Van Buren, Missouri lies deep in the southeastern Missouri Ozarks, a lovely and peaceful county seat with a population of 819 contented people. It is a major destination for recreational floating and fishing on the famous and beautiful Current River, as well as sightseeing at one of the world's largest springs, Big Spring.To locate Van Buren on a map of Missouri, find Poplar Bluff in the southeast corner and follow US 60 west 45 miles. Van Buren is on the edge of a large section of Mark Twain National Forest, and Clearwater Lake & Dam are just a few miles to the northeast. Van Buren is the most prominent of the seven small communities that dot scenic Carter County.
The crystal-clear Current River was the first stream to be designated a National Scenic River, and is the major stream of those that comprise the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Current River springs up in Montauk State Park to the northwest and flows southeast to bisect Carter County. Once heavily used for transportation by Native Americans and the lumber industry, it is now a highly popular stream for fishing, canoeing, tubing, kayaking, rafting, and Jonboating. Along its pastoral length are state parks and forests, large springs, gravel bars and other camp sites, mountains and breathtaking scenery.
In the center of Carter County, just south of Van Buren, is the largest spring of them all, with an average daily flow of 276 million gallons. Aptly named, Big Spring has been described as both the largest single-outlet spring in the United States and in the world. Big Spring is the dominant attraction in an area noted as one of the most beautiful and exciting places in the country for the outdoor enthusiast. The main outlet boils up in an unrestrained mound that captivates the onlooker with its size and force.
Van Buren, Missouri has much to offer the traveler and the resident. The Van Buren Area Chamber of Commerce wants to share Current River and Big Spring with everyone. We encourage you to learn more about the businesses in our community and what they make available to you, our guest. Come and See Van Buren!