Recreation

Mark Twain National Forest has a wide range of popular recreation opportunities. 

 

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The forest has over 750 miles of trails. There are trails for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and motorized use. The trails vary in length and difficulty.

Approximately 200 miles are completed of the 500-mile Ozark Trail, connecting from St. Louis to the Arkansas border. Plans are to connect the Missouri section with the Ozark Highlands Trail in Arkansas.

The Forest has more than 350 miles of perennial streams, most suitable for floating with canoes, kayaks, rafts, and inner tubes. The Forest and Missouri Department of Conservation maintain river accesses on popular streams.

Permitted outfitters provide services to the public at various locations throughout the forest. 

There are more than 35 campgrounds and picnic areas usually located near a special attraction such as a spring, stream, lake, towering bluff or other scenic area. Campgrounds and picnic areas vary from a few table sites to developed campgrounds. The Fuchs house at Markham Springs on the Poplar Bluff Ranger District is a cabin available for rent.

The forest manages more than 78,000 acres as semi-primitive areas where the only access is by hiking, horseback, or mountain bike. Another 265,000 acres offer semi-primitive motorized recreation. These areas provide moderate to high opportunities for solitude. Hunting and fishing, with a valid Missouri Department of Conservation fishing license, are permitted in these areas.

In addition, Mark Twain National Forest has seven Congressionally-designated Wilderness areas and 26,000 “special areas.” Special areas are managed for the protection of unusual environmental, recreation, cultural or historical resources, and for scientific or educational studies.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Bar-K Wrangler Camp Open to Visitor
Bay Nothing Gravel Boat Launch Open to Visitor
Berryman Trail \& Campgrounds Open to Visitor
Big Bay Recreation Area Open to Visitor Day Use Area - Open, Boat Launch - Closed for Safety issues, Restroom - Temporarily Closed until Further Notice.
Big Piney Trail Camp Open to Visitor Open year round
Boze Mill Float Camp Open to Visitor
Brazil Creek Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Cane Bluff River Access Open to Visitor
Caney Picnic Area Open to Visitor
Chadwick Motorcycle and ATV Use Area Open to Visitor
Cobb Ridge Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Council Bluff Recreation Area Open to Visitor Chapel Hill Beach - Closed. Wild Boar Ridge Campground - No potable water available at this time.
Deer Leap Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Dry Fork Recreation Area Closed to Visitor
Falling Springs Picnic Ground Open to Visitor
Float Camp Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Fourche Lake Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Greer Crossing Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Greer Spring and Trail Open to Visitor
Hendrickson Boat Launch Open to Visitor
Hercules Glades Wilderness Open to Visitor
Highway 142 River Access Open to Visitor
Lane Spring Recreation Area Closed to Visitor ​​The Lane Spring Recreation site is now closed for the season and will reopen this next spring on March 1st, 2022. Users are welcome to park at the top of the hill and walk down still however, all services are closed at this time.
Loggers Lake Recreation Area Closed to Visitor This site closes for the winter on Oct. 11, 2021.
Marble Creek Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Markham Springs Recreation Area    Campground closed for season. Pavilion - Temporarily Closed until Further Notice
Noblett Lake Recreation Area Open to Visitor The Noblett Recreation Area (Day Use Area and Dam Area) is open including the bathrooms. The area below the dam is open for dispersed camping.  The pavilion is available  by 1st come/1st serve, people need to practice social distancing. 
North Fork Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Paddy Creek Recreation Area    Campground closed for the season, but day-use area still open.
Pine Ridge Recreation Area Closed to Visitor
Pinewoods Lake Recreation Area Open to Visitor Pavilion - Temporarily Closed until Further Notice
Red Bluff Recreation Area Closed to Visitor This site closes for the winter on Oct. 11, 2021
Ripley Lake Open to Visitor
Shell Knob Open to Visitor
Silver Mines Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Slabtown Recreation Area Open to Visitor Open
Sutton Bluff ATV, UTV, and Motorcycle Trail System Open to Visitor Notice:  Trails 4 and 5 are closed form previous flood damage, and trail 12 is closed for compromised structural integrity of the bridge.
Sutton Bluff Recreation Area Open to Visitor This site closes for the winter on Nov. 6, 2021.
Thomasville River Access Open to Visitor
Turner Mill North River Access Open to Visitor
Turner Mill South River Access Open to Visitor
Watercress Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Whitten River Access Open to Visitor
Wolf Creek Trail Open to Visitor
Areas & Activities
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Promo: Interactive Visitor Map

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Promo: Safety and Ethics

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/mtnf/recreation