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Discover the Irish Wilderness in Missouri: A Hidden Gem for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Eleven Point River - Irish Wilderness
Pool in the Eleven Point River: Part of the Irish Wilderness

Nestled in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks, the Irish Wilderness is a pristine expanse of unspoiled natural beauty. Covering approximately 16,500 acres, this area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking solitude and adventure. From its rich history to the myriad recreational opportunities it offers, the Irish Wilderness is a destination worth exploring.

A Glimpse into Irish Wilderness History

The Irish Wilderness has a storied past that adds to its allure. In the mid-19th century, a group of Irish immigrants, led by a priest named John Joseph Hogan, attempted to establish a settlement in this remote region. However, the harsh conditions and the onset of the Civil War led to the abandonment of the settlement. The area was later designated as a wilderness area in 1984, ensuring the preservation of its natural state for future generations.

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

The Irish Wilderness offers a diverse range of outdoor activities that cater to all types of nature lovers. Whether you're into fishing, hunting, camping, or paddling, this wilderness has something for everyone.


The Eleven Point River, which flows through the Irish Wilderness, is a prime spot for fishing enthusiasts. The river is home to a variety of fish species, including smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and rainbow trout. The clear, cool waters of the Eleven Point River provide excellent conditions for both fly fishing and traditional angling. Anglers can enjoy the serene environment as they cast their lines in hopes of landing a big catch.


For those who enjoy hunting, the Irish Wilderness offers ample opportunities. The area is home to an abundance of wildlife, including deer, turkey, and various small game species. Hunters can explore the dense forests and open meadows, experiencing the thrill of hunting in a truly wild setting. The Irish Wilderness is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, and hunters should be aware of the regulations and seasons to ensure a safe and legal hunt.


Camping in the Irish Wilderness is an experience like no other. The area offers several primitive campsites where visitors can immerse themselves in nature. The Whites Creek Trail, a 9-mile loop trail, provides access to some of the best camping spots in the wilderness. Campers can set up their tents near the river or in the secluded forest, enjoying the peace and tranquility of the great outdoors. Remember to practice Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the wilderness for future visitors.

Paddling on the Eleven Point River

Paddling the Eleven Point through the Irish Wilderness
Paddling the Eleven Point through the Irish Wilderness

The Eleven Point River is a paddler's paradise, offering a scenic and adventurous route through the Irish Wilderness. The river is part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, ensuring its natural beauty is protected. Canoeists and kayakers can navigate the river's gentle rapids and calm stretches, taking in the stunning landscapes along the way. Paddling the Eleven Point River is a great way to experience the wilderness from a unique perspective, with opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy the serene surroundings.

Plan Your Visit

When planning a trip to the Irish Wilderness, it's important to come prepared. The area is remote, with limited cell service and amenities, so visitors should bring all necessary supplies, including food, water, and appropriate gear for their chosen activities. Additionally, be sure to check the weather forecast and trail conditions before heading out, as the wilderness can be unpredictable.

The Irish Wilderness in Missouri is a true hidden gem, offering a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities in a stunning natural setting. Whether you're casting a line, setting up camp, hunting for game, or paddling down the Eleven Point River, you're sure to find adventure and tranquility in this beautiful wilderness. So pack your gear, leave the hustle and bustle behind, and immerse yourself in the wild beauty of the Irish Wilderness.

1 comentário

Elaine Sunde
Elaine Sunde
4 days ago

What are the "rules?" Any motors (cars, boats, off-road?)

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