Hiking the Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Cicadas, Springs, and Serenity

So we landed in Ellington, Missouri. It’s beautiful here, but not exactly quiet! Millions of cicadas emerged. They do this periodically, every 13 or 17 years, depending on the species. This is a fascinating natural phenomenon to experience, especially since these loud insects are harmless: they don’t sting, bite, or significantly damage the trees.


Our first hike was in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. We followed the Blue Spring Trail to the appropriately named Blue Spring. Native Americans called it the “Spring of the Summer Sky.” With a depth of 300 feet (about 95 meters!), it’s one of the deepest springs in the United States. The spring’s blue color varies depending on the amount of light and stormwater runoff. Thanks to the rain the past few days, the spring showed a milky teal blue color when we visited.
The spring feeds the Current River with a staggering 90 million gallons of water daily. The Current River is one of the rivers protected by the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. We followed the trail along the Current River upstream and enjoyed a serene lunch with a view of the calm, meandering river. A beautiful hike in a lovely setting—what more could one ask for?


Friday, May 17, 2024


3.20 miles

Moving Time

1:23:48 hours


72 °F, sunny, calm