Photos cannot do justice of the glorious Roaring River Spring. From a canyon-like gorge, 20-26 million gallons of 57-degree Fahrenheit degree water emerge every day. A smaller spring at the top of the limestone cliff drips into the chasm, creating the effect of an endless, gentle waterfall. While measuring only ten feet across, the spring has been explored to a depth of 472 feet, with no end in sight. The chasm turns to darkness at the back; it seems as though you could kayak into the abyss. Divers have accessed an air-filled chamber beyond the spring entrance called the colossal dome room.
Since the 1830s, mills have been harnessing the power of the spring. After the turn of the century, spring waters were fed into a rainbow trout fish hatchery. Trout can be seen swimming in crystalline waters. It is the oldest fish hatchery in the state of Missouri.
The Deer Leap trail provides access and sweeping views of the spring and hatchery. Built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the 0.4-mile trail takes hikers six stories high up stone steps. It is said the best time to view the spring is on a sunny day, but the bare trees of the winter also make for a glorious sight.