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Gorgeous Swimming Destinations In The Ozarks To Beat The Summer Heat

Escape the summer heat while exploring these breathtaking natural swimming holes and waterfalls in the Ozarks.


Buffalo Point River

KINGSTON, ARKANSAS

Established in 1972, Buffalo National River flows freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states. It is America’s First National River. This breathtaking swimming destination lies within the Ozark Mountains, surrounded by ancient rock bluffs and lush forest.


Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park

REYNOLDS COUNTY, MISSOURI

Looking for a unique destination? Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park offers ancient beauty.

The wilderness qualities and geology of Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park and the surrounding St. Francois Mountains make this park a special place to visit. Its rugged character provides the perfect backdrop for camping, hiking, picnicking, splashing in the shut-ins, exploring nature or just relaxing.


 Rocky Falls

WINONA, MISSOURI

Hidden in the forest, this gorgeous lesser-known swimming hole is a perfect summer destination. It has a beautiful waterfall and many other utilities including a walking trail, bathrooms, picnic tables, and fire grills.


Fugitive Beach

ROLLA, MISSOURI

Carved into the cliffs of a rock quarry, Fugitive Beach is a unique and popular swimming destination for locals and travelers alike.

This hidden oasis offers a variety of summer activities for all ages including a 60 foot water slide, cliff jumps, sand volleyball, a play area for children, pavilion rentals, changing rooms, and a beach bar and grill.


The Rhododendron spring blooms on top of Hawksbill Mountain at t

Kings River Falls Natural Area

MADISON COUNTY, ARKANSAS

Located in the Boston Mountains, Kings River Falls Trail is an scenic hike along the banks of the Kings River, eventually leading to a beautiful waterfall.


Long Pool Recreation Area

DOVER, ARKANSAS

Long Pool Recreation Area lies along beautiful Big Piney Creek and offers visitors a variety of recreational opportunities: camping, picnicking, swimming, canoeing, fishing and hiking. A large natural pool, steep rock bluffs, and captivating forests are just a few examples of the natural beauty surrounding this recreation area.


Petit Jean State Park

KINGSTON, ARKANSAS

Petit Jean State Park is an Arkansas icon, a state natural and historic treasure that features the beauty and ancient geology of the surrounding mountains. Explore a variety of breathtaking scenery, including Cedar Creek Falls, a 95 foot waterfall in the forest, and “Blue Hole”, a popular swimming destination.


5 Trails In Arkansas That Lead To The Most Breathtaking Scenery

From serene ancient mountains to lush oak forests, Arkansas holds a pristine beauty that you can only witness while exploring these trails.

Whitaker Point Trail

KINGSTON, ARKANSAS

Radiant with wildflowers and a waterfall in the spring, and then graced with the crimson and amber foliage of turning maple leaves in the fall, this trail winds through some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.

This region was also featured in the opening scenes of the Disney film Tuck Everlasting.


Lost Valley Trail

PONCA, ARKANSAS

Lost Valley Trail leaves the parking area and gently winds up the box canyon passing beneath groves of American beech trees. The trail leads you to an turquoise-blue pool of water with an 8-ft waterfall flowing out of a small opening in the bluff, known as the Natural Bridge. The gem of the hike is Eden Falls. The picturesque Eden Falls cascades 53 ft over towering cliffs offering visitors a firsthand view of what the Ozark Mountains have to offer.

Wildflower and medicinal plant folklore enthusiasts will enjoy the trail immensely as it features a wide variety of species, including bloodroot, crested iris, columbine, mayapple, comfrey and Ozark trillium, just to name a few.


Centerpoint to Goat Trail

BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER, ARKANSAS

Breathtaking river bluffs combined with a world-class geologic experience makes this trail unique. This area also features the tallest sheer bluff face found between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains.

The trail’s destination is the Big Bluff overlooking the Buffalo River. It is considered the tallest along the Buffalo, over 500 ft. tall. The side trail that leads to an outcropping on the bluff is called the Goat Trail, which is about 350 ft tall. It is not for children, the weak, or those afraid of heights.


Pedestal Rocks Loop Trail

WITTS SPRINGS, ARKANSAS

Visitors can view picturesque rock bluffs, swim in crystal clear streams, and hike wooded hillsides. This scenic area consists of two hiking trails, Pedestal
Rocks and Kings Bluff. Pedestal Rocks is 2.2 -miles and Kings Bluff is 1.7-miles long. Although there are some steep sections, the trails are easy to hike with abundant resting places.


Triple Falls Trail

JASPER, ARKANSAS

Triple Falls is a simple hike along the trail on the north side of the creek that heads west from the parking to the 48 ft. tall falls, arguably the most scenic in Arkansas with this ease of accessibility.

It is a 0.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Jasper, Arkansas that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.


 

 

13 Spectacular Events You Can’t Miss This Fourth of July

Celebrate this Independence Day in the Ozarks with a variety of traditional festivities including professional firework displays, music festivals, carnivals, and more!

Fire in the Sky

BRANSON, MISSOURI

JULY 3rd

Tickets are on sale now for 2nd annual “Fire In The SKY”. View the Branson Landing Fireworks show from the Sky Deck on Mount Branson, across from the Branson Landing.

Guests of the “Fire in the SKY” zip over Lake Taneycomo via Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline located at Branson Landing.and arrive on the SKY Deck, where they will enjoy delicious food, a cash bar, party to live entertainment by the Steve Moeller Band and the have best view of the Branson Landing fireworks show.

“Fire In The SKY” events require an advance ticket for VIP seating.

Purchase tickets online at ParakeetPetes.com


Branson Landing’s 10th Annual Liberty Light Up Concert & Fireworks

BRANSON, MISSOURI

JULY 3rd

Be a part of Branson Landing’s 10th Annual Liberty Light Up – and celebrate Independence Day – in a BIG way, a day early!

The Liberty Light Up Concert will be followed by an amazing choreographed Fireworks Display that will fill the skies over Lake Taneycomo and highlight a spectacular celebration of America’s Independence that will leave you in awe.

Starting at 10 p.m.


Independence Day Fireworks at Top of the Rock

BRANSON, MISSOURI

JULY 4th

Enjoy an unforgettable night at one of our remarkable restaurants overlooking Table Rock Lake while honoring our nation’s independence with an awe-inspiring fireworks show at dusk!

Image Courtesy of Big Cedar Lodge


Chateau on the Lake 4th of July Celebration

BRANSON, MISSOURI

JULY 4th

Summer is in full swing on the lake, in the mountains. After our outdoor BBQ event, complete with live music, we will light up the evening sky with fireworks to celebrate Independence Day and you won’t want to miss it. Make your room reservations early and enjoy a holiday full of activities.


31st Annual Fireworks Extravaganza

HEBER SPRINGS ARKANSAS

JULY 1st

Celebrate America’s independence at one of the largest fireworks displays in Arkansas over spectacular Greers Ferry Lake.

Join us by car or by boat for music, food, and fun for the family. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.


4th of July Fireworks Displays & Celebrations

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, MISSOURI

JUNE 30th – JULY 4th

Celebrate this Independence day with professional firework displays, festivals, live music, and more!

Multiple venues will be hosting a variety of events in the Lake of the Ozarks region.

Visit http://www.funlake.com/independence-day-fireworks-full-list to see all locations.


Fireburst

BRANSON, MISSOURI

JULY 4th

The Annual Fireburst fireworks show returns this year, Saturday, July 1st on Table Rock Lake! The Fireburst can be viewed by car, boat, or on foot! Fireworks begin at dusk.


Highberry Music Festival

EUREKA SPRINGS, ARKANSAS

JUNE 30th – JULY 2nd

The 8th annual Highberry Music Festival will be held at The Farm Campground & Events in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. We hope you will join us in continuing on our family tradition in a beautiful slice of the Ozark Mountains as we celebrate our freedom and independence. This event is brought to you by Deadhead Productions. The venue boasts beautiful 360 degree panoramic views. It sits on 160 acres and backs up to Mark Twain national forestBeaver Lake, Table Rock Lake, and the White River are all within 5 miles of the venue. Vending, RV and camping spots available for purchase.

See website for details. This event is rain or shine. No refunds.

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.


16th Annual Ventris Trail’s End Resort’s Fireworks Display

GARFIELD, ARKANSAS

JULY 1st

We welcome you to the 16th Annual Ventris Trail’s End Resort’s Fireworks Display in honor of our nation’s independence.

Watch thousands of fireworks light up the night sky while listening to patriotic music.

Show is to be seen by boat only.

8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.


27th Annual 4th of July Celebration-Hats Off to America

SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI

JULY 4th

Celebrate Independence Day at Springfield’s 27th Annual Old­ Fashioned 4th of July Parade and Celebration sponsored by Midtown Neighborhood Association.

This year’s theme will be “Hats off to America”.

Parade slots are still available at $10 per entry and $50 for political entries. Deadline for entries is June 30.

Children are invited to march or ride their bicycles in the parade at no charge!

After the parade please join us at historic Washington Park. We will have live music, children’s games & prizes, a pie baking contest, ice cream from Hiland Dairy, food trucks, and a parade awards ceremony. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on.

10:00am – 1:00pm

Location: Washington Park

Free Admission


Marshfield Independence Day Parade

MARSHFIELD, MISSOURI

JULY 4th

Monday, July 4 137th Marshfield Independence Day Parade. Begins at 10:00 a.m. This parade remains the oldest, continuous parade west of the Mississippi River.

Vendors, games, activities from 10am to 3pm, Marshfield town square.


 16th Annual Fireworks Display

STRAWBERRY, ARKANSAS

JULY 1st

Enjoy a Show & Shine Car Show, music by Cory Jackson, fireworks, concession stand, vendors, and bounce houses. Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs!

5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.


Honor America Celebration

BRANSON, MISSOURI

JULY 4th

College of the Ozarks will host its 28th annual Honor America Celebration on campus Sunday, June 25, 2017. The public is invited to attend this free event, and guests are invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs.

5:30 – 7:45 p.m.

Festivities begin with an old-fashioned, barbecue picnic. Guests may purchase barbecue sandwich meals or items al a carte. Food service closes promptly at 7:45 p.m. for patriotic program.

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Children’s activities will include face painting, balloons, and a craft area where guests can make a thank-you card for Veterans.

6 p.m.

Musical acts take the stage and feature some of the area’s best acts. Featured entertainment includes touring and recording group, The Hunt Family Band; songs from throughout the decades performed by Red, Hot… & Blue!; and the unique harmonies of AYO Voices of Glory. Alcohol, tobacco products, fireworks and pets are strictly prohibited.

8:30 p.m.

The patriotic program is a well-loved tradition and includes the Presentation of ColorsConcert Band will perform a patriotic program and provide the musical backdrop for the fireworks display that concludes the event.


8 Magnificent State Parks In Arkansas That Will Leave You In Awe

Discover a plethora of breathtaking locations and unforgettable experiences throughout Arkansas while exploring these state parks.


Queen Wilhelmina State Park

MENA, ARKANSAS

A spectacular mountaintop setting. Breathtaking panoramic mountain scenery. Royal hospitality. Queen Wilhelmina State Park is this, and more. The park’s crowning attraction is its renowned hostelry, a historic lodging tradition born in 1898 with the original “Castle in the Sky” resort that graced this same lofty locale high above the Ouachita Mountains over 100 years ago.


Lake Ouachita State Park

MOUNTAIN PINE, ARKANSAS

Surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest, Lake Ouachita is known for its scenic natural beauty and the clarity of its waters. These pristine waters form the largest manmade lake within Arkansas’s borders. Named one of the cleanest lakes in America, 40,000-acre Lake Ouachita is a water sports mecca for swimmingskiingscuba divingboating, and fishing. Angling for bream, crappie, catfish, stripers, and largemouth bass can be enjoyed in open waters or quiet coves along the lake’s 975 miles of shoreline.

Located just a short drive from the spa city of Hot Springs on the lake’s eastern shore, Lake Ouachita State Park is your gateway to this popular water sports lake.


Petit Jean State Park

MORRILTON, ARKANSAS

Petit Jean State Park is an Arkansas icon, a state natural and historic treasure that has welcomed travelers over the decades. The natural beauty and ancient geology of legendary Petit Jean Mountain inspired the creation of Arkansas’s first state park, and with it our state park system.

Hiking trails lead through forestscanyonsmeadows, and along streams and mountainside. See where nature over time formed sheer bluffsCedar Falls, and the Seven Hollows, such distinctive features as Bear Cave, the Grotto, and the Natural Bridge, and other formations sculpted geometrically by nature called Turtle Rocks and Carpet Rocks.


Mount Magazine State Park

PARIS, ARKANSAS

Mount Magazine State Park is on the state’s tallest mountain, the 2,753-foot Mount Magazine. Sweeping vistas of broad river valleysdeep canyons, and distant mountains welcome outdoor enthusiasts to Arkansas’s highest point.

