Local Attractions: Upper Current - Shuttle Tour in the Ozarks

3-10 Guests • No Lodging • Public • Guided


We strive to give you the best adventure tour! We design safe and adventurous trips customized to your wants and needs. From the magnificent wild horses to the hidden gems of the Mark Twain National Forest, we have you covered.


Welch Springs Hospital Ruins-

Over the years, Ozark springs have been used as campsites, power supplies for grist mills, tourist resorts and even hospitals.

Hospitals? Yes, hospitals. Back in 1913, an Illinois doctor named C.H. Diehl bought Welch Spring for eight hundred dollars. Dr Diehl believed that the spring water had healing properties and that cool, pollen free air coming from the adjacent cave would be beneficial for people with asthma, emphysema, and tuberculosis, which together were called "consumption" at the time. He said that it worked for him, helping him with a chronic case of hayfever. To tap this clean air resource, Dr Diehl built a hospital over the mouth of the cave. Welch Spring, which flowed from the cave, was dammed up so that water would close off the entrance. This was to force more air out through the cave opening into the hospital. In today's terms, it might be better called a "health spa" since there wasn't much in the way of formal medical treatment, just an invitation to breathe the fresh air of the cave.

Dr Diehl was not blind to the scenic values of the region either. He hoped to run a thriving campground resort to supplement his medical fees with tourist dollars. In time his healing resort expanded to a few small cabins, a campground, a show cave and he even had an electric generator running off the spring. Visitors came from the local area and from as far off as Oklahoma and Illinois, but times were hard and travel to such remote places still difficult.

Unfortunately, the hospital and resort were not a big success. Roads in the Ozarks were rough and unpaved, making it difficult to get into the Current River Country. Few tourists were willing to make the trip. The good doctor died in 1940, and his family did not have much interest in keeping up the resort afterwards, which soon fell into ruin.

Was Dr Diehl just a man ahead of his time? In time, tourists did discover the Current River, over a million come to canoe, camp, hike and fish every year. As for his medical ideas, he wasn't out of step with his times. Many people at the time believed in the healing qualities of cave air and spring water. It was almost a cliché for people to take a vacation to "take the waters" at one spring centered resort or another. This was the heyday of the healing spas at Hot Springs, Arkansas among others. Years earlier a tuberculosis sanitarium had been built in Mammoth Cave, some three hundred feet underground.

The hospital is a ruin today, but still stands next to the beautiful Welch Spring.

Akers Ferry-

This is the last two-car ferry operating in Missouri. The ferry takes you across the Current River on Route K at Akers. The ferry is operated by Akers Ferry Canoe Rental. The fee is $4 per car or $5 for a vehicle and trailer.

Devil's Well-

Devils Well was formed when the roof of a huge cavern, containing an underground lake, collapsed. The result was large sinkhole, with an opening in the bottom through which you can view the lake. The water level is about 100 feet below the platform, and the lake may be as much as 80 feet deep. (It can fluctuate 8 to 10 feet depending on the weather.)

A "spiral staircase" has been built to allow viewing. The road is very steep and rough, it is not recommended for trailers or large motorhomes. There is no admission fee for Devils Well and the area is open everyday, during daylight hours. There is a light that can be activated by a switch in the stairway. You may wish to being your own flashlight or spotlight, however.

Current River State Park-

Located along the Current River, and surrounded by the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Current River State Park is one of Missouri's newest state parks. The 780-acre property was the former corporate retreat of the Alton Box Company (Alton, Illinios), in the 1930s and 1940s. The park has two man-made lakes, a cave, picnic tables and grills, and primitive restrooms. Many of the historic buildings on site, built for the Alton Box Company, are now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Echo Bluff State Park-

More than 85 years ago, this area opened as Camp Zoe, a summer youth camp that provided outdoor experiences and life-long memories for thousands of young people.

Today, Echo Bluff State Park is a year-round outdoor destination that allows visitors to create new memories as they experience all the Ozarks have to offer. Visitors of all ages can fill their days with floating, hiking, swimming or fishing. While the park has a spectacular natural setting, the modern amenities enhance the experience and make it welcoming for everyone. An impressive, iconic lodge features guest rooms, indoor and outdoor casual dining and meeting rooms. Nine full-service cabins with 13 units are a great option for families and groups. Camping opportunities range from primitive to full-service campsites. The bluff-top shelter is perfect for special events, and an amphitheater for smaller events offers a dramatic natural backdrop. The park also offers hiking and mountain biking trails.

Round Springs/Round Springs Cave-

The spring itself is some 55 feet deep, rising in a nearly circular pool of water before flowing under a natural bridge to join the Current River. On an average day, some 26 million gallons of water flow from the spring. At quiet times, otters, wood ducks and great blue herons may be seen in the spring. People however, are prohibited from swimming or wading in it. You may visit and enjoy the wheelchair accessible paved trail around the spring at any time.

With camping, trout fishing, and canoeing, the 19 miles of Current River from Montauk State Park to Akers Ferry in Dent and Shannon counties has it all.

There are two designated trout management areas below Montauk Trout Park that offer opportunities to experience some of Missouri’s most productive trout waters. Blue Ribbon Trout Area; the 9-mile stretch between the lower boundary of Montauk State Park and Cedargrove Access is managed for large brown trout. On this stretch of river, only one trout may be kept and it must be at least 18 inches long. (All info taken from: https://seetheozarks.com/van-buren/upper-current-river/)

Some of the most favored attractions are Welch Springs, Akers Ferry, Devil's Well, Current River State Park, Round Springs Cave.

Show More


Your Host

Daniel's Trip

Daniel M

Private Shuttle Service operating in the beautiful Ozark Mountains in Eminence, Missouri, and surrounding townships. Contact us and we can plan your private shuttle for your hiking, biking, camping, Wild Horse Tour, and/or Winery Tour adventure! Let us adventure with you!

from $50/Experience

Base Price

$49.50 Per Person Per Experience


Pay later options are only available for trips that start more than 30 days from today.

Total Payment


Please note that there is a 50% non-refundable deposit included with your booking fee. In case of cancellation, and in accordance with the Host's cancellation policy, the remaining 50% may be returned to you or applied towards rescheduling a future trip.


  • Local Guide
  • Stories, History and Local Legends
  • Comfortable Shuttle



Gear List

  • Sturdy Shoes
  • Food & Beverages
  • Weather Appropriate Clothing
  • Sense of Adventure

Show More

Rules & Guidelines

We follow the Leave No Trace principles, which means that we will not leave anything behind during our exploration of the area. Please expect to pack everything out with you, including trash.

We can make pit stops for lunch & bathroom breaks.

Please wear sturdy shoes and weather appropriate clothing.

Show More