Big Spring Dining Hall

We live in an area filled with natural springs, Forest Service land, hiking trails, and history. What an amazing place to be! Three miles from our house is the Current River.

It is clear and cold, which makes it a popular area year round for swimming, fishing, boating, and floating.

Tuesday, we were about forty miles from home at Ozark National Scenic Riverways near Van Buren Missouri, which is also on the Current River.

Big Spring is the natural spring that I wrote about yesterday. The area itself is full of some pretty cool history. Back in the 1930’s, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) built the roads and buildings there.

near Big Spring, Van Buren, MO
sign at Big Spring about the CCC
sign with the history of Big Spring

One of my favorite buildings there is the dining hall. Set back off the road, in the trees, it just feels like it was an important place many years ago. Stately, is the word that comes to mind, with its rock walls and river view.

dining hall at Big Spring

The windows are amazing. I’ve never been inside, but they offer a glimpse in and a glimpse out, via nature’s reflections.

a peek into the dining hall from a window
reflections at Big Spring dining hall
a glimpse in, the lights are on
dining hall window reflections

Back in its day, it must have been a busy place. While we were there, one other car came, but I was the only one at the building. Back in the 1930’s though, I bet it was bustling with people. I love that the building is still standing after nearly 90 years.

Here is a great link from the National Park Service about the history of the CCC and Big Spring:

https://www.nps.gov/ozar/learn/historyculture/ccc-2.htm

Thanks for reading!

Jessica

Big Day at Big Spring

One time my parents came to visit us and we took them to a couple of local springs. My momma LOVED water. I mean loved!! Oceans, rivers, lakes, pools, and mountain streams, water was her thing.

Yesterday, my son and I went back to one of the places we took her. Near Van Buren, MO is a place called Big Spring.

near Van Buren, MO

It is a beautiful, powerful natural spring, tucked back in the corner of the rocks, by a small cave. I took a video so you could hear it.

Big Spring, Van Buren Missouri

When we were there in 2018 with my parents, my momma took a picture of me that she absolutely loved. It was me, looking at the spring.

picture of me my momma took in
September 2018 at Big Spring

To try to recreate it, I had my son take a picture of me yesterday. Funny thing is, I had no idea, but I was actually wearing the same blue long sleeve shirt!

me at Big Spring July 2022

Behind the spring is a set of rock steps that go up and lead to a short trail. It was 102 degrees yesterday and luckily, the trail was shaded.

one of two trails at Big Spring
trail sign
looking up from trail
looking down from trail

The trail just sort of ends. You can turn around or walk across a bridge and back to the parking lot. We chose the bridge because it’s new and it took a couple of years to build. It was our first time to walk across it.

view back towards Big Spring
from the new bridge

If you are ever near Van Buren, MO, Big Spring is definitely worth a stop. There is a campground, access to the Current River, an old CCC camp as well.

We really enjoyed our day, despite the heat. Our adventures didn’t end there, but that’s for another post.

Thanks for reading. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Jessica