The park is a place to enjoy hikingsightseeing, exploring the mountain and nature study. It’s also a destination for outdoor sports and extreme adventure enthusiasts that offers rock climbingrappellinghang glidingmountain bikinghorseback ridingbackpacking, and ATV adventure. An ATV guide service is available.

Mount Magazine is the state park system’s most dramatic location for technical rock climbing. The park also offers overlooks, hiking trails, a picnic area with restrooms, pavilion, and visitor center with an interactive exhibit gallery and gift shop. Park interpreters lead a variety of programs that highlight the mountain’s natural diversity and unique species.

Website: http://www.mountmagazinestatepark.com/


DeGray Lake Resort State Park 

BISMARCK, ARKANSAS

DeGray Lake Resort State Park is Arkansas’s only resort state park. Located near Bismarck, Arkansas, in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains and nestled along the north shore of 13,800-acre DeGray Lake, one of the region’s five Diamond Lakes known for their crystal clear waters, DeGray offers all the outdoor adventure and quality of an Arkansas State Park combined with resort class amenities at one of the finest lodges in the state. DeGray is a fishing and water sports paradise, a golf resort with an 18-hole championship golf course, the ideal camping spot, and one of the best parks for family vacations, getaways, reunions, weddings, business meetings and retreats.


Mount Nebo State Park

DARDANELLE, ARKANSAS

Surrounded by the natural beauty for which the Arkansas River Valley is known, Lake Dardanelle is a sprawling 34,300-acre reservoir on the Arkansas River. These two water resources combined here have put this area into the national spotlight as a major bass fishing tournament site. Lake Dardanelle State Park offers two areas on the lake: one park site is at Russellville, and the other is located at nearby Dardanelle. Both the Russellville (main park) and Dardanelle locations offer campinglaunch rampsstandard pavilionspicnic sitesrestrooms, and bathhouses with hot showers.


Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park

SCOTT, ARKANSAS

National Historic Landmark, the Toltec Mounds site comprises one of the largest and most impressive archeological sites in the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Preserved here are Arkansas’s tallest American Indian mounds. Three mounds remain where 18 once stood surrounded by an earthen embankment eight to ten feet in height, a portion of which is still visible today. These ancient earthworks are the remains of the late-Woodland thru early-Mississippian Period ceremonial and governmental complex which was inhabited here from A.D. 650 to 1050. The park visitor center features exhibits including artifacts from the site, an A/V theater, and archeological research laboratory.

Walking Tour: Free

Guided Archeological Site Walking Tour
Adult: $4 each
Child (6-12): $3 each
Family: $14

Guided Archeological Site Tour by Tram (by reservation)
Adult: $6 each
Child (6-12): $5 each
Family: $22


Crater of Diamonds State Park

MURFREESBORO, ARKANSAS

Crater of Diamonds offers park visitors a one-of-a-kind experience—the adventure of hunting for real diamonds. You’ll search over a 37 ½-acre plowed field that is the eroded surface of the world’s eighth largest diamond-bearing volcanic craterIf you find a diamond, it is yours to keep.Pinnacle Mountain is a day-use park dedicated to environmental education, outdoor recreation, and preservation. Located just west of Little Rock, this natural environment of 2,356 acres was set aside in 1977 as Arkansas’s first state park adjoining a major metropolitan area.

Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow. The three colors found here at the park are white, brown, and yellow, in that order. Park staff at the Diamond Discovery Center provide free identification and certification of diamonds found here. Amethystgarnetjasperagatequartz, and more rocks and minerals may also be found at the Crater of Diamonds, making the park a rock hound’s paradise.

Admission

Ages 13 & up $10.00

Ages 6 – 12 $6.00

Ages 5 & under Free

Photo Courtesy of http://www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com/Default.aspx

Here is a Silver Moon Diamond found in Crater of Diamonds State Park following its cutting into this 1.06-carat pear-shape gem. Once cut, the diamond was appraised at $21,639. In its rough form at 2.44 carats, the diamond was a triangular-shape. On average, a diamond will lose approximately 40 to 60 percent of its rough weight when cut.


These 9 State Parks In Missouri Are Pure Magic

From secluded forest waterfalls to ancient caverns, these 9 state parks in Missouri offer an incredible beauty you have to witness.

St Francois State Park

BONNE TERRE, MISSOURI

The forested ridges and cool hollows of St. Francois State Park offer visitors a retreat from everyday life. Three hiking trails, including one that allows equestrian access, wind through the wooded hills and glades of the Coonville Creek Wild Area. Easy access to the Big River makes St. Francois State Park ideal for canoeing and floating and the many shaded picnic sites and two covered shelters make the park perfect for family gatherings. Overnight guests can choose from more than 100 campsites, in campgrounds with modern restrooms, hot showers and laundry facilities.


Castlewood State Park

BALLWIN, MISSOURI

The park has hiking and mountain biking trails that range from those great for first-time riders to ones that even the most experienced will return to time after time. The park is considered one of the best mountain biking locations in the St. Louis area. Good fishing, broad meadows filled with wildlife, and plenty of recreational facilities make the park a favorite for people who want an adventure or just to get away.


Elephants Rock State Park

BELLEVIEW, MISSOURI

The elephant rocks, which were formed from 1.5 billion year old granite, are giant boulders that stand end-to-end like a train of circus elephants. The rocks have created formations that intrigue geologists, are popular with history buffs interested in the past quarrying, and fascinate children who love to climb on and between the boulders.

An easy way to see the rocks is from the Braille Trail, which was especially designed for people with visual and physical disabilities. The trail winds through the main area of rocks. An extension off the trail leads back to the ruins of an old railroad engine house, a remnant of the area’s quarrying and railroad history.

Picnic tables are scattered among the trees and provide inviting spots to have a picnic lunch or rest and enjoy the interesting geologic formations found throughout the park.


Onondaga Cave State Park

LEASBURG, MISSOURI

Descend into the depths of Onondaga Cave State Park and drop into a world of wonder: towering stalagmites, dripping stalactites, and active flowstones help make the cave a National Natural Landmark and illustrate why Missouri is often called “The Cave State.”

Visitors can take guided tours into the underground wonderland. But if you prefer the surface, the park’s Vilander Bluff Natural Area provides a panoramic view of the Meramec River. Easy access to the Meramec River allows visitors to canoe or fish in a peaceful and scenic setting.


