A few summers ago, we stayed at Echo Bluff State Park and explored the various sites around the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. I wanted to share with you a few places that you can’t miss when visiting this beautiful area.
Traveling north on Scenic Highway 19, our first stop was at Round Spring. A short paved trail leads to Round Spring. The spring is a gorgeous teal color and is over 55 feet deep. The spring flows underground below a natural arch and then to the Current River. The other highlight of this area is Round Spring Cave. Rangers offer a lantern-lit cave tour for a small fee. Since we visited during the offseason, the cave was not open yet.
Next, we visited Devil’s Well off of Highway KK. A 6 mile rough gravel road leads to a small parking lot. A large staircase leads down to Devil’s Well. This interesting site formed when the ceiling of a cave collapsed leaving a small window to view the large lake below. The lake is larger than a football field! While the view is not the best, if you pause for a moment and think about the natural forces at work, it is quite impressive.
Our last stop before visiting Montauk State Park was Welch Spring. A small half mile trail leads along the river to Welch Spring. The most notable feature of this area is the crumbing remains of the old Welch Hospital. This hospital was built in 1913. The doctor thought that the spring had healing properties. If reaching the spring by the hiking trail, you will be across the spring from the hospital. It is important to remember not to wade or swim in the natural springs as they are a sensitive environment.
The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is such a beautiful area where you can spend a week or just a few days. It is a great place to rest and relax and put the fast-paced day to day life behind you for a little bit. Be sure to check out my other posts on Echo Bluff State Park, Rocky Falls, Alley Mill and Blue Spring for a few other places to visit!