Meramec River Monitor

The truth about family floating, camping, campgrounds, resorts.


Some resorts advertise "family friendly" floats or sections of the river, don't be fooled by this folks, there is really no such thing as a reliable family friendly float or section of the river, but there are true family friendly and family oriented resorts. The problem is that there are many different access points to the river (public and private) and no one owns the river or has the right to restrict access to families only. There is NEVER any guarantee that you won't encounter inappropriate behaviors in others, no matter what day it is or where you put in. Now, that being said, it is also true that thousands of families float the Meramec yearly without problems or encountering inappropriate behaviors in others. It is a random thing, but you can increase the odds in your favor by going on weekdays and not going on the most frequented floats. On weekends, the river is definitely a "party zone" and should be avoided by those looking for a wholesome, child-friendly and even peaceful experience. On Saturdays especially expect to encounter lots of loud yelling, profanity, loud boom boxes, drunkenness and some partial nudity.

Many resorts tout themselves to be "family friendly" and they do try to control the party people or separate them from the general population. They may have specific party zones (with late night quiet hours) and family area's (with early quiet hours) which again, sounds good, but in reality offer no guarantee that your children will not see and hear many inappropriate behaviors in others. The problem is that there are general area's of the resort (stores, shower houses, rest rooms) that are open to and frequented by all, so, a simple trip to the resort store with the kids on a Sat. evening to get an ice cream could involve witnessing all kinds of inappropriate behaviors. It's not directly the resorts fault other than they are trying to cater to both groups (party people and families) on the same property. There are a few resorts out there who are strictly one way or the other about it. Blue Springs Ranch Resort, for example is a truly family oriented resort, committed to providing a wholesome, child friendly atmosphere throughout the resort. The rules are strictly enforced, including an 11pm quiet hour and unruly guests are quickly shut down or escorted off the property.

Also, for a true family friendly and character building nature retreat I must recommend the "River of Life Farm" on the North Fork River, beautiful, deluxe Treehouse Cabins overlook the river and provide an unsurpassed serene Nature experience. Outdoor activities abound and it is the type of place you will return to over and over.

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