ROUND SPRING / WELCH SPRING

The Ozarks region is known for its many springs and waterfalls, and you’ll encounter them frequently as you explore the natural areas around West Plains. This scenery is the backdrop for quiet rest as well as outdoor recreation.

Springs and Falls Missouri
Round Spring Missouri

Round Spring
37.2802091,-91.4109827

  • 26 million gallons of water per day

Round Spring is a nearly circular pool of water that flows under a natural bridge into the Current River. The spring is 55 feet deep.

“Round Spring was a Missouri State Park from 1932 until 1964 when the people of Missouri donated it to the National Park Service to become one of the star attractions of the new Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Like Alley and Big Spring, it was a gift from Missouri to the nation.”
~ National Park Service

Round Spring Cave is close by and tours are conducted by Park Rangers. The tour is described as being a strenuous “underground hike” and is limited to the first 15 people. Check the link below for more information about tours before you go.

https://www.nps.gov/ozar/planyourvisit/round-spring-and-round-spring-cave.htm

63 miles From West Plains

Take Highway 63 north toward Willow Springs. Just before Willow Springs, take Highway 60 east toward Mountain View. After Mountain View, turn left on Highway 17. Stay on Highway 17 for 13 miles to Summersville. At Summersville, turn right on Highway 106. In 7 miles, continue straight on D Highway. Go 9 miles then turn left on Highway 19. In 5 miles, the entrance for Round Spring will be on your right.

Make it a day Trip

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Welch Spring
37.3004033,-91.6684652

  • 75 million gallons of water per day
  • 5th largest spring in Missouri

Welch Spring was named after Current River Welch who was born in 1859 and died in 1912. The Welch family ran a grist mill at the property until nearly 50 years after the Civil War.

In 1913, an Illinois doctor named C.H. Diehl bought Welch Spring for $800 from Current River and Martha Welch’s sons, James and Arnold. Dr. Diehl built a hospital over the mouth of Welch Cave believing that the cool, pollen-free air coming from the cave and the spring water had healing properties. Welch Spring, which flowed from the cave, was dammed up so the water would close off the entrance. This forced air from the cave opening into the hospital. Unfortunately, the hospital was not a success. Dr. Diehl died in 1940 and his family was not interested in keeping the property up. They sold the property and it was run as a trout fishing resort until the National Park Service purchased it in 1967.

https://www.nps.gov/ozar/learn/historyculture/welch-hospital.htm

Welch Spring Missouri

60 miles From West Plains

Take Highway 63 north toward Willow Springs. Just before Willow Springs, take Highway 60 east toward Mountain View. After Mountain View, turn left on Highway 17. Stay on Highway 17 for 13 miles to Summersville. Just past Summersville, turn right on K Highway. Stay on K Highway for 19 miles. You will cross the Current River on Akers Ferry. Turn left on the first gravel road past the Akers Group Camp. At the end of the road, park next to the river and walk a trail north along the river for about a half mile. At the end of the trail you will be able to see the hospital ruins, although you will be across the river from it.

Make it a day Trip

Visit other attractions close by: