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Confession, my past float trips were disasters. Help me perfect my KC summer travel plans

Do you have favorite memories from your last Missouri float trip? Unfortunately, I haven’t been so lucky. But, I’ve been tasked with creating some guides to summer travel in driving distance of Kansas City — including float trips.

My first float trip on the River Ranch Resort in Noel, Missouri, was 13 years ago. It ended early because my family didn’t bring the right stuff. I went on my second trip last August to the same spot, three hours south of Kansas City, and I didn’t fare much better.

After being rammed into a tree while pulling our float through deep waters, I left with two nasty bruises. It didn’t help that I was on the raft with all the children going on their first float trip.

Battle scars. This reporter received this bruise after going back-first into a tree on a float trip at River Ranch Resort in Noel, Missouri in August 2022.
Battle scars. This reporter received this bruise after going back-first into a tree on a float trip at River Ranch Resort in Noel, Missouri in August 2022.

I haven’t had the best luck with planning a dreamy weekend getaway in nature. I’m hoping that can change, but I’ll need your help.

We want to hear from you about your favorite summer day or weekend trips within driving distance of Kansas City, and your best tips to making them successful. We’ll use your intel to compile guides to some favorite summer adventures that others can try.

Tell us your favorite places to float in Missouri. What are your must-pack items? Do you camp or rent a cabin? Where should you avoid if you’re bringing kids with you? What advice do you have for big group trips?

If you like to be more active than floating, where do you like to go hiking that’s a drive away? Where is your favorite place to visit if you’ve got your bikes hitched on the back of your car?

And if you really want to relax, what’s the cutest small town within a few hours that you’ve spent a lovely weekend in? What was your favorite place when you went there?

Fill out this form or email kcq@kcstar.com to let us know your tips and secrets to the best summer adventures in our region, and we may include them in some coming guide stories.