Elephant Rock State Park, Missouri Ozarks State Park

Vacation in the Outdoor Recreation Capital of the Missouri Ozarks!
Missouri Ozarks State Parks, Hiking, Biking, Golf, Float Trips, Horseback Riding, Birdwatching, Wineries & Golf
In the Arcadia Valley Region and Black River Recreation Area of Southeast Missouri

If you long to see and experience a special place where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, containing ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic or historical value, make your plans to visit our unique area of the Missouri Ozarks.  Our region is blessed with the most beautiful Missouri Ozarks State Parks, National Parks and Missouri Conservation Areas, providing unlimited recreational activities for the avid sportsman or sportswoman!  Whether you love camping, hiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing, floating, horseback riding or mountain biking, your Missouri Ozarks Vacation in the Arcadia Valley Region and Black River Recreation Area will provide unlimited outdoor enjoyment. 

For those of you who prefer less strenuous outdoor activities, we have beautiful picnic areas, the best places in the Missouri Ozarks to go bird watching, and southeast Missouri wineries nearby.  Tour wine country while you're here!  Play golf at one of our fine courses, go shopping for antiques and collectibles, or tour our historic towns and villages brimming with historical landmarks and 1800's architecture. We have something for everyone in our beautiful Missouri Ozarks!

Floating the crystal clear Black River.
Missouri Ozarks Float Trips on the clearest stream in Missouri, The Black River
Enjoy Missouri canoeing at its best, or choose to take a relaxing float trip in rafts, tubes or kayaks.  Black River floating is a pleasure for veteran and novice floaters alike, offering an ever changing outdoor experience spring through fall. The river is clear and beautiful as it gently moves through dense wooded forests and green meadows, winding past tall cliff walls dotted with caves and fern greenery. Click here for our directory of Missouri Outfitters on the Black River.
Horseback Riding and Annual Trail Rides in the Ozarks.

Missouri Ozarks Horseback Riding, Trail Riding and Scheduled Trail Rides
Whether you have your own horse and are searching for a place to go where you can bring your horses and ride on thousands of acres of property, or are an inexperienced wrangler needing an experienced guide to show you the ropes, all of your dreams will be met in our region of Missouri Ozarks.  Take part in annual week-long trailrides, or come for a weekend of horseback riding fun with your family.  Experience a real country vacation this year at our "horse friendly" campgrounds and resorts!  Cowboys and Cowgirls of any age will create lifelong memories. Read more here and experience our beautiful Ozarks on horseback!

Sutton Bluff in Mark Twain National Forest overlooking the Black River

The Most Beautiful & Spectacular State Parks in the Missouri Ozarks, plus the Ozark Trail, Mark Twain National Forest and unlimited hiking and biking trails are here waiting just for you to explore.

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park - Want to hike to the top of a mountain? Just park in the lot of Taum Sauk Mountain State Park and walk a mere 1,000 feet on a paved path to Missouri’s highest point. Here, an elevation marker sits, guiding visitors to the mountain’s 1,772 foot summit. If that’s not enough, the hike to Mina Sauk Falls will take your breath away.  Read in depth information about Taum Sauk Mountain State Park here.

Elephant Rocks State Park - A train of circus elephants dance trunk-to-tail to form an awe-inspiring sight to the young and to the young at heart. This is the appeal of Elephant Rocks State Park, named for a train of gigantic pink granite boulders perched atop a hill, just like circus elephants! Read comprehensive information and see photos of Elephant Rocks here.

Johnson's Shut-ins State Park - Nearly 1.5 billion years ago, violently explosive volcanoes hurled hot gasses and ash into the air. The ashes and gas fell and cooled, forming rhyolite rock. A billion years later, shallow inland seas swallowed the ancient, worn-down mountains, burying the igneous rock under thousands of feet of sedimentary rock such as limestone, sandstone, shale and dolomite.  Read much about Johnson's Shut-ins here and the unique geology of the park at missouristateparks.net.

Special Announcement!   Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park has reopened. This day-use area includes the shut-ins, picnic areas, a series of pedestrian trails, access to the East Fork of the Black River, several interpretive shelters and the park store. Visitors can access the scour channel from a new trail, which can be accessed from Highway N. The park will be open from 8  a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and the store is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. (From MO State Parks)

The Mark Twain National Forest is popular with hunters, trappers, anglers and persons who enjoy observing, studying and photographing wildflowers and wildlife. The Forest has about 320 species of birds, 75 species of mammals and 125 species of amphibians and reptiles. Game species include whitetail deer, turkey, quail, woodcocks, doves, ducks, geese, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, opossums, woodchucks, bobcats, and coyotes.  Named after Missouri native, Mark Twain, the Mark Twain National Forest is located in 29 counties across southern and central Missouri. Our St. Francois Mountain section is known for its clear spring-fed rivers and streams, lakes, rocky bluffs, pastoral views and shaded trails.  To read much more about The Mark Twain National Forest and the Sutton Bluff Recreation area click here.

