James River (Missouri)

James River near Springfield, Missouri - the icy green-blue water is iconic.
Icy green-blue water of James River

The James River is a 130-mile-long (210 km)[1] river in southern Missouri. Its source is near the town of Diggins in Webster County. It begins on a northwesterly course, then turns southwest near Northview and passes down the east side of Springfield where it is impounded to form Lake Springfield. From Springfield, it flows west and then south to Galena where it becomes an arm of Table Rock Lake, a reservoir on the White River, which is the emptying point for the river.

Large sections of the James River are floatable by canoe or kayak. A solid 3-day float from the public access on the downstream side of the dam to Galena is possible when the levels are high enough.[2]

There are several access points along the river which offer a variety of amenities including fishing, and boat launches.

The James River is a drinking water source for the city of Springfield. Springfield Lake is a primary source of water for the cooling system at the James River Power Plant which sits by the dam. James River Freeway on the city's south side is named after the river.

The river's name most likely is a transfer from the James River in Virginia.[3]


Table Rock Lake, Stone County, Missouri: 36°47′11″N 93°29′56″W / 36.78626°N 93.49885°W / 36.78626; -93.49885 (James River, mouth)[4]
Webster County, Missouri: 37°13′11″N 92°43′44″W / 37.21977°N 92.72878°W / 37.21977; -92.72878 (James River, source)[4]


  1. U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed March 9, 2011
  2. Missouri Department of Conservation Mile-by-Mile Description and Map. , accessed 5/16/2013.
  3. "Greene County Place Names, 1928–1945 (archived)". The State Historical Society of Missouri. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  4. 1 2 "James River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
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