Grand Gulf State Park

KOSHKONONG, MISSOURI

Some people call Grand Gulf State Park the “Little Grand Canyon.” Some just call it “breathtaking.”

The park is one of the natural wonders of the Ozarks, presenting the most spectacular collapsed cave system in the Ozarks. The “Grand Gulf” stretches for more than a mile between 130 foot high walls. Visitors can view the gulf from trails on top or from the floor where they can walk under the natural bridge, which spans 250 feet with a 75-foot high opening. There is no official trail leading to the bottom, so visitors should use extreme caution when attempting to access the bottom. Interpretive signs detail the formation of the gulf.

 

Photo Courtesy of http://www.adventurist.net/hiking/grand_gulf/

The result of a collapsed cave system, Grand Gulf is often known as “Missouri’s Little Grand Canyon.” The massive collapse provides a great cave cross-section that couldn’t be a better outdoor classroom. The canyon, or gulf (shown), a natural bridge (where the photo is taken from), and a cave all give insight on this ancient cave system and its demise.
This view, from the observation platform, shows two of the former cave passages that, all told, stretch for nearly a mile at close to 130 feet high.

Photo Courtesy of Road Junkies


Mastodon State Historic Site

IMPERIAL, MISSOURI

Mastodon State Historic Site contains an important archaeological and paleontological site – the Kimmswick Bone Bed.

Here, scientists discovered the first solid evidence of the coexistence of humans and the American mastodon in eastern North America.

Today, visitors can learn about this discovery and how the landscape of Missouri looked in pre historic time. The site features a museum with an interpretive video, displays of ancient artifacts and fossils, and an impressive mastodon skeleton replica. Programs explain more about the significance of the site.

For anyone wanting to stretch their legs, the site offers three trails, including one that leads to the site where the bones and artifacts were found. The park also offers picnic sites, a picnic shelter, a playground, a special-use area for organized youth groups, and a wildflower garden that attracts birds and butterflies.

Website: https://mostateparks.com/park/mastodon-state-historic-site


Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park

MIDDLE BROOK, MISSOURI

Looking for a unique destination? Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park offers ancient beauty!

The wilderness qualities and geology of Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park and the surrounding St. Francois Mountains make this park a special place to visit. Its rugged character provides the perfect backdrop for camping, hiking, picnicking, splashing in the shut-ins, exploring nature or just relaxing.

johnson shut in


Bennet Springs State Parks

LEBANON, MISSOURI

The valley that cradles Bennett Spring has created a place of peace and recreation that has welcomed generations of enthusiastic anglers. Bennett Spring State Park is one of Missouri’s earliest state parks and continues today to attract fishermen and nature lovers seeking to make new memories.

More than 100 million gallons of clear, cool water gush from Bennett Spring each day and form a spring branch stocked daily with rainbow trout waiting for lucky fishermen. Fishing may be the main draw but the park also offers many other amenities such as a dining lodge, campgrounds, cabins, and hiking trails.

Whether you are a traditional fishing enthusiast or someone seeking a place to relax and refresh, Bennett Spring State Park has what you need to make every trip one to remember.


Ha Ha Tonka State Park

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, MISSOURI

Imposing architecture and breathtaking scenery combine to make Ha Ha Tonka State Park one of Missouri’s most treasured spots.

Located on the Lake of the Ozarks, the park features the stone ruins of a castle high atop a bluff. More than 15 miles of trails traverse the park, leading visitors to sinkholes, natural bridges, caves and down to the lake.

castle

Photo Courtesy of https://mostateparks.com/park/ha-ha-tonka-state-park


The Most Beautiful Bike Trails In The Ozarks

The Ozarks is full of places to hike and even bike in nature. The best trails are often in places you least expect. Take the time to discover these beautiful and awe-inspiring bike trails within the lush forests and mountains of Arkansas and Missouri.

Lake Atalanta Trail

ROGERS, ARKANSAS

Lake Atalanta from Poplar Street Trailhead is a 3.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Rogers, Arkansas that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Image Courtesy of Oz Trails


Fossil Flats Trail

WINSLOW, ARKANSAS

Located within Devil’s Den State Park, this trail winds through some of Arkansas most beautiful scenery. Fossil Flats Trail features mountain streams, waterfalls, scenic bluffs, and creek beds exposing ancient fossils.

The trail is a 6 mile lightly-trafficked loop trail which offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Explore turquoise waterfalls, streams, and caverns while biking or hiking along the trail.

 


War Eagle Loop

HOBBS STATE PARK, ARKANSAS

This trail can be accessed from Townsend Ridge Road and has a nice creek view with a connection to Little Clifty Loop.

Overall, this trail has a great flow with some beautiful views. The trail is entirely singletrack with very few places to pass. There is a lot to do on this one with downhills and some crazy climbs. The trails in this area are naturally cut into the sides of the hill. There are some slight drops to one side or the other of the trails.

Image Courtesy of Oz Trails


Blowing Spring

BELLA VISTA, ARKANSAS

This loop will cover an amazing “hanging bridge” cut into a rock bluff, and another bridge that spans a creek with a waterfall. There are other vistas along the way as well. It has some technical riding, but it is mostly XC based on the loop proper with rollers, small doubles, berms, and great flow! If you incorporate The Ledges alternate route, then it immediately boosts the technical aspect.

The climbs are moderate, and the entire loop’s elevation change is only around 1,950 feet, so it is a lot of “up and down” along the way, which keeps the interest level high. This loop is a great cross section of what mountain biking in Arkansas is all about. It’s a “must-ride” in the Northwest Arkansas corridor!

Image Courtesy of Oz Trails


 Slaughter Pen Trail

BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS

People drive from around the country to bike at this Bentonville mountain bike trail that hosts one of the top bike events in the state.

Downhill trails, a jump park, and log rides offer something for the riders of all skill levels. More than 20 miles flow through Slaughter Pen, with easy trail connection via Lake Bella Vista to the Blowing Springs mountain bike trail system.

Image Courtesy of Carl Zoch


Two Rivers Bike Park

HIGHLANDVILLE, MISSOURI

Two Rivers Bike Park is a purpose-built, multi-use trail system, boasting over 14 miles of professionally built and maintained singletrack twisting through pristine Ozarks terrain for mountain bikers, runners, and hikers to enjoy year round, free of charge. The nearly 400-acre park sits just off the scenic Finley and James River confluence.

Its professionally designed trails feature mostly natural surfaces and offer the thrills of climbing, drop sections, rock features, built-in wall rides, wooden ladders, and other optional stunts. The bike park is also the stage for Singletrack Mind, an outdoor festival that hosts hundreds of cyclists, runners and enthusiasts every year, generating thousands of dollars in donations for local trail development.

