The river consists of mainly pools and small ledges of 1 to 3 feet in height. Saddler Falls at mile 5.0 is considered the most difficult at the summer levels as a the channel makes a sharp S turn as compared to most of the other rapids being straight-forward. At higher levels, the drop can be run straight over the ledge.
Most people opt for the 5 to 7.5 mile paddle from the dam below Mammoth Spring to one of the private outfitter access points below Saddler Falls. These include: Saddle Falls Canoe (mile 5), Spring River Oaks (mile 6), Many Island Camp (mile 7.5).
The river below here consists of longer pools but some taller ledges. The tallest being 'High Falls' of about 6 feet located just above the confluence with the South Fork at Hardy.
Put-in: Arkansas Game and Fish access on Hwy 342. Go South on Hwy 63 from Mammoth Spring, look for signs and turn to right (West) on Hwy 342 about 0.25 miles after the Hwy turns away from the river. Go 0.75 miles to the parking area and access below the dam.
Take-out: Town of Hardy near the junction of Hwy 62 and Hwy 63. Other access points are available at the private outfitters listed above. However, they are closed during the winter months, requiring one to paddle the entire 15 mile stretch or know a landowner.
Guide book: Ozark Whitewater by Tom Kennon.
Satellite view appears to show a ledge at this location (though the river appears shadowed rather shadowed, so it is not real clear how significant the ledge may be).
Topo maps show "dam under constr(uction)" at this location. Indeed, on the Satellite view, there appears to be a dam here, though it does not appear to back up very much water.
(Not from first-hand experience, but as viewed on satellite images)
This appears to be a fine sequence of ledges and a narrowing of the stream..
(Info not from first-hand awareness, but from Satellite view, therefore use with discretion.)
The final ledge/drop before the listed take-out appears just downstream of the confluence with the South Fork, and appears to be split by an island.
In the right channel, as it drops into the confluence with the South Fork Spring River, there appears to be a significant ledge. There does not appear to be a corresponding ledge in the left channel. (Perhaps the ledge/drop into the left channel at the head of the island is larger, and combines the total of the two drops in the right channel?)
At the head of a LARGE island there appears to be a ledge leading into either channel.
A pair of islands split the flow, and ledges appear in left and right channels. Center channel has no evident ledge (on Satellite view).
A fine ledge sequence appears to exist here.
At the head of a significant collection of islands, there appears to be a fine ledge to river-left. (It is likely that there are interesting spots interspersed in various channels between the islands.)
Another apparent back-to-back ledge pair, with a bit more space between than the prior pair.
There appears to be a double-ledge combo here.
There appears to be a nice sequence of three ledges in quick succession here.
The river appears split by a number of islands at this point (indeed, the topo view marks this location as "Many Islands"), and an assortment of ledges and waves intersperse.
Partway down an island, there appears to be a ledge to each side.
(Info not from first-hand awareness, but from Satellite views, therefore use this info with discretion.)
At the head of an island there appears to be a double ledge to the right, and a single ledge to the left.
The gage is downstream of the run, and a lot of feeder streams come in between the run and the gage. Use the gage reading advisedly.
A new gauge is now installed at Hardy which should be more representative of the level for this stretch.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
SUP High Falls
SUP Lower Spring
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