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The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
Local History

Ozark Day Trips

Warm weather is on the way, and for many of us here in the Ozarks, that means it's time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors! Whether you like to swim, float, or fish in the lakes & rivers; drive or ride the windy mountain roads; or hike the forest trails, there are several wonderful Ozark destinations that make for a great one-day getaway!

In 2011, nearly 18 million people visited Missouri State Parks, which is 9% more than the previous year! And, it's no wonder Missouri's state parks are so popular: last year they were ranked among the top four in the nation by the National Recreation and Parks Association!

In addition to Missouri's beautiful state parks, there are numerous municipal parks, green ways, nature centers, lakes, streams, rivers, national parks and forests that make the Ozarks a wonderful place to explore and reconnect with nature.

Here are a few popular hot spots that you might enjoy: Pomme de Terre State ParkHa Ha Tonka State Park; Busiek State Forest; Shadowrock Park; Mark Twain National Forest; Table Rock State Park.

 Below are some additional resources you can find in the Local History section of the Library Center or Library Station branches:


 50 Hikes in the Ozarks: Walks, Hikes and Backpacks in the Mountains, Wildernesses and Geological Wonders of Arkansas and Missouri by Johnny Molloy. The book describes 50 of the most scenic and spectacular walks and hikes in the Ozark Mountain range.




 Backroads & Byways of Missouri: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions by Archie Satterfield. This book is for those who didn't know that grape vines in Missouri changed the wine industry in France, or that the worst earthquake in American history also occurred in the same state, or that more Civil War battles were fought on Missouri soil than any other border state. If you prefer 2-lane blacktop and gravel roads over interstates, this is the book for you.


 A Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to the Ozarks by Tom Kennon. In the heartland of America rise the Ozark Mountains, teeming with cascading, free-flowing streams. Situated astride the Missouri/Arkansas border, the Ozarks represent a canoeing and kayaking wonderland. Still a comprehensive, accurate and readable guide, but now with a new design and format, "A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to the Ozarks" (formerly "Ozark Whitewater") catalogs the varied rivers of the region. 


 Kids Love Missouri: Your Family Travel Guide to Exploring "Kid-Friendly" Missouri by George and Michele Zavatsky. Your kids will love finding where to discover: Creatures, caves & remote cabins; wildlife wonders & waterparks; wild west wagon rides & prairie towns; fun food factories & family farms; outlaws, explorers & Tom Sawyer adventures; well-known attractions plus hundreds of places you've probably never thought of!


 The Mountain Biker's Guide to the Ozarks: Missouri, Arkansas, Western Kentucky by Steve Henry; foreword and introduction by Dennis Coello. The book features rides in Missouri, Arkansas, Memphis, and western Kentucky. 




 The Ozarks Traveler: An Insider's Guide by Sondra Rosenberg and Stuart Jay Silverman. This complete tour of the Ozarks is given by two people who have traveled every mile of the area that they are describing for the reader.




  Parklands of the Midwest: Celebrating the Natural Wonders of America's Heartland by Dan Kaercher. The author explores dozens of the region's most spectacular natural areas - gorgeous parks, scenic rivers and lakes, preserves teeming with wildlife and native plants, and more. The book includes practical information such as site hours, recreational opportunities, and nearby accommodations and attractions that can help you plan your own trip.


 Scenic Driving the Ozarks Including the Ouachita Mountains by Donald R. Kurz. The book includes 32 drives that highlight the natural and cultural history of the Ozarks. Stories and facts about the people, natural environment, and history of the area help narrate any visit to this region.




 Weird Missouri: Your Travel Guide to Missouri's Local Legends and Best-Kept Secrets by James Strait, Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman. This book offers more than 250 illustrated pages of places where tourists usually don't venture. It's chock-full of oddball curiosities, ghostly places, local legends, crazy characters, cursed roads, and peculiar roadside attractions.


 And, here are some additional resources on the web:

Missouri State Parks - Lakes Region

Missouri Department of Conservation - Southwest Region

National Parks in Missouri

U.S. Forest Service

Missouri Motorcycle Rides on

Missouri Motorcycle Rides on  

Arkansas State Parks

Motorcycle Rides in and around Harrison, Arkansas

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