Spring River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip
Submitted by: turnerdee
Spring River in the very NE corner of Oklahoma can be a fun day or weekend kayaking or canoe experience, provided it's not anytime after a big rain. There are limestone bluffs, lots of rock beaches to stop and picnic along, and HUGE carp that will swim right under your yak and rock your boat! Camping is available at Spring River Park in Baxter Springs (KS), Blue Hole (E. of Quapaw, OK), Devil's Promenade, Highway 10 Bridge (E. of Miami, OK) or at Twin Bridges State Park.
Twin Bridges State Park is where Spring River joins the Neosho River and starts Grand Lake. It is a very nice state park with all the amenities. The others are smaller parks but do have camping available with restrooms. Devil's Promenade, Hwy 10 Bridge & Blue Hole are all primitive campsites, I believe (no electricity but they do have compost toilets & water available).
No fees for day trips, the campgrounds do have charges for overnight campers.
Spring River Park is located ~1.5 miles east of the intersection of Hwy. 166 and Hwy. 66/69 from Baxter Springs, KS on Hwy. 166.
Blue Hole is located E. of Quapaw, OK. Turn E. at the corner of Hwy. 66/69 and E. 40 Road. Take E. 40 Road ~ 4.5 miles to the Blue Hole campgrounds where the road actually ends. You may think you are never going to get there but when you do, the rock beach and the clear water is a sight to behold.
There are put-ins at all of the above locations and you can paddle from each one, all free access. We generally do day trips and go from River Park at Baxter Springs to either Blue Hole (2-3 hours) or to Devil's Pomenade (~4 hours from the park). We are slow paddlers as we take time to enjoy the scenery, stop to stretch, etc.
Oklahoma Dept. of Tourism has more information on Twin Bridges State Park.
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