The Ozark Trail ~ Missouri Ozarks Sections in Iron and Reynolds Counties - The Ozarks are one of the most spectacularly diverse places on Earth. They offer everything from mountains, knobs and hills dotted with caves and igneous glades and scattered with hardwood forests and stands of pines—to beautiful valleys filled with clear, meandering streams fed by sparkling springs and an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife.  In order to allow the world to fully enjoy the magnificence and splendor of this ancient treasure trove of natural beauty, the idea for the Ozark Trail was conceived.  In the 1970s work began on a vision to build a scenic and varied route in the Missouri Ozarks, from just outside St. Louis southwest to the Arkansas border, to eventually connect with the Ozark Highlands Trail, creating a 700-mile through-trail.  Governmental agencies, environmental groups and dedicated bands of volunteers have now completed over 350 miles of the Missouri section of the Ozark Trail.  For an in depth look at the Ozark Trail Sections in our region, see missouri-hiking.com.

The above listed are just a few of the spectacular outdoor recreational areas in our Region.  To read about Buford Mountain State Forest, Crane Lake Conservation Area, Bell Mountain Wilderness Area, Ketcherside Mountain State Forest, Marble Creek Recreation Area, Millstream Gardens Whitewater Area, Silver Mines Recreation Area, Council Bluff Lake, Grasshopper Hollow, The Royal Gorge, Logan Creek Conservation Area and Deer Run Conservation Areas click here and you'll see why we are the outdoor recreation capital of Missouri! 

Click to learn about the Southeast Missouri Hunting and Fishing areas in our Missouri Ozarks region.

Beautiful Johnson's Shut-ins State Park.
Sunset in Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
Visti Missouri Wineries in the Ozarks

Visit Southeast Missouri Wineries
Before prohibition, Missouri was the country's second leading wine producer, behind only New York.  Today, a new generation of well-educated winemakers, healthier lifestyles, and the increasing consumer demand for locally brewed spirits has once again catapulted Missouri's wine industry into the international spotlight. Growing 70 percent since 2001, Missouri now ranks 11th in the nation. Missouri wines are once again winning national and international acclaim.  Read more and see a listing of Southeast Missouri Wineries nearby.
Missouri Ozarks Bird Watching
Missouri Ozarks Birding, Bird Watching in the Missouri Ozarks!
Bird watching, often called birding has quickly become the most popular spectator sport in America.  Anyone at any age can participate in this rewarding activity.  Of the over 800 species found in North America, over 400 different kinds of birds have been identified in Missouri.  The reason for this abundance of birds is open space and the diversity of habitat.  Our region is undoubtedly one of the best areas in the Missouri Ozarks for bird watching.  To see photos, learn about bird watching tips and to find the best places in the Missouri Ozarks for bird watching please visit missouribirdwatching.com.

Golf Courses in Our Region

Arcadia Valley Country Club -
This is a public, regulation length, 9-hole, 36 par course located at the Arcadia Valley Country Club facility. Opened in 1930, the fairways were built on rolling terrain and the greens are elevated.  Water hazards (lakes) come into play on three holes.  Hwy 72, Ironton, MO  Call (573) 546-9508

Crown Pointe Golf Club - This 4 1/2 star, award winning public course was designed in 1993 by Gary Kern.  Located on 208 acres, this par 72 links-style course is 7069 yards in total length and features four par threes, ten par fours and 4 par fives.  The fairway and tee boxes are a bluegrass and rye blend, while the greens are planted with bent grass.  Enjoy private club style amenities while enjoying the convenience of Crown Pointe's public course status. 4215 Hunt Rd, Farmington, MO  Call (888) 756-6660 to book tee times.

Viburnum Golf and Country Club - Established in 1974, this public 9-hole, 3226 yard, regulation length public golf course also has a 4 tee driving range.  On your way to or from Dillard Mill State Historic Site, stop off and play a round of golf.  The club is located on Hwy Y in Viburnum, MO. Call (573) 244-5688

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River Valley Region Association, 11178 Highway 72, Ironton, MO  63650 ~ Explore the Peaceful Side of Missouri!