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Mark Twain National Forest Scenic Highway

123.9 miles: 1 hours, 47 minutes

Green rolling countryside on the southern end of this leg of I-44 morphs into wooded terrain as you gain altitude and climb into part of Mark Twain National Forest near Rolla. The four-lane, high-speed road shadows the Mother Road, headed north toward St. Louis. As it winds over the peaks and valleys beside Route 66, you’ll start seeing the land change again into the rocky landscape that’s filled with famous caverns.


The farm country near Lebanon offers an occasional red barn or country church, but mostly green vistas. This less commercial part of I-44, southwest of St. Louis, really does remind drivers of a time gone by. But soon enough, as you get closer to St. Louis, the future is here, as billboards and today’s conveniences enter the landscape.


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