Image Courtesy of Oz Trails


Forest City Mountain Bike Trail

ST JAMES, MISSOURI

This 100% singletrack trail system starts with prime hardwood forest riding on the north end, but transitions into beautiful pine forest riding towards the sourthern reaches of the property. Highlights include a desert-like slickrock section and a rock bluff overlook. Glade Runner is a 7 mile loop blazed in green. There are 4 additional, more difficult loops each about 1 mile long, which branch off the main trail. They are blazed in blue: GORT (Good Ol’ Rocky Top), Randy’s Crack, Amateur Hour, and Upper Cut.


6 Spectacular Events You Can’t Miss This Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year.

It’s the coronation of summer, the beginning of ice cream cones and pool parties, and just the start of grilling out for months and months. It’s also; however, a day to remember the fallen and honor those who have served our country. Here are a couple of places and events around the Ozarks to honor the fallen troops and make new memories with family and friends.

Lake of the Ozarks Firework Displays

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, MISSOURI

FRIDAY MAY 26th

Old Kinderhook Golf Resort in Camdenton invites the public to join them for their annual Fireworks Fun Fest from 5-9 p.m. Admission to this sparkling spectacle is free and features live musical entertainment from Slick Nickel; bounce housesclownsface painting, and games for the kids; an “All-American” cookout, which will be available for $13; and fireworks at dusk. For more information, visit www.OldKinderhook.com

SATURDAY MAY 27th

On Saturday, May 28, two Lake-area resorts will put on professional pyrotechnic displays for visitors. The fireworks at the Inn at Grand Glaize, located in Osage Beach, will begin at dusk and will be viewable by land at the Inn or by water at the 1 mile marker of the Grand Glaize Arm of the Lake. Bear Bottom Resort, located in Sunrise Beach, will feature live music by Money for Nothing followed by fireworks at 9:45 p.m.

SUNDAY MAY 28th

On Sunday, May 29, the celebration continues at Bear Bottom with a double-concert featuring Money for Nothing and the return of country music star Matt Stillwell. There will be a second fireworks display at 9:45 p.m. on Sunday as well. For more information about the Inn at Grand Glaize and its fireworks, visit www.InnAtGrandGlaize.com

Tan-Tar-A Resort celebrates Memorial Day with a weekend full of festivities for their hotel guests.

Visitors can look forward to live musiccookoutsminiature golffun games, and contests (limbo, hula hoop, watermelon eating) for the kids, a scavenger huntswim-up moviescosmic bowling, and more. The resort’s fireworks take place at dusk on Sunday evening, May 29. For more information, visit www.Tan-Tar-A.com or call 573-348-3131. Also, those who would like to see Tan-Tar-A’s fireworks display on the water, but don’t have a boat, can reserve a spot on the Tropic Island luxury cruise yacht. Make reservations by calling the Tropic Island at 573-348-0083. This cruises fill up fast, so travelers should reserve their spots early.

The Lodge of Four Seasons will also be hosting a large-scale fireworks display on Sunday beginning at dusk. The fireworks can also be viewed by water at the 13-mile marker. Call 800-843-5253 or visit www.4SeasonsResort.com for more information.

Lake of the Ozarks

Photo Courtesy of Lake of the Ozarks


Memorial Day Fireworks at Big Cedar Lodge

RIDGEDALE, MISSOURI

Patriotic Picnic: Kick off summer with fun games, attractions, contests, crafts, entertainment, and more. Come hungry and enjoy a barbecue menu of mouthwatering foods prepared by Big Cedar’s Culinary Team. Tickets and all-you-can-play wristbands will be available at the ticket booth. Join us on the Swimmin’ Hole Lawn on Sunday, May 28th from 2:00pm-8:00pm.

Clay Self Band Performance: Don’t miss a special performance by the Clay Self Band. This event is complimentary. Offered on the Swimmin’ Hole Lawn on Sunday, May 28th beginning at 6:30pm.

Memorial Day Weekend Fireworks: Join us and celebrate Memorial Day and the beginning of summer as we light up the night sky with a spectacular fireworks display! Don’t forget to bring your lawn chair or blanket. This event is complimentary. Offered on the Swimmin’ Hole Lawn on Sunday, May 28th at dusk.

Website: http://www.bigcedar.com/

Photo Courtesy of Big Cedar Lodge


Chateau on the Lake Memorial Day Celebrations

BRANSON, MISSOURI

Sunday May 28th

Fireworks displays are known for how spectacular they are and once again, after an outdoor BBQ event complete with live music, the evening sky will light up to kick off the summer. You and your family won’t want to miss this spectacular event.

Fireworks will start at dusk!

Address: 415 N. State Hwy 265 Branson, MO 65616

Website: http://www.explorebranson.com/general-events/chateau-lake-memorial-day-celebrations


20th Annual Augusta Days

AUGUSTA, ARKANSAS

May 25, 2017 – May 28, 2017

Fun for all ages with activities including a fishing derbybingostreet danceBuddy Bass Tournament5K runmud bogmini tractor pulllive boxingWhite River Duck Derbyboat racesbig name entertainment, and fireworks show.

Venue:
Downtown

Address:
102 South 2nd St.
Augusta, AR 72006

Free Admission


Spring Carnival

SPRINGDALE, MISSOURI

May 24, 2017 – May 28, 2017

Pride Amusement brings the excitement with rides, concessions, games, and lots of fun. Price per ride varies, armbands available.

1423 E. Emma Ave.
Springdale, AR 72764

Free Admission

Website: http://rodeooftheozarks.org/


28th Annual Big Bass Festival

DE QUEEN, ARKANSAS

Saturday May 27

Boat checks begin at 5 a.m. More than $14,000 in prize money and door prizes will be paid out, with 5 prizes on each lake every hour. A grand prize of $1,500 for the largest fish$1,000 for 2nd place, $750 for 3rd place, $500 for 4th place, and $300 for 5th overall.

Venue:
De Queen, Dierks, and Gillham Lakes

Hours:
6:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Admission:
$45, $50 late registration

Address:
315 W. Stillwell Ave.
De Queen, AR 71832

Website: http://dequeenchamberofcommerce.com/


5 Unique Wineries In Missouri With The Most Magical Surroundings

Missouri is home to some of the most stunning wineries and vineyards in the country, offering a plethora of artisan-made wines with robust flavors. But what is also amazing is the beauty of the wineries themselves – these five wineries in particular make gorgeous destinations for their architecture and landscaping.


