spring in winter
Greer Spring beauty does not fade with the weather
by Jeff Joiner
For some people winter is a
time to curl up on the couch with the remote control and watch movies
or football. But Missouri is a beautiful state even in the cold of winter.
The second-largest spring in
Missouri is Greer in Oregon County. Greer Spring branch carries 220 million
gallons of water a day to the nearby Eleven Point River. Even in the stillness
of winter, the spring and branch provide a unique beauty.
Hiking the 1-mile trail down
to the spring might be brisk, but you won't likely run into any crowds.
The spring actually emerges
from two different spots from within the mouth of Greer Spring
Cave and up from the bed of the branch itself. Because the water in the
spring is a nearly constant 50 to 55 degrees many species of plants continue
to thrive throughout the winter in areas surrounding the spring where
the air is warmed by the water.
Interestingly, Greer Spring
more than doubles the volume of the Eleven Point River. The spring, which
is on U.S. Forest Service land, is 18 miles south of Winona on Highway
For information about the spring
and other attactions in the Mark Twain National Forest, stop at the Winona
district office of the Forest Service or call (573) 325-4233.