Ranger Programs

A visit to a National Park wouldn't be the same without a Ranger Program! Join our rangers for one of these daily, repeating activities. Special, one-off events are listed on our park calendar page. Be sure to check it out!

Evening Programs: Join us at campground amphitheaters to learn about Ozark wildlife, geology, superstitions, history, dark skies, and a whole lot more! During the summer, evening programs take place at 8:30 pm in various locations:

  • Thursday: Pulltite only
  • Friday: Pulltite, Round Spring, Alley Spring, Big Spring
  • Saturday: Pulltite, Round Spring, Alley Spring, Big Spring, Two Rivers

Junior Ranger Program: ask a ranger or campground host for a free Junior Ranger book. Complete some of the self-paced activities, then turn it in at an evening program, the Alley Mill, Big Spring Entrance Station, or Pulltite Visitor Center and get the official Junior Ranger badge!

Alley Mill: You can visit the historic Alley Mill grounds anytime. The building itself is open during the summer months, from 9 am to 5 pm every day. Rangers give short, guided tours of the building, talking about local history, culture, and the impact of mills in the area. These tours are free and open to the public.

The Alley General Store Visitor Center will be open from 9 am to 5 pm most days during the summer. (It may be briefly closed during lunch hour or events at the mill.) Feel free to ask rangers about the history of general stores, the barter system, or frontier living!
This replica general store also has historic craft items and books for sale, as well as free park information. A 24 hour passport stamping station is available on the screened porch.

Storys Creek School is located at Alley and is open on weekends only, from 9 am to 5 pm during the summer. Rangers will discuss the history of this one-room schoolhouse, emphasizing the unique culture of Ozark schools.

Round Spring Cave is open for tours during the summer months - visit our Round Spring Cave tour page for dates and details. These tours take 60-75 minutes to explore the amazing world beneath our feet!
To participate, a cave tour ticket must be purchased; visit the cave tour page for pricing and purchasing information. School groups may make special arrangements for cave tours; call (573) 858-3297 or (573) 858-3397 for more information.

Big Spring Entrance Station: The entrance station, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s, is once again open to the public. Stop in between to view the naturalistic architecture made famous by the CCC, get your passport stamped, and pick up free park information. Ask our rangers about the history of the CCC, the lodge and cabins renovations, or Big Spring itself.

During the summer, the entrance station is open 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, 7 days a week. (This applies between Memorial Day and September 30 - the building is only open Monday through Friday after September 30). A 24 hour passport stamping station is available on the front porch.

For activites at Big Spring, call (573) 323-4236.
For programs at Alley Spring and the Jacks Fork, call (573) 226-3945.
For the Round Spring Cave and other upper Current River activities, call (573) 858-3297 or (573) 858-3397.

Children enjoying a hike with a ranger
Have fun and learn about nature at the same time! Join a ranger for one of the activities above.
"Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss". - (David Bolling, How to Save a River: Handbook for Citizen Action)

Last updated: April 26, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 490
Van Buren, MO 63965


(573) 323-4236
Call (573) 323-4236 for Big Spring Entrance Station, located south of Van Buren, MO. Call (573) 226-3945 for the Alley Spring General Store, located west of Eminence, MO. Call (573) 858-3297 for Round Spring Ranger Station, located north of Eminence, MO.

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