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part ofOzark National Scenic Riverways, National Park Service
Status: Open through Sat Oct 31 2015   Season Dates


In the rolling, forested landscape of Big Spring, two of America's most beautiful spring-fed rivers combine to make up the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

As the first national park area to protect a wild river system, visitors have plenty of scenic water activities to enjoy as well as hiking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing.

Natural Features:

The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is known for its caves, springs, sinkholes and losing streams, and features over 300 identified caves within its boundaries. The caves range in size from a rock overhang to almost seven miles of identified passages. Eight caves, including an open sinkhole, have been designated as outstanding natural features.

The Ozark forest is mostly White oak and Shortleaf pine, Missouri's only native pine species. Along the rivers, Sycamore, Cottonwood, River birch and maples are common.

Redbud and dogwoods are also abundant, putting on a spectacular show during most spring months.


The Current River flows past the campground, offering excellent canoeing, tubing, swimming and fishing. Over 130 miles of waterways exist within the park. Canoe and kayak rentals and outfitters can be found nearby.

Several miles of hiking and horseback riding trails crisscross the region, include the Alley Overlook Trail, Chubb Hollow Trail, Ozark Trail, Cave Spring Trail and Big Springs Trail.


This year-round campground has flush toilets and shower facilities available. Picnic tables, fire rings, and grills are provided. Roads and parking spurs are paved.

Ranger-led campfire programs are offered in the campground amphitheater during summer months.

Reservations are accepted for three different group picnic areas. Be sure to specify which picnic area you desire. Big Spring Group Picnic Site is at the spring; Peavine and Chubb Hollow are along the river.

Nearby Attractions:

Scenic Big Spring is the largest freshwater spring in North America and produces an outflow of 280 million gallons a day.

Round Spring Cave is nearby, with ranger-guided tours offered daily during summer months. Historic and picturesque Alley Mill and Alley Spring are also nearby. The mill is open daily in the summer and ranger-guided tours are available upon request.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Sites
  • Amphitheater
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boating
  • Campfire Programs
  • Canoeing
  • Cold Springs Access
  • Dump Station
  • Educational Programs
  • Firewood
  • Fishing
  • Group Camping
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Host
  • Hunting
  • Kayaking
  • Paved Roads
  • Picnic Area
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Ranger Station
  • Self Pay Station
  • Showers
  • Swimming
  • Tubing
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Canoe Rentals
Know Before You Go
  • Some campsites may be available on a first come, first served basis
  • 50-amp electric hookups are now available; bring converters if necessary
  • No sewer hookups; a dump station is available at the campground entrance
  • 2 Tents or 1 RV and 1 Tent per site only on Standard Family sites
  • Modern restrooms are open April 15-Oct. 1; outside of this window visitors will be directed to an alternative, which may be a short distance form their campsite
  • No glass bottled beverages allowed in tubes or non-motorized vessels
  • Diving from river bluffs is illegal, dangerous and can result in injury or death
  • For more information about the park, please call (573) 323-4236 between 8am and 4:30pm weekdays, or e-mail OZAR_Campground_Operations@nps.gov

A Firewood Movement Restriction Program is in effect to prevent the spread of invasive insects and diseases. Firewood must be purchased within a 50-mile radius of campsites, or dead and downed wood collected in the park. All firewood must be burned on-site. For more information Click Here

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
36.9625, -90.98306
36°57'45"N, 90°58'59"W

Big Spring Campground is located four miles south of Van Buren, Missouri. Turn south on Missouri Highway 103 and continue south for four miles to the Big Spring Unit of the park.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

PO BOX 490
VAN BUREN  MO  63965

Phone Number:

Information:  (573)323-4236
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