Of all the ferries in the world, this is one.
Before I took this trip, I didn’t know this ferry even existed, but I soon found out it has been around in one form or another since even before this lake was created. Aunt Lynette comes to visit me in the Missouri Ozarks each fall, and we decided we’d include this ferry in our fall foliage tour.
Approaching from the west side, the road down to the water is pretty steep, and even though you’re driving onto the ferry, it feels slightly odd:
Once you’re on board, you wait for more vehicles until the ferry fills up, and then you’re off to the other side of the lake, approximately 3/4 of a mile away. The ferry carries more than 30k vehicles per year across the lake, operates year round during daylight hours, and only stops service during bad weather.
Once underway, passengers are allowed to mill about and visit with other passengers or the crew, though these cyclists may have stayed on their bikes just to ensure the bikes weren’t jostled over. Everyone was exceedingly friendly on our brief trip.
For those interested, our ride was a rented Crown Vic LX with the sport suspension and big wheels. It handled the twisty, hilly southern Missouri/northern Arkansas roads with aplomb, though it is also true that aunt Lynette is not an aggressive driver. (She did, however, report a recent incident where she had to dust a guy with her Hemi-equipped AWD 300C.)
The trip takes about 40 minutes from driving on to driving off, but it felt like about 4. It was a really nice day for November, and we enjoyed this unusual (for middle America) journey into Arkansas.
The leaves, by the way, were fantastic.