Chaumette Vineyards & Winery

STE. GENEVIEVE, MISSOURI

Chaumette Vineyards & Winery is the premier midwest winery destination. Expect gracious service, quality entertainment and elegant accommodations. Visitors can also enjoy a magnificent view of the rolling hills in historic Sainte Genevieve, Missouri.

Established in 1990 by Hank and Jackie Johnson, Chaumette Vineyards & Winery is located in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, home of the first colonial settlement on the west side of the Mississippi River by the French in the early 1750s.

Photo Courtesy of Carretto Studio & Chaumette Vineyards & Winery

Chaumette Winery is a premier wine resort destination with private villas for overnight stays, a pool and a full-service restaurant, wedding and event venues, among more traditional winery amenities.

It is a secluded, scenic and serene destination in the heart of beautiful Ste. Genevieve wine country.

Photo Courtesy of Carretto Studio & Chaumette Vineyards & Winery

The beauty and quiet of Ste. Genevieve’s Saline Creek Valley is everywhere you turn at Chaumette, and it offers numerous picturesque outdoor and indoor ceremony sites to tie the knot on your special day.

Websitehttp://chaumette.com/


Cave Vineyard

STE. GENEVIEVE, MISSOURI

This one-of-a-kind vineyard is unlike any in the world, nestled in the rolling hills of Ste. Genevieve in eastern Missouri, this winery offers a unforgettable experience.

Once guests have made their selections, they are invited to enjoy a glass of wine inside a cavern in the forest. It is believed that the cave for was mined for Saltpeter by early French settlers decades ago. Today, the cave is inhabited primarily by wine enthusiasts enjoying the sounds of a babbling brook and the taste of quality wines.

Photo Courtesy of Cave Vineyard

Enjoy the marvelous views within the cavern while sipping a variety of semi-sweet, sweet, dry, and semi-dry wines.

Inside the tasting room, choose from a variety of cookies at the biscotti bar. Originally deriving from Italy, these cookies are traditionally flavored with almonds , pine nuts, and a variety of spices.

Websitehttp://cavevineyard.com/


wine

Chandler Hill Vineyards

DEFIANCE, MISSOURI

This unique grape-growing region has produced some of the highest quality wines in the Midwest.

In addition to our award-winning Missouri wines, Chandler Hill also offers a selection of the very finest wines from the West Coast. Their West Coast wines come from vineyards in Napa Valley, Willamette Valley, Columbia Valley, and the legendary Central Coast. The grapes are hand-selected by vintners to produce the finest wines.

THE VINEYARD’S UNIQUE HISTORY

In the early 1870s, a freed slave named Joseph Chandler traveled north on the Mississippi River from the Civil War-torn south and settled near Defiance, Missouri. Later, he was befriended by the Fluesmeier family, who lived on property next to that belonging to the family of Daniel Boone and worked there for many years.

Chandler Hill Vineyards operates on the same property the freed slave, Joseph Chandler once owned. The winery and tasting room stand on the site of Joseph Chandler’s modest cabin.

During excavation, many century-old artifacts were uncovered, including a shotgun, rifle, tools, china and more. These relics of Joseph Chandler are on display at the winery. The stones from his original cabin foundation were also carefully removed and now surround the refreshing waterfall at the winery entrance.

Image Courtesy of Chandler Hill Vineyards

The winery is Tuscan-inspired with a Napa twist and a Missouri soul. Chandler Hill is open year-round and offers a large tasting room, an expansive deck with vineyards views, as well as a full-service restaurant and event venue.

Image Courtesy of Chandler Hill Vineyards

As a premier wedding venue, the winery offers delicious Wine Country cuisine and award-winning wines, beautiful views of the vineyards, lake and surrounding countryside.

Websitehttp://www.chandlerhillvineyards.com/index.html


Cedar Lake Cellars

DEFIANCE, MISSOURI

Cedar Lake Cellars features more than 170 acres of paradise, including an expansive winery along with luxurious event venues for your most important occasions. Conveniently located in the heart of Missouri Wine Country, Cedar Lake Cellars is worth the short ride to experience the area’s serene beauty.

Photo Courtesy of Cedar Lake Cellars

Enjoy a romantic dinner in the tasting room next to a massive stone fireplace or celebrate with friends on the picturesque patio.

Photo Courtesy of Cedar Lake Cellars

A private haven nestled on more than 170 acres, Cedar Lake Cellars offers a spectacular setting for engagements, weddings, and special lifetime celebrations.

Website: http://cedarlakecellars.com/


Stone Hill Winery

HERMANN, MISSOURI

Stone Hill Winery is a Missouri winery located in Hermann, Missouri, along the Missouri River, in what is called the Missouri Rhineland of the Hermann AVA. Established by German immigrants in 1847, it is the largest winery in the state.

Established in 1847, and well before there was a Napa Valley wine industry, Stone Hill grew to be the second largest winery in the United States.

Stone Hill wines are world renowned, winning gold medals in eight world’s fairs, including Vienna in 1873 and Philadelphia in 1876. By the 1870’s, the winery was shipping 1,250,000 gallons of wine per year.

Today, Stone Hill is Missouri’s oldest and most awarded winery. Stone Hill’s yearly production is approximately 300,000 gallons of wine, using state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technology. Stone Hill’s wine-making team produces wines that are again receiving international acclaim. Winning more than 4,000 awards since 1988, Stone Hill Winery has continuously ranked among the nation’s top award winners.

Photo Courtesy of Stone Hill Winery

Photo Courtesy of Stone Hill Winery

The serene location and beautiful grounds are the perfect setting to host an elegant wine-country style party or gathering.

Websitehttp://stonehillwinery.com/


8 Unforgettable Horseback Riding Adventures You Can Only Have In the Ozarks

Whether you’re an experienced rider or a first-timer, these scenic trails and parks are some of the best for horseback riding in the country.


Rimrock Cove Ranch

PONCA, ARKANSAS

Rimrock Cove is 180 secluded acres located in the upper Buffalo National River area in the Arkansas Ozark mountains. So close to everything, yet tucked away just enough to be your quiet, peaceful little haven in the woods. It offers log cabin lodging and guided horseback riding.

Take in the quiet wooded trails flanked by boulders, cross a meandering stream and venture out into an open meadow where you’ll be treated to a beautiful view of the mountains.

This secluded ranch is kid-friendly and fun for the whole family!

