Need a vacation? Consider this river oasis in Steeleville, Missouri

STEELVILLE, Mo. – One place you might want to think about for your summertime family trip is a stop at the “Floating Capital of the World” – Steeleville, Missouri.

An oasis awaits you less than two hours from St. Louis.

Bass’ River Resort is one of many hot spots for cooling down thanks to its interconnecting streams.

“We have three streams: the Huzzah, the Courtois, and the Meramec,” said Julie Bass, owner of Bass’ River Resort. “The Huzzah and Courtois are smaller streams, clear streams that you can see right to the bottom of them. So they’re very clear, and clean, very pretty.”

With mostly shallow waters, only reaching 6 to 8 feet deep in some places, visitors have the ability to float or paddle along stretches of the stream that range from 6 to 13 miles long.

“People just enjoy wading and bringing their strong kids to the streams. Just hanging out by the river. It’s very enjoyable,” Bass said. “It’s just a soothing feeling to stick your feet in the river on 90-degree days.”

Steelville’s floating resorts were a popular destination during the pandemic.

“When you’re out there floating you’re not close by to somebody so floating by in the stream. Very peaceful, very peaceful,” Bass said.

Weather plays a big part in the ability to float. These smaller streams can be easily impacted by heavy rain but Bass says that by the time people in St. Louis see impacts from flooding their streams are usually already down by that time.

“Within 24 to 48 hours our streams are usually down by that time so we’re able to float usually,” she said. “Our waters come up very quickly and then they go down very quickly so we’re very fortunate in that respect.”

Not only do the area resorts watch out for visitors’ safety those who are first responders also play a role in keeping the public aware.

“In 2020, we had an increase in water rescues and drownings. We had a couple of dozen water rescues, which could be from an overturned boat to floaters needing some help. We had two drownings in 2020. Last summer, we didn’t have any; which is great,” said Major Adam Carnal, Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.

Carnal says the most important things are life jackets, especially for the children and adults who aren’t strong swimmers. Be responsible and stay hydrated.

“We get several EMS calls out to various outfitters throughout the summer for dehydration or overindulgence,” Carnal said. “So we go out there with EMS quite a bit for those types of calls. And we get I’d say at least 100 of those calls for medical services out there over the summers.”

When planning a float trip just be aware of the weather forecast so that you can relax and enjoy the scenery around you.

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