The Seven Wonders of Shannon County: Rocky Falls

Most of the creeks that feed these rivers emanate from springs in the steep hills. Many must make a special effort to bust through barriers to reach the bigger streams. One such robust creek flows over Rocky Falls, and when I reached it the specter blew me away. This ship-sized outcropping of dolomite ranks among America’s oldest exposed rock formations, the gatekeeper to a giant shut ins that channels water down its broad back. The rocks get slippery when wet. But on the day I visited, nobody else was there to fall down. This may be the best-kept secret among Shannon County’s seven wonders.

Just downstream on Rocky Creek, but way off the beaten path is Klepzig Mill…best accessible by ditching your car and hiking the Ozark Trail.

Climbing north out of Eminence, Highway 19 becomes a switchback trail over the ridges that delay the inevitable matrimony of the Jacks Fork and Current River valleys. Ah, the Current. Half a million people float it every year. And if you visit the Current on a summer Saturday, you may think those half million visitors came at the same time. I suspect more folks would float here if the National Park Service would allow more canoe vendors on these riverways. I’m glad they don’t.

–from Coastal Missouri, by John Drake Robinson

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