Springs road trip

573magazine - title - Springs road trip

Ellington is a town in Reynolds County on Highway 21 south of Ironton. The population is just over 1000. In 1925, the infamous Tri-State Tornado began just northwest of Ellington. Pyrite, mined nearby, is one of the most exotic in the world: a couple of ounces from Reynolds County will sell for up to $100 in the New York marketplace.

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The best thing about Ellington is its location, which is just a stoneís throw from the Current and Black Rivers, Sam A. Baker State Park, Clearwater Lake, Rocky Falls and some of the biggest springs in the country. Ahhh. The springs. We decided we would make a springs road trip.

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Our first stop was Big Spring. The name says it all. Big Spring is big. I had no idea that we had anything this fantastic in the state. The amount of water that gushes up from itís depths is mind-boggling. The staggering roar of the water is incredible. The closer you get to this big! treasure, the more fantastic it is. (Watch the video on the digital edition at 573mag.com. Youíll know what I mean.) Big Spring is the largest spring in Missouri, and itís even thought to be the biggest in North America. It pumps out some 276 million gallons of cool spring water each day at a cool 58 degrees Fahrenheit. It literally creates a river that then flows into the Current River.

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Next stop was Round Spring. Similar to a Mexican Cenote, the Round Spring is literally a caved-in cave. Round Spring was a Missouri State Park from 1932 until 1964 when the people of Missouri donated it to the National Park Service to become one of the star attractions of the new Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Like Alley and Big Spring, it was a gift from Missouri to the nation. Youíre welcome! Round Spring is one of my favorites.

Next stop was Round Spring. Similar to a Mexican Cenote, the Round Spring is literally a caved-in cave. Round Spring was a Missouri State Park from 1932 until 1964 when the people of Missouri donated it to the National Park Service to become one of the star attractions of the new Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Like Alley and Big Spring, it was a gift from Missouri to the nation. You’re welcome! Round Spring is one of my favorites.

Our next stop was Alley Spring. Alley Spring is the seventh largest spring in Missouri. The spring is said to be 155 feet deep with veins reaching more than 3000 feet below. Just outside of the natural area is Alley Spring Gristmill that was built in 1894. Today it houses a small history museum. The cool waters flow from Alley Spring for a half-mile before entering the Jacks Fork River. This incredibly beautiful spring is encircled with a nicely paved walk.
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