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Area Attractions

The spectacular beauty of nature abounds in the Black River Area

To learn much more about this beautiful region visit

Click here for Lodging and Places to Stay near Johnson Shut-ins, Elephant Rocks,Taum Sauk Mountain and Fort Davidson & Mark Twain National Forest

Johnson Shut-ins State Park
The redeveloped Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park has reopened to the public in 2009. The main valley of the park includes an orientation center, retail stores, picnic areas and shelters, and an enclosed picnic shelter. A new boardwalk provides access to the shut-ins and there are numerous areas to access the East Fork of the Black River for swimming and splashing. Althouth not yet open the Goggins Mountain area of the park will provide a new campground and will include basic, electric, full-hookup, equestrian and walk-in campsites plus camper cabins. The campground will include a store, showerhouses and laundry facilities. Hiking and equestrian trails are offered in the park, including a portion of the Ozark Trail and a trail and overlook in the scour channel in the valley of the park. (For much more information on Johnson’s Shut-ins please see this website

Fort Davidson State Historic Site
Today, the Arcadia Valley in Iron County is a peaceful setting in one of Missouri’s most scenic areas. But in 1864, the valley was the scene of one of the largest and most hard-fought battles of the Civil War waged on the state’s soil – the Battle of Pilot Knob. To learn much more about the Civil War in Missouri and to read about Fort Davidson State Historic Site, visit

The Ozark Trail
The Ozark Trail is a part of 28 year-old vision to build a scenic and varied route through the Missouri Ozarks, stretching from the St. Louis metropolitan area southwestward to the Arkansas border. The five miles of the Ozark Trail that passes through the Johnson’s Shut-ins is closed at this time, however, the remainder of the Taum Sauk section of the Ozark trail is open– Highway 21 to Devils Tollgate, Bell Mountain to Goggins — but you will not be able to travel though Johnson Shut-Ins State Park. Read more about the Ozark Trail Sections in our region here.

Grasshopper Hollow
This is the largest, most significant fen complex in unglaciated North America. Its wet, stony ground (in knee-deep water) is laced with beaver runs among a rich assemblage of native grasses and sedges. A spur of the Ozark Trail borders the preserve. Read more here

Visit the oldest General Store in Missouri!
First Dawn General Store & Lesterville Florist & Gifts
(Ice Cream)
Main Street (in historic general store bldg.)
Lesterville, MO 63654

Elephant Rocks State Park
Imagine giant granite rocks standing end-to-end like a train of circus elephants. That’s what you’ll see at Elephant Rocks State Park. Read comprehensive information about Elephant Rocks State Park and see spectacular photographs of the part at

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
Make the great escape to Missouri’s wilderness – Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. The park provides 7,448 acres of solitude amid unspoiled land with a wilderness quality hard to find in today’s world. Read more about the magic or Taum Sauk Mountain and the Legend of Taum Sauk at

Mark Twain National Forrest & Sutton Bluff Recreation Area Mark Twain National Forest offers a wide variety of trails covering some 742 miles of the Ozarks. Trails differ greatly in length and difficulty. A few are restricted to hikers only, but many are open to mountain bikes and horses, and two areas are set aside for ATV and motorcycle enthusiasts, Chadwick and Sutton Bluff. Find out much more about Sutton Bluff at

Bell Mountain Wilderness Area & Trail
The Ozark Trail is concurrent with the Bell Mountain Trail for about a mile into the Wilderness. Then the Bell Mountain Trail turns north and ascends the 1,702-foot peak of Bell Mountain. A Wilderness is a special area set aside by Congress which “generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable…” Read much more about Bell Mountain Wilderness and other wilderness trails at

If you love to hunt and fish, there are endless opportunities in our Black River Area. To learn about the best places to hunt and fish, visit this website that covers conservation and wilderness areas, state forests and hunting in the Mark Twain National Forest.

Our region is a wonderful place to go bird watching in Missouri. You might wish to explore the different birding opportunities in our area at

If you are researching your family history in the Black River Area, you will find this genealogy website helpful.

Come visit our beautiful Black River Area! You won’t be disappointed.