DescriptionIn southern and central Missouri, Mark Twain National Forest encompasses 1.5 million acres in 29 counties. Scenic drives, hunting, camping, fishing, canoeing and hiking are among the many activities available in nine wilderness areas. Pinewoods Lake Recreation Area near Ellsinore features a 1.5-mile trail around the lake. A more challenging 5-mile national recreation trail skirts 99-acre Crane Lake, approximately 12 miles south of Ironton off SR 49 and SR E.
Big Bay Recreation Area, southeast of Shell Knob on SR 39, offers swimming, boating and fishing. Swimming in the Huzzah River is available at Red Bluff Recreation Area, east of Davisville on SR V. Activities at Noblett Lake Recreation Area, west of Willow Springs, include hiking, boating, camping and picnicking. Also within the forest is 49-acre Fourche Lake, about 18 miles west of Doniphan on SR 142, then 1 mile south on SR 160.
Skyline Scenic Drive, a 4-mile automobile loop, is 2 miles south of Van Buren on SR 103 and features views of the Ozark countryside. The 8-mile Sugar Camp Scenic Drive, off SR 112 near Cassville, also offers a drive through the Ozarks. Near I-70 is the 35-mile Cedar Creek Trail System. Glade Top Trail Scenic Drive, southeast of Springfield near SR 125, offers 23 miles through open glades.
Information about the forest's many national recreation areas can be obtained from the Forest Supervisor, 401 Fairgrounds Rd., Rolla, MO 65401; phone (573) 364-4621.