Well, Actually 19 Missouri Springs and One in Arkansas
The most common questions from the general public concerning Missouri springs
have to do with their size, their ranking compared to other springs, and their flow rate.
Part of this is mere bragging rights, enabling a tourist to say they visited the X largest
spring, or a local chamber of commerce to make extraordinary (and often untrue) claims
for their spring, as have been made for Big Spring at Van Buren since the local
townsfolk took note that their spring could bring visitors and dollars to the area. Some of
this is just curiosity on the part of the human animal, the same sort which drives people
to guess the number of beans in a jar. Spring flow numbers can prove useful (if
correlated with local rainfall) in determining recharge areas for springs. The rate of
change over time in the amount of water being discharged from a spring can no doubt
tell hydrologists other useful things.
The Ozarks region has been blessed with many large, clear freshwater springs.
Most of rankings by flow rate are merely approximate. Only Big, Mammoth and Greer
Springs have been monitored long term on a daily basis. Alley, Round, Bennett and
Montauk, all of which have been state parks, have a few large data sets as does
Maramec. Others, such as Welch and Blue on the Current River have been sporadically
monitored, while still others, such as Double and Tucker Bay have just a few
measurements ever. Because of this variance in how many measurements exist, and
the fact that some of the most well known springs are backflooded by their neighboring
surface streams this or any other listing cannot be considered absolutely definitive.
Following are snapshots of the twenty largest springs in the Missouri-Arkansas
Ozarks. A bit of geography, geology, history, and current use are included with each
These twenty Ozark Springs are spots of great beauty and geologic and historic significance.
Many of them are open to be enjoyed by all-- a few are not. Please respect landowner rights and
when visiting those which are accessible, take nothing but pictures and memories, and leave no
trace of your passing, so that others may enjoy their visits as well.
- Big Spring
- Mammoth Spring, Arkansas
- Greer Spring
- Bennett Spring
- Maramec Spring
- Welch Spring
- Alley Spring
- Double Spring
- Blue Spring (Current River)
- Montauk Spring
- Hahatonka Spring
- Blue Spring(Oregon County)
- Pulltite Spring
- North Fork Spring
- Boiling Spring
- Roubidoux Spring
- Round Spring
- Hodgson Mill Spring
- Tucker Bay Spring
- Cave Spring