Maramec Spring is the sampler plate of Missouri spring locations. Whether towing kids or friends, the activity-packed Maramec Spring Park and nearby town of St. James should satisfy every taste. Visit the spring as a side trip to your wine and dine weekend, or add a stop in St. James to your outdoor family getaway: This lovely area won’t disappoint.
Located along the Meramac River (yes, the spring and river names are spelled differently), Missouri’s fifth largest spring, a daily average flow of 100 million gallons of water, bubbles up from more than 350 feet beneath a serene, sun-dappled emerald pool circled by a paved path. Stocked daily with trout from its nearby hatchery, the park’s flowing spring branch is ideal for anglers of all ages.
The 1,860-acre park, privately owned by the nonprofit James Foundation, sports activities for the family including picnicking, playgrounds, trails, camping near the water and two museums. Explorers will find remnants of the old Maramec Iron Works, constructed by Thomas James in 1843, and there’s a scenic historic drive around the back side of the park.
In the free Maramec Museum, interactive displays share the area’s ironworks history, plus information about area wildlife and spring science. The Ozark Agriculture Museum helps visitors explore life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Kids hungry? This museum has a snack shop too.
For more hearty fare, try the Pick & Shovel Café at the park’s entrance, or venture into the quaint town of St. James. For casual dining, try Country Bob’s Café. For a bit finer dining (that’s still casual), Sybill’s St. James is located nearby in a renovated 100-year-old farmhouse. St. James may best be known for its wineries, which include the St. James Winery, Meramec Vineyards, Eagle’s Landing, Belmont Vineyards and more. For food, wine, fishing and outdoor fun, Maramec Spring is a great place to start.
Maramec Spring is located inside Maramec Spring Park in St. James, about 25 minutes east of Rolla. About two hours from Springfield, head east on I-44.