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Welch Spring, Welch Historic Hospital,

Welch Landing, and Welch Current River Access



Welch Spring and Welch Historic Hospital, as well as Welch Landing and Welch Current River Access, can be found by travling from Salem south on Highway 19 to Highway KK, or from Emminence traveling north on Highway 19 to Highway KK. Travel Highway KK until it comes to a "T" at Akers Ferry. Turn onto Highway K for about 1.5 miles where you will see a sign. Turn down the gravel road which dead ends at the Welch area. The gravel road is like many other in the area in that it is intimidating to travel the ruts and hills in a car, but four-wheel drive vehicles are better. This one is not quite as rough as some of the others.

You will first see a circle drive with grass in the middle. You can park on the grass in that circle and walk a short distance down to the Welch Spring trail and to Welch Landing. Or you can turn right at the circle and there is enough parking for just a few vehicles directly across from the Welch Spring trail and near the Welch Landing. Welch Landing is a gravel bar where canoeist stop for a break and you can also get into the water and enjoy time there as well from this parking area.


The trail follows the Current River for a bit and then distances from it for a short while. The about half mile trail is a flat easy trail. Then you walk the same trail back.

The only way to access the Welch Hospital ruins (Historic Site) is by canoe on the Current River. You can see the ruins from across the spring, but getting in the water is not allowed at this location for conservation preservation, so there is no way to cross the spring. It also seems dangerous to try. So if you see people on the other side, just wave and be friendly. I suppose you could put a canoe in at the landing and try to paddle upstream. Just come with big arm muscles to paddle.

From the circle drive, you can continue on down the road to arrive at a few parking areas for the Welch Current River Access where you will find a small sandy beach.

We did not realize the Howell-Maggard Cabin is across the Current River, so we did not cross the river to look for it. I have seen photos of the small cabin online.

Visit the Ozark National Scenic Riverways Map and download it for you trip. The above image is a snippet of this map showing the Upper Current River places to visit. Not all of these places are in Dent County as some are in Shannon County, along with the Middle Current River areas. Cedar Grove is just over the county line in Dent County. Welch begins Shannon County.


Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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