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Things to Make Your Stay Special

Oregon County is in a special corner of the Ozarks that has much more to offer than you might first realize. Visit with us for a few days on either side of Eclipse Day and you're sure to find something to love. We hope you'll be back for more some day!

This list was informed by local author Cygnet Brown's own curated list, which is drawn from her upcoming book "Oregon County: Wild & Scenic"

Eleven Point River

Eleven Point River

The Eleven Point river has been preserved as a National Wild & Scenic River since the establishment of that system in 1968.

Numerous springs pour into the river from dolomite bluffs or up from vast underground systems.

It is a popular spot for kayaking and canoeing, fishing, and camping. Many fish and a variety of animals can be spotted here. Look for otters swimming and bald eagles soaring overhead.

The Eleven Point is unique in the region due to its low use, the pristine water, and the lack of development along the river corridor.

Itinerary Ideas

You can drive to many different river access points to go explore the banks and swim. The easiest to get to are Greer Crossing and Riverton, being just off major roads. See some wilder stretches of the river by driving the dirt roads to Cane Bluff, Turner's Mill South, or Whitten Access.

Rent a canoe or kayak from Richard's or Hufstedler's to make a day of being on the river.

There are opportunities aplenty for smallmouth bass and panfish. Trout fishing starts at the confluence of the Greer Spring branch and the river. You'll need a permit. Visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website for more information.

Greer Spring

Greer Spring

Greer Spring is the second largest spring in Missouri. It gives the impression of an underground river emerging before flowing just over a mile before entering the Eleven Point River, where it more than doubles the size of the river.

The water feeding Greer Spring comes from nearby streams that flow underground, as well as sinkholes found dozens of miles away.

A 1-mile hike on a forest trail gets you to the otherworldly moss-drenched scene pictured above. You'll see water flowing from the mouth of a cave as well as bubbling up into the spring branch.

Itinerary Ideas

Drive to the Greer Spring Trailhead on MO-19, then hike down to the spring. If you're looking for a bit more hiking there is another similar-length but more level trail to the historic Greer Mill building.

Mark Twain National Forest

Mark Twain National Forest

1.5 million acres of beautiful public land spread out over 29 counties in the Ozark Highlands

The Forest is characterized by large permanent springs, caves, rocky barren glades, old volcanic mountains and nationally-recognized streams.

The North East corner of Oregon County is blanketed by 17,000 acres of its Eleven Point ranger district

There are hundreds of miles of both trails for hiking and rivers for kayaking/canoeing throughout the Forest. This includes Oregon County's pristine Eleven Point River.

Itinerary Ideas

Hike portions of the Ozark Trail's Eleven Point section - you can find a map and more info here. One of its most picturesque stretches, with blufftop panoramic views, is accessible by driving to

McCormack Lake

and hiking the spur trail to the OT. Look for the map posted on the bulletin board in the parking lot.

For experienced hikers looking to delve into the wildest parts of the forest, there are 18 miles of unmarked trails that loop through the Irish Wilderness on the eastern edge of the county. Drive to Whites Creek Trailhead to kick off your explorations.

Falling Spring Mill

Falling Spring Mill

Step out of your car and be transported back in time. Falling Spring pours out in a waterfall from the sheer rock face behind a 100 year old mill. That falling water once provided power for grinding corn and other uses.

There is a wooden treadway over the spring-fed pond that leads to the mill. Much of its machinery can still be seen inside.

Also located on the site is a remarkably preserved log cabin built in the mid-to-late 1800s.

This is a rustic picnic area with abundant history. The area around the pond is open and grassy. Oak and pine forest surround the site.

Itinerary Ideas

The road in is bumpy and steep at times, so extra care is required if driving a small car. A perfect spot to picnic and feel the serenity of the forest, with the splashing of water in the distance.