Saturday, June 23, 2012

Current River State Park offers opportunities for the public

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Current River in Missouri (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you’re looking for a scenic and historic place to have a picnic or spend the afternoon fishing, try Current River State Park north of Eminence in Shannon County. While the park is under development, the area is open to day-use recreational activities such as hiking, picnicking and fishing each Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Current River State Park, located along the banks of the Current River, is composed of the former Alton Club, a corporate retreat constructed in c. 1937-1945 for the Alton Box Board Co. The Alton Club contains dormitories, a large gymnasium, several support structures and recreational venues. The buildings reflect the influence of rustic architecture popular in camp and park buildings in the first half of the 20th century. Missouri State Parks acquired the property in 2008. 

While development continues, the public can take advantage of the opportunities available. The park offers picnic sites with grills and tables. Two shelters are available by reserving them in advance at no fee. The park offers a 1.5-mile hiking trail and limited free tours of the historic buildings (gymnasium, lodge and some support buildings). Reservations for tours of the historic buildings must be made in advance. Restroom facilities consist of portable toilets.  

The park contains two small lakes where the public can fish and use small boats (trolling motors only). There are no boat ramps on the lakes so it will be necessary to carry boats to the water. Swimming and scuba diving are not permitted in the lakes. 

The park is located along Current River but there are currently no boat ramps along the river or watercraft rentals in the park. Visitors can access the river on their own to play or wade in the water.  

The park is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday and closed the rest of the week. Reservations for the shelters and tours can be made by calling the park office at 573-858-3015. Because the park is not fully open and the office has limited hours of operation, please allow time for your calls to be returned. Current River State Park is located north of Eminence off Highway 19.