This expansive park covers 1.5 million acres of gorgeous land and is shared by 29 counties in Missouri. The park itself was first established on September 11, 1939 and was referenced as both the Clark National Forest and the Mark Twain National Forest. Starting in the 1870's the park had been the sight of extensive logging and was declared a National forest by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to preserve the almost decimated forest. In June of 1973 both the Clark National Forest and the Mark Twain National Forest were combined to become the beautiful park we have today.
Today guests can enjoy the over 740 miles of Trails the national forest has to offer. The Trails vary in difficulty and length. The most famous of the trail is the Ozark Trail that connects St. to the Arkansas Border. About 200 miles of that trail is within Mark Twain's National Forest. For those that enjoy camping the forest has more than 35 campgrounds to pitch a tent and a plethora of picnic areas for guests to enjoy and use. Other activities include the beach, bicycling, fishing, horseback riding, hunting, nature viewing, picnicking, