North Fork Recreation Area provides camping, picnicking, boating, canoeing, hiking and fishing access to the beautiful North Fork of the White River, which has a total of nine major springs flowing into it. Two of its largest springs are Big Springs and Blue Spring, which contribute some 18 million gallons of cold, clear water every day. North Fork Recreation Area serves as trailhead for the 35-mile long Ridge Runner National Recreation Trail and the Blue Spring Trail.
At a Glance
North Fork Recreational Area is open seasonally 5/15-12/1 (no water after 10/15), including day use area (river access and picnic area). Gate will be closed at CC Highway from 12/1 – 3/1. Walk in traffic welcome at this time for day use only - NO CAMPING ALLOWED during this time. Day Use: 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM. Campground is for Campers only. Quite Hours: 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM; Check out time: 2:00 PM
Rentals & Guides:
Dawt's Mill/Ozark Mills Carriage Co.; Lost Cabins Resort; Petit's Canoe Rental; River of Life; Riverside Canoe Rental; Sunburst Ranch Canoe Rental; Twin Bridges Canoe Rental
Nightly fees are $10.00/nonelectric; $15.00/electric; $2.00 per vehicle fee at day use areas.
Annual day use parking permits available for $20.00 at the Ava Ranger District, 417-683-4428 (M-F 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM)
Drinking water available May 15 through October 15. During temperate months, be prepared for biting insects, poison ivy and high temperatures. NO Lifeguards on duty.
West Plains, Dora
Pressurized Drinking Water System
USDA Forest Service, Mark Twain National Forest
From West Plains, MO take State Route CC west 16 miles. From Highway 181 just south of Dora, MO take State Route CC 3 miles east.
Camping & Cabins
North Fork Recreation Area offers 20 campsites, each with table, fire ring, and tent pad. Drinking water and vault toilets and garbage collection are centrally located. Sites are suitable for small travel trailers.
Sites are most suitable for small travel trailers, but some can accommodate up to 34' RVs. One campsite has electricity available. No water and sewer hookups available at this location.
River and Stream Fishing
Float, Wade, or bank fish to catch bass, sunfish and/or trout in the North Fork of the White River.
There are 10 sites for day use picnicking with grills and tables. The area also offers vault toilets, drinking water and centralized garbage collection.
Boating - Motorized
North Fork is a popular canoe launch from which to float the White River through the Devils Backbone Wilderness. There are several private access points downstream, in addition to the public accesses managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation at Blair Bridge and Patrick Bridges. Some outfitters also offer trips from upstream launches to this point.
Boating - Non-Motorized
A gravel boat launch provides access for using small jon boats to fish the river.
The area is not managed for swimming: there are no lifeguards, depth or hazard markers, and the water is not tested. Wading, tubing and water-play do occur here. Use caution as the current, river bottom and debris will create hazards at anytime. Respect others, as this area is for everyone to enjoy.