Guided horseback riding $35 per hour per person plus 10% AR sales tax. (Minimum charge per trip $70 plus tax)

Image Courtesy of Toni Albers Photography

Explore the scenic river bluffs along Buffalo National River.

Websitehttp://www.rimrockcoveranch.com/


Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

WALNUT SHADE, MISSOURI

Dogwood Canyon Nature Preserve is a one-of-a-kind experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers of all ages. Covering 10,000 acres of pristine Ozark Mountain landscape, the park has miles of crystal-clear trout streams, dozens of cascading waterfalls, ancient burial caves, unique hand-built bridges, and bottomless, blue-green pools.

Image Courtesy of Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

Horseback riding at Dogwood Canyon Nature Preserve allows you to explore the Ozarks through the eyes of early settlers, discovering areas of the park not seen by the tram or from walking and biking trails. Located right along Little Indian Creek, the new Little Indian Stables has 24 stalls and gives guests the chance to meet the horses before setting out on their horseback adventure.

Image Courtesy of Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

The walls of the jagged ravines frame a dramatic valley bursting with hardwoods, evergreens and of course, the park’s namesake – Dogwoods, which are especially spectacular in the spring. The streams hold record trout, and the high meadows that reach into Arkansas provide pasture for small resident herds of long-horned cattle, American bison and elk.

PARK HOURS
8:30am – 5:00pm Daily

Park Admission
Access to Dogwood Canyon Mill, Canyon Grill, Artifact Displays, Treehouse, and Nature & Conservation Center

Adult: $10
Children: $5

Reservations are required

Website: http://www.dogwoodcanyon.org/


Cross Country Trail Ride

EMINENCE, MISSOURI

The best equine vacation in the United States at the most affordable price!

Set on the banks of the beautiful Jack’s Fork River, Cross Country Trail Ride is an experience to remember. Explore 500 miles of trails and a 63,000 sq. ft. indoor riding arena open 24 hours! You provide your horse and camp gear, Cross Country Trail provides meals and entertainment!

Horse shows, dancing, swimming, horse sales, tack sales, and Nashville entertainers are provided throughout the year!

horse

Catch a glimpse of Missouri’s Wild Horses while trekking the scenic wooded trails along the Jack’s Fork River.

Websitehttps://crosscountrytrailrides.com/


Big Ceder Lodge

RIDGEDALE, MISSOURI

Embrace the rustic elegance of a by-gone era at Big Cedar Lodge, a remote haven of natural beauty and contemporary luxury in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of Missouri. Steeped in history, the area has provided shelter to native Indian tribes, solace to wealthy business tycoons, and pleasure to outdoor adventure seekers.

Big Cedar Lodge overlooks the sparkling 43,000-acre Table Rock Lake and features a collection of lodges, cottages and cabins rooted in rustic elegance that come with all the modern comforts. The resort also offers four restaurants, a world-class spa measuring 18,000 square feet, five swimming pools, more than 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, and dynamic land and water adventures, ranging from bass fishing, water skiing to campfire wagon tours and horseback riding.

Whether you are a first time rider or you are looking for a day-long trip on the trails, this 10,000 acre nature paradise provides the perfect backdrop for any trail ride. Join us for a scenic ride and experience the breathtaking views that the Ozarks have to offer.

Photo Courtesy of Big Cedar Lodge

Constructed of rough-hewn logs, these private cabins offer the ultimate in personal space and seclusion after a long day of adventure.

Websitehttp://www.bigcedar.com/


StoneCreek Ranch & Resort

MOUNTAIN HOME, ARKANSAS

Located in the beautiful rolling foothills of the Ozark Mountains, you will find yourself surrounded in natural beauty, embraced in rustic luxury.

StoneCreek Ranch is a great place to stay with your own horse and brush up on your riding skills. You will have access to a 100’x70′ heated indoor arena, a 160′ outdoor lighted arena, indoor wash bay, and 80 acres of private land.

Image Courtesy of StoneCreek Ranch

Secluded in the Ozark Mountains, the ranch features beautiful architecture perfect for weddings, family reunions, birthday parties, holiday parties, and more!

Websitehttp://www.stonecreekranchresort.com/


Bear Creek Trail

WALNUT SHADE, MISSOURI

All horses are provided for customers and equipped with western tack. We suggest closed toed shoes and jeans when riding. Every horse is gentle and easily ridden by the inexperienced rider.

The age limit and weight restricts are strictly enforced for safety of both our guests and our horses.

We are by reservation ONLY so please call or TEXT us at 417-337-7708.

The guides all work for tips and love to interact on the trails so please ask questions and get engaged with your guide and the beautiful Missouri countryside.

All guests are required to sign a release paper that states the Missouri Equine Law and the rules of the Ranch.

Trails & Pricing

1 hour – $30 per person (every age is the same price)

2 hour – $60 per person (experienced riders ONLY please) Offered in fall and winter months only

The trails are up and down the Missouri hill sides, over rocks, logs, and water crossings. We are a walking only trail ride due to the nature of the trail, it doesn’t allow for trotting or loping. Please call for more questions or contact us through Facebook!


 Lake of the Ozarks State Park

KAISER, MISSOURI

Lake of the Ozarks State Park has a little bit of something for everyone.

Crave water adventure? Lake of the Ozarks has a full complement of boating options. Want a quiet place to hike or mountain bike? The park’s thousands of wooded acres have lots of places to get away from it all, with 12 trails that wind through the park.

BEST TRAILS FOR HORSEBACK RIDING

Hidden Springs Trail goes through native Missouri woodlands to bluff tops above the lake.

The longest trail in the park, Trail of Four Winds travels through almost every type of natural community in Lake of the Ozarks State Park. This diversity provides stunning views of the lake, rock outcrops, breathtaking overlooks, seasonal streams, ponds and woodlands.

White Oak Trail is a quiet, shaded trail that follows along a ridge top where various woodland animals such as northern fence lizards, three-toed box turtles or eastern chipmunks may be seen.

Image Courtesy of https://mostateparks.com/park/lake-ozarks-state-park

Cozy cabins and yurts make the park a welcome place for families looking to enjoy the lake but escape the hustle and bustle of some of the nearby towns.

Website: https://mostateparks.com/park/lake-ozarks-state-park


Mount Magazine – Huckleberry Mountain Trail

LOGAN COUNTY, ARKANSAS

Mount Magazine State Park is on the state’s tallest mountain, the 2,753-foot Mount Magazine.

