Safety Tips

From St. Louis take I-44 West 60 miles to Exit 218 in Bourbon, Mo., go left through Bourbon to the second stop sign (Hwy N) and then go right on highway N, follow Hwy. "N" South from Bourbon 9 miles to the Meramec River and Riverview Ranch. We are located on the left, just a short distance before the river and bridge (Campbell Bridge).

The precepts listed below will help insure that you and those around you have a safe enjoyable experience of the Meramec. Most of them are just plain common sense guidelines, but are listed anyway because sometimes (especially during the excitement of having fun or while under the influence of alcohol etc.), a person's common sense may leave him/her. Please, when in - on - or around the river, keep the following points in mind:

  • Lifejackets and other floatation devices are for your protection, in Missouri there must be a floatation device for each person in your craft, and children seven years old and under must wear a floatation jacket or vest at all times. Don't take unnecessary chances, anyone who is not a strong swimmer, feels apprehension on the water, is overly intoxicated, and all children should wear a jacket or vest.
  • Never dive into water that you haven't checked for proper depth and underwater obstructions.
  • Avoid swimming in fast water, use the slow spots and backwaters for play.
  • Never sit or lay in your craft with your arms or legs under the seats, thwarts, or other fixtures (especially children). Be easily able to swim free of your craft should a spill occur.
  • Steer your craft well clear of other crafts and obstructions in the water, if a collision is going to occur grasp the sides of your craft and use your weight and balance to attempt to keep the craft upright.
  • If a spill does occur, don't try to swim against the current, swim or float feet first with the current to the nearest bank (use your feet to avoid snags, log-jams and other objects).
  • Keep your gear in watertight containers that are firmly attached to your craft.
  • Get off of the water during severe electrical (lightning) storms.
  • Don't take a float that is too long for the amount of time you want to spend, most people enjoy a leisurely trip more than a hurried one. Floating times vary according to the type of craft, river conditions, and how hard you paddle:
  • 5 miles nonstop in a canoe = 2 - 3 hrs.avg. (Light paddling).
  • 5 miles nonstop in a raft = 4 - 5 hrs.avg. (Light paddling).

Don't TIE Multiple Boats Together!
This practice may at first seem harmless, and it can be fun for groups to connect their boats and float as a single craft, but it is illegal and there are safety and courtesy concerns which arise from this practice that all floaters and river utilizers should be aware of: Steering groups of boats tied together becomes very difficult, they go wherever the current takes them. For that reason floaters who engage in that style of floating often just assume that most everyone else in or on the river is just going to get out of their way. This is rude, inconsiderate, and can be dangerous! The same principles of common courtesy which exist on our streets, sidewalks etc. apply to travelers on the river.


In addition to river floating, you might enjoy a day of experiencing and exploring some of the many other features/attractions of this area.

Take a peaceful nature hike to the stunning Vilander Bluffs that overlook our beautiful ranch.

Or, perhaps a trip to one of many Missouri Wineries nearby; Peaceful Bend Winery; St. James Winery; Ferrigno Winery; Heinrichshaus Vineyards and Winery.

Tours of Onondaga Cave and Meramec Caverns are also available and not far away, they are true natural wonders.

In addition, the Meramec Music Theater can entertain you with all the fun of a Branson show without all the traffic.

Call today 1-800-RIV-VIEW.

We truly care about our customers!