Information on Salt Fork
Location: Take Hwy. 215 (Mulberry exit) north from I-40 to Shores
Lake. Go south of the lake, cross Hurricane Cr., and
continue uphill past the dam and lake overlook. Take a left
(north) at the first four way intersection and drive three
miles. Take a left at the second four way intersection and
drive two more miles to a low water bridge at the put-in.
The take-out is back at Shores L. Try to take out on the
north end of the lake to avoid as much flat water as
possible. With a little quick shuttling, you may be able to
catch Spirits Cr. or Hurricane Cr. after you take off,
assuming the Salt Fork didn't completely wear you out.
Topo Quad(s): Bidville
Gradient: 75 fpm
Length: 4 mi.
Gauge: The only way to be sure is to check at the put-in bridge.
The first ledge on Hurricane Cr. below Shores L. bridge should
be covered completely, and the Mulberry should probably be
over 6 ft.
Hazards: Numerous tree strainers and willow jungles. Scout all blind
Description: This great little run is one of the best kept secrets in
the Ozarks. Fast paced class II+ rapids characterize the
majority of the run, but there are a few legitimate III's
at any level and the majority of the run may be pushy III
at higher water. Great surfing opportunities abound in
the second half of the run. In some places there are four
or five good surfing holes separated by only a few yards.
But don't get too relaxed by all of that playing, because
there are a few spots with some nasty strainers. Be
extremely careful around willow jungles and blind turns.
Some of the most challenging rapids and the best scenery
occur right at the end of the run, and then the feisty
little Salt Fork disappears under Shores Lake. You can take
out anywhere on the lake, but it's best to drive to the
picnic areas on the north side. Just make sure you don't
paddle over the 30 ft. dam on the south end. The fall
won't kill you but the landing might. Salt Fork is a good
run for paddlers comfortable on tight, fast class III
water. If you can't maneuver in these conditions, try a
run on Hurricane creek on the other side of Shores Lake.
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