After a great night’s sleep, I headed back out once again, for probably my last day of exploring for a little while (chores are piling up around the house, especially with winter approaching).
My first stop of the day was Klepzig Mill, which is not too far from Rocky Falls. It is an old mill, within the boundaries of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, that also sits within a very scenic shut-in along Rocky Creek.
Klepzig Mill along Rocky Creek
Small cascade in Rocky Creek
Small waterfall in Rocky Creek
Waterfall in Rocky Creek
Klepzig Mill and Rocky Creek
My second stop for the day was at Powder Mill campground and access.
Current River at Powder Mill
Powder Mill Spring
From Powder Mill, I headed just down the road to Blue Spring Natural Area, on the Current River. I had been here in January of 2010, but wanted to return again. The water from this spring is so blue, hence the name.
Where Blue Spring meets the Current River
Blue Spring branch
View from the overlook platform
After Blue Spring I headed back towards Alley Spring, but stopped at a few other places along the way, such as Log Yard access, Two Rivers, which is where the Jacks Fork enters the Current, and I also stopped at Shawnee Creek access, where the creek flows into the Jacks Fork.
Current River at Log Yard
Fall colors at Log Yard
Two Rivers, where the Jacks Fork meets the Current
Picnic tables and fall colors at Two Rivers
Where Shawnee Creek meets the Jacks Fork
A sycamore along Shawnee Creek
At Alley Spring, I checked out the swimming area by the campground on the Jacks Fork, then headed on over to check out the spring and old mill again. I have been to this one a few times in the past, but always love seeing it again. There were no clouds, and the sun was just too darn bright to take any real good pictures of the spring branch.
Alley Spring Mill
Alley Spring branch
Alley Spring Mill
From Alley Spring, I headed towards a couple of swimming holes/access points along the Jacks Fork east of Eminence and south of Summersville. On my way there, I passed by another lookout tower, called Flat Rock Lookout Tower. It is located at the corner of Hwy 106 and Hwy D East of Summersville, right on the edge of the Angeline Conservation Area. There was no one at this one, so I decided to climb to the top for a view. It was pretty windy, and the old tower swayed a little, but not too bad. The door/hatch into the room at the top was locked, so I just took some pictures from the highest stair steps that I could.
Flat Rock Lookout Tower
Highway 106 from the tower
What a view!
After descending the tower (and feeling the burn in my legs!), I headed to my next stops.
Along the way, as I passed through Summersville, I passed by the old mill, and stopped to take a few quick pics.
The old mill at Summersville
After Summersville, my next stop was a swimming hole/access called Bluff View. It was basically right across the river from the Blue Spring access, swimming hole and primitive camping area (This is on the Jacks Fork, not to be confused with Blue Spring on the Current). I had planned to drive there next, but since it was getting late in the day, and to save myself some time, after getting the pictures I needed, I just waded across the creek to the Blue Spring side. Kasie and I had been on a float trip through here back in 2010, and we stopped at the spring to have a look around. I have also included a picture from back then.
Blue Spring swimming hole
Blue Spring (2010)
After Bluff View and Blue Spring, my next stop was Buck Hollow access and swimming hole. This is where we put in on our float trip last year. You can float a section of the river above Buck Hollow, but the water must be up after a good rain, otherwise it is usually too low. But, it is supposed to be one of the more scenic stretches of the Jacks Fork River.
Fall reflections at Buck Hollow
From Buck Hollow, I had a choice to either try and make it to a couple more swimming holes, or head to a camping and swimming area in the National Forest, plus it was sort of on the way home, too. Well, I chose the camping area, called Noblett Lake. When I got there, I was surprised to see that the roads leading to the camping areas and other areas were closed, all except the day use/pavilion area. When I got down there, I finally saw why. I guess I must have missed it every time they mentioned it on the news, but back in August, someone had accessed the dam’s spillway and opened it all the way, essentially draining the lake. The National Forest and local police are still looking for the vandals who did this. I can’t believe someone would do such a thing to such a beautiful place. Needless to say, I was a little bummed to find this out, and a little upset because I couldn’t get all the pictures I needed.
The National Forest did announce that it would leave the lake dry until next spring, to let the cold temps of winter hopefully kill some of the nuisance plants that have accumulated in the lake over the years.
The sun sets at Noblett Lake
A posted warning/closed sign at Noblett Lake
Noblett Lake, dry
After leaving Noblett Lake, I was running out of daylight, but decided to try and see if I could find North Fork Spring, on the North Fork River. I could see it on my map, but from the direction I was coming, I was not sure if I could access it without having to go through private property or not. Well, I took my chances, but as I got close to the river, the gravel road dead ended and turned into a private drive, with numerous no trespassing signs posted. Oh well, Maybe someday I will try from the other side of the river.
I quickly left and raced the setting sunlight towards Hodgson Mill, which was just a few miles away. The sun had already set by the time I got there, and it was actually starting to get fairly dark. But, I was able to pull enough light with my camera to get a few good pics.
Hodgson Spring branch
Well, I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings as I did a little more exploring this past weekend. Stay tuned for more adventures!