The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has acquired a new state park along the Current River and off of Hwy. 19, north of Eminence in Shannon County. Current River State Park will be developed on property known as the historic Alton Club/Jerry J. Presley Conservation Education Center, previously owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation. In early 2008, the Alton Club complex and surrounding acreage was transferred to the Department of Natural Resources for development as a new state park. The Alton Club was constructed in the late 1930s and early 1940s as a corporate retreat for the Alton Box Board Co., a manufacturing company located in Alton, Ill. The buildings at the site reflect the influence of rustic architecture popular in camp and park buildings in the first half of the 20th century. Many of these buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The historic buildings and structures that remain include the gymnasium, the main lodge, the lower dormitory, the lake house, several small outbuildings and a skeet range. In addition to its historic significance, the new state park is a part of the much larger and naturally significant Current River landscape. With its location adjacent to the Current River, a portion of the new park is within the scenic easement of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR). Managed by the National Park Service, the ONSR was designated in 1964 as the nations first national park to protect a wild river system and includes significant portions of both the Current and Jacks Fork rivers and their many tributaries. Because of the unique designations associated with the National Register of Historic Places and the ONSR scenic easement, any development at the new state park will need to be sensitive to the historic buildings and the scenic viewshed. The mission for the new state park is fourfold: * To preserve, interpret and experience the outstanding scenic and natural features, biologic integrity, and forest and aquatic systems inherent to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways within this section of the Current River Hills landscape. * To preserve, interpret and experience the cultural landscape of the Alton Club as a corporate retreat on the Current River, during the period of significance identified in the National Register nomination. * To interpret the heritage of this part of the Ozarks, including the unique cultures that have made the Ozarks their home, the recreational and tourism legacy of the Current River, and the areas historic and modern timber industry. * And, to provide programming and recreational opportunities in partnership with surrounding land management entities that emphasize the natural and cultural significance of the Current River Hills landscape, and that are consistent with efforts to preserve these natural and cultural resources.

hiking
20 days ago

This is a mostly wooded trail that is well blazed and has some wonderful old chinquapin oaks along it. It does partly overlap the Current River Trail that runs from the Current River State Park to Echo Bluff State Park. There are a couple other trailheads on the road where the trailhead for this trail is located so you may want to confirm you have the right trail before setting out. Heading south on the trail there are a couple of glades that overlook the valley the Current River flows through that are very scenic. This was a fun trail.

hiking
22 days ago

This is a wide, chat covered trail. I'm guessing it's rated moderate because it entails some steep climbs but otherwise it is an easy trail. The trail celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Missouri State Park system so there are educational signs at different stops around the trail that describe Missouri State Park system history. There are two scenic overlook stops that look over the Current River and the surrounding valley the river flows through. The highest scenic overlook has some benches to sit and enjoy the view.

hiking
22 days ago

My GPS tracked this trail as approximately 2.7 miles (the trailhead sign says 2.6) and not 3.9 miles as stated in the above description. Kudos to whoever blazed the trail, as it is extremely easy to follow even though it is lightly used. The trail is entirely wooded except for about 10 yards at the start that pass under power lines. There are some beautiful oak trees along the trail, which are the highlight of the trail. This would make a great spring or fall hike when you can see into the surrounding valleys.

hiking
10 months ago

This trail is extremely well maintained and so grateful after some of the hikes I have done this summer. The trail starts with some beautiful rock formations, but is mostly through woods the entire time and ends at a small off shoot the Current River. The only reason I didn't give this was a 5 is because you do have to cross the road several times and it's not well translated until you search along the other side for the orange marker. In addition, there are no substantial views if you are looking for those.

hiking
11 months ago