When you live in small town America Labor Day weekend is notorious for barbecues, lake time, camping, and float trips. Last Labor day weekend we loaded the kayaks on the roof of the Cruze and headed to Pineville, MO for a weekend of family time on the Elk river. Pineville is located in the southwest corner of Missouri and is only a short 3 hour jaunt for us. Our group of 11 booked a big house right on the Elk river so we could enjoy the water and the comforts of a house.
We made sure that we got up early in the morning on Saturday to get out on the river before the crowds. The river is crystal clear when undisturbed and has a gentle current. The scenery is full of lush greenery and big rock bluffs.
Along the river is a large number of campgrounds and rental cabins which provides options to fit any budget. There is also a large number of canoe/kayak rental companies a web search away that will pick you up from most accommodations. There are several hiking trails nearby and recreation areas where you can ride ATV’s.
Due to the popularity of the Elk River on Labor Day weekend the river started to fill up with boaters (canoe/kayak/raft/giant inflatable camels) mid morning. The vast majority of the people on the river are in good spirits and mind their manners. If you are looking to fish they are hiding from the noisy human invasion and are definitely not biting.
The Elk River is a beautiful place to kayak/canoe and would make an awesome weekend camping trip for the family. I would recommend that if you do not want your children exposed to drinking, housewives gone wild/coeds flashing for beads, or the occasional whiff of reefer I would avoid a float trip during holiday weekends. We are definitely going to go back and visit this coming year to check out the hiking trails and ride on the ATV trails. What rivers do you love to kayak/canoe?