Millstream Gardens Conservation Area is located in the St Francois Mountain range of the Missouri Ozarks. Here the St Francis River flows through the largest shut-ins in Missouri, known as Tiemann Shut-Ins. In springtime and after heavy rains the river crashes through the granite boulders thrilling whitewater enthusiasts. It is not uncommon to see kayaks throughout the year in the shut-ins and the Missouri Whitewater Championship races are held here each year. Photographing this area can be enjoyable in any season and the scenery changes dramatically as water levels change.
I have been visiting this place since I was a child and have seen the river in it's many stages. A caution should be added about the river and it's banks however. There is a wild nature to the area and poisonous snakes are not uncommon. In fact, one summer evening as I was hiking out from the river at dusk, I encountered two water moccasins within a five minute period, one of them actually moving towards me. I do have a healthy fear of poisonous snakes but a single encounter normally does not give me cause for concern. However, I must say that two such consecutively close encounters shook me up, thus I feel obliged to at least make people aware of their presence in the area.