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Stretching over approximately 1.5 million acres of land, Mark Twain National Forest extends throughout southern and central Missouri, spanning over 29 counties. It is one of the greatest places to soak in the beauty and tranquility of the Ozarks region.
Mark Twain National Forest was established as a national forest in 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt after a great deal of Missouri’s natural landscape was depleted by the logging and lumber mill industries. It was named after famed author and Missouri native Mark Twain. However, at that time, the land was declared under two different names – Clark National Forest and Mark Twain National Forest. It remained this way until 1973 when they were combined with the title it holds today.
There are many notable features found throughout Mark Twain National Forest. Among them include Greer Spring, which is the second largest spring in the state and the largest in a national forest, and Eleven Point National Scenic River, noted in 1968 as one of the first waterways of the National Wild and Scenic River system. The Glade Top National Scenic Byway offers 30 miles of picturesque views all the way to Arkansas’ Boston Mountains, and there are also seven Wilderness Areas and several miles of the Ozark Trail system to explore.
There are a myriad of recreational activities to participate in while visiting Mark Twain National Forest. With a number of crystal clear rivers, lakes, and streams, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, inner tubing, and fishing are popular. There are 750 miles worth of designated trails winding through the landscape, ideal for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Some of the paths allow ATV and motorcycle riding with permits as well. Hunting with a valid permit is authorized in assigned areas. There are plenty of spots accessible for picnicking, and many isolated campsites dot the grounds, providing a quiet and peaceful escape into nature.
In 2007, The National Trust for Historic Preservation deemed certain structures within the Mark Twain National Forest to be endangered. This warranted its listing as one of America’s 11 most endangered historic places. This includes frontier farms, New Deal-era fire lookouts, and ranger stations due to their deterioration after Forest Service budget cuts. They are at risk of facing demolition. In total, there are 161 structures in the national forest recognized as valuable to history and endangered.
Address: Mark Twain National Forest, 401 Fairgrounds Road, Rolla, MO 65401
Phone #: (573) 364-4621
Stay at the beautiful Henry's Hideaway with this code and get 20% off your rental rate! This is the perfect place for any fisherman, canoe fanatic, or anyone that wants to get closer to the outdoors! Special lasts until June 30th, 2017 for any new reservations through the 2017 year! Does not apply to holidays.
Branson Creek is a beautiful, scenic community located just minutes from Downtown Branson and The Branson Airport.