spring
Located a short distance from Van Buren, Missouri, this spring is the granddaddy of all springs in Missouri and ranks high among the largest in the world. As if that were not enough to justify a visit, it also one of the most scenic springs to photograph.
Big Spring is part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways which is the first river managed by the National Park Service to protect a river system. Big Spring was formally a state park, but was handed over to the National Park Service in the 1970’s, which now manages portions of the Current and Jack’s Fork River.
The geology of this area is impressive, sometime in the distant past a massive cave chamber collapsed creating a jumble of boulders near the exit point of the spring. What lies underground is a large, slow-moving stream that is forced through this jumble of boulders and then surges to the surface. Think of this like the reaction that occurs when you put your thumb near the exit point of a garden hose.
This is a pretty awesome sight and combine this with the scenic bluff and trail that surrounds the area and you have a photographers and nature-lovers dream.
Do not expect solitude though. Big Spring and Alley Spring are two are the most visited springs in the Ozarks and they have the facilities to accommodate large groups. There is usually enough room for parking and the short walk to the spring is paved making it easy for most to enjoy.
For photographers, the best time to visit is at sunrise after the summer crowds have moved on.
Flow Average: 276 Million Gallons Per Day
Flow Max: 840 Million Gallons Per Day
Average Water Temp: 58 Degrees F
Depth: 80 Feet
To get directions from Google Maps click on the red tab below and enter your address. Please be advised that the Google gives directions from the nearest “known” street.
LIKE IT? SHARE IT!
Our website relies on people like you, because you are the reason this site exists. If you like this article, Please CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW, so we can get the word out. I would greatly appreciate it, and THANK YOU.