Welch Spring Trail is a 0.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Salem, MO that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The Welch Spring Trail is a mile out & back trail that follows the banks of the Current river to the eight largest spring in the state of Missouri. The daily flow is 75 million gallons. The spring flows from a cave at the base of a bluff and travels a short 100 ft. before entering the river.
Easy trail. To get to the hospital, there is a small rock crossing that you can use to get across the water. There's a 10 foot climb after that where you'll need to use your hands and feet to climb it. Once you get past that climb, there is a trail on your left about 6-7 feet away. That trail is easy to follow and will take you over the bluff directly to the hospital. You'll be able to look down into the hospital. There's a cave inside the hospital itself in the back on the ground floor. You can't actually get inside the hospital or the cave, but it is really neat.
Very easy trail. But I have a tip for the adventurist, there is a small goat trail off of the main trail near the end that will take you up the side of the bluff and around to the old hospital. The hospital is built around a cave also.
A lovely little spot. Here is some more history on the hospital.
Easy walk along an old roadbed to the spring. The spring is quite impressive and a beautiful scene with the deep blue water gushing into the river. There are the old ruins of a stone hospital that was built on the other side of the spring. The owner believed the spring would help cure ailments. You cannot get to the ruins themselves from this trail unless you want to do some swimming, but you get a nice view of them.
Welch spring on the current river, can be accessed by canoe or by the trail. I have done both. Nice scenic spot. The trail is a flat trail that follows the river. Doable by almost anyone. worth a peak.