The Eleven Point River is approximately 138 miles long. It begins near Willow Springs, Missouri and flows into the Spring River near Black Rock, Arkansas. The name is from the French word, pointe, which means a wooded land that marks a river bend. Voyageurs (travelers) counted these river bends to mark the distance. Voyageurs used canoes and they worked for a licensed fur trader or fur trading company.
In 1968 44.4 miles of the River in Missouri was named the Eleven Point National Wild and Scenic River. This river was one on the original eight rivers that were part of the United States National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. According to rivers.gov these eight rivers possessed “outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values.” The River is designated a scenic river “meaning that it is free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads.”
Rivers that have the Wild and Scenic designation are not dammed, and they are to be preserved as free flowing rivers. The designation prevents the building of hydropower plants that would affect the river. This protection includes non-federal areas. The most remote rivers are wild rivers. The same protections apply whether the river is classified as wild, recreational or scenic.
According to the Eleven Point River Conservancy the river “is considered by many to be the most pristine river in the Ozarks.” “Only a quarter of 1% of the nation’s river miles is protected as National Wild and Scenic Rivers.”
A great way to experience the river is by being on the river in a kayak or canoe or by swimming in the river. Often there are few boats, etc. on the river. Consequently, this is a wonderful place to experience nature.