Some dry autumns, one can see 100 feet straight down into Blue Spring.

Name: Blue

Location: Shannon County, Missouri

Rank: 9

Average Flow: 81 million gallons per day (125 cubic feet per second)

Recharge Area: To the north and west of the spring, along a losing section of Logan Creek headwaters, ten miles north of Ellington. Several swallow holes also occur in this area.

Interesting Information: Blue Spring has been mapped to a depth of about 300 feet, the deepest spring the public can walk up to in the state. The steep angle of passage descent results in the royal blue to indigo color of the spring. Passage underwater falls on a nearly 45 degree slope to deepest point, then rises to 200 feet before heading downward again. The extreme depths make this spring difficult to penetrate. The spring is currently an active project of the OCDA. In the spring of 1977, two lead tailings pond breaches resulted in tailings sediment being introduced into the spring, which ran milky white.

Brief History: Blue Spring, was called "Do-Ge-Ke-Thabo-Bthi" or Spring of the Summer Sky, by natives in the area, who, according to legend, traced the origin of the spring to a battle for the hand of the local chief's daughter, which resulted in a deathbed vison of the daughter (who had been confined to a cave so she did not run off) seeing her dying suitor coming for her on a gush of blue water. Nearby Owls Bend just to the north was the site of much frontier industry and agriculture, including a plantation, a powder mill which furnished lead shot and gunpowder, and a river ferry, which was the only way across the Current until 1975. The area immediately at the spring is known to have been last logged around 1872. It came into the possession of Richard G. Hager in 1925, and the property was transferred by will in 1945. It was used as a sportsmen's retreat and lodge during this era, and is mentioned by Leonard Hall in his famous float book, Stars Upstream. Mr. Hager died in 1960, and the property was sold for a nominal consideration to the Missouri Department of Conservation. The 17 acres surrounding the spring remain an MDC inholding, although enforcement duties are largely performed by the National Park Service. This acreage was declared a Missouri Natural Area on account of native flora in 1972.

Ownership and Access: Owned by Missouri Department of Conservation, managed cooperatively with the National Park Service. Access by hilly gravel road (no trailers!), hike from the Owls Bend NPS campground, or walk up from canoe landing at the Current River. No charge for entry to view the spring.

This page last updated on May 17, 2006.
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