The park is a place to enjoy hiking, sightseeing, exploring the mountain and nature study. It’s also a destination for outdoor sports and extreme adventure enthusiasts that offers rock climbing, rappelling, hand gliding, mountain biking, horseback riding, backpacking, and ATV adventure.

The highest peak in Arkansas is the site of Huckleberry Mountain Trail, one of several multi-use Arkansas horse trails spanning 34 miles used for ATV riding, mountain biking, backpacking, and horseback riding in Arkansas. The trail can be accessed at the northeast rock quarry. There are three loops that cross creeks and connect Mount Magazine with Huckleberry Mountain. Camping on Mount Magazine is allowed on the portions of these Arkansas horse trails that are within the Ozark National Forest.

PARK HOURS
6:00am – 10:00pm

Park Location

Ozark National Forest, 577 Lodge Dr, Paris, AR 72855


 

7 Incredible Hidden Gems To Discover In The Ozarks

From serene mountain trails, to medieval castles, explore these dreamy locations hidden throughout the Ozarks.


Image Credit: Darrell Miller

T.R. Pugh Memorial Park

T. R. Pugh Memorial Park (or The Old Mill) is a re-creation of an 1880’s era water-powered grist mill located north of Little Rock, Arkansas.

The “Old Mill” was shown in the opening musical credits to the film “Gone With the Wind”, and is believed to the be the oldest structure that was shown in the film to still be standing. In 2010 the park was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.


Whitaker Point

NORTHERN ARKANSAS

Radiant with wildflowers and a waterfall in the spring, and then graced with the crimson and amber foliage of turning maple leaves in the fall, this trail winds through some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.

This region was also featured in the opening scenes of the Disney film Tuck Everlasting.


Big Bluff/Goat Trail

BUFFALO WILDERNESS AREA

Breathtaking river bluffs combined with a world-class geologic experience makes this trail unique. This area also features the tallest sheer bluff face found between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains.

The trail’s destination is the Big Bluff overlooking the Buffalo River. It is considered the tallest along the Buffalo, over 500 ft. tall. The side trail that leads to an outcropping on the bluff is called the Goat Trail, which is about 350 ft tall. It is not for children, the weak, or those afraid of heights.


The Arkansas Grand Canyon

JASPER, ARKANSAS

Actually a collapsed cave, the Grand Canyon of the Ozarks is a wide-valley carved by the Buffalo River. It’s located along gorgeous Scenic Byway 7 and is only a few miles from the town of Jasper. Along Scenic Byway 7 you’ll find places to pull off the road and gaze out at the vast Big Creek Valley. There’s also a lookout tower and spots where you can book a stay. From the overlook, look 130-feet down the sheer rock walls and take in the views of the surrounding forest and Boston Mountains. Get a closer look via the 119 steps that bring you down 70 feet — just make sure you have the energy to climb back up.


Dogwood Canyon

LAMPE, MISSOURI

Dogwood Canyon Nature Preserve is a one-of-a-kind experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers of all ages. Covering 10,000 acres of pristine Ozark Mountain landscape, the park has miles of crystal-clear trout streams, dozens of cascading waterfalls, ancient burial caves, unique hand-built bridges and bottomless, blue-green pools.

If you enjoy horseback riding, you’re in luck. The park offers a 24 horse stable and guests can reserve a horse to ride through the park.

The walls of the jagged ravines frame a dramatic valley bursting with hardwoods, evergreens and of course, the park’s namesake – Dogwoods, which are especially spectacular in the spring. The streams hold record trout, and the high meadows that reach into Arkansas provide pasture for small resident herds of long-horned cattle, American bison and elk.

Step into the park’s treehouse which was featured on the Animal Planet TV show, “Treehouse Masters.”

The treehouse is home to the education center, where visitors can learn about the importance of protecting, conserving and preserving the great outdoors.

One of Dogwood Canyon’s greatest appeals is the sparkling, spring-fed water that is home to our magnificent rainbow trout. There is no place better suited to introduce a young person to fishing than the streams of Dogwood Canyon.

PARK HOURS
8:30am – 5:00pm Daily

Park Admission
Access to Dogwood Canyon Mill, Canyon Grill, Artifact Displays, Treehouse, and Nature & Conservation Center

Adult: $10
Children: $5

Website: http://www.dogwoodcanyon.org/


Image Credit: Keith Yahl

Taum Sauk Mountain

IRONTON, MISSOURI

This flat-ridged mountain is supposedly named after Piankeshaw chief Sauk-Ton-Qua and his tragic tale.

Sauk-Ton-Qua’s daughter, Mina Sauk, fell in love with a warrior from a hostile tribe. When the chief killed his daughter’s lover by throwing him off of a nearby cliff, Mina followed him over the edge. This incurred the wrath of the mythical Storm King, summoning a hurricane to wipe out Sauk-Ton-Qua’s entire tribe. A lightning bolt struck the ground and caused a waterfall to appear, wiping away the blood of the lovers.

The Ozarks region is full of vertical reliefs and jagged mountains, a good portion of the terrain caused by sedimentary strata erosion. The St. Francois ridge, which Taum Sauk Mountain is a part of, is much, much older than the surrounding Appalachians. While much of the United States started out underneath the waters of ancient seas, Taum Sauk may be one of the very few peaks which would have jutted from the Paleozoic waters as an island.

The mountain’s peak, which is also the highest point in Missouri is marked by a granite plaque from the Missouri Association of Registered Land Surveyors.


Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins

Imposing architecture and breathtaking scenery combine to make Ha Ha Tonka State Park one of Missouri’s most treasured spots.

Located on the Lake of the Ozarks, the park features the stone ruins of a castle.

REMINISCENCES OF A DREAM

The ruins of a man’s manor appear to belong to a bygone fairytale kingdom, but are really the remains of grief and despair.

Wealthy Kansas City businessman Robert Snyder had a dream to construct a European-styled castle right in his beloved Missouri. To this end Snyder purchased 5,000 acres of land, including his very own lake, and began work on the evocative mansion in 1905. The businessman even imported stone masons from Europe to achieve the correct style, but unfortunately Snyder would not live to see his dream house to completion.

In 1906, Snyder was killed in one of Missouri’s first car accidents; however, Snyder’s dream castle would not die with him. After his death, Snyder’s sons continued work on the building and were able to complete the castle. After completing construction, one of his sons took up residence in the huge castle until the family’s money ran out due to land rights lawsuits surrounding the castle’s property.

In 1942, the entire building was utterly destroyed by a fire.

The state purchased the property in the 1970’s and has worked to preserve the crumbled walls of Snyder’s dream home as a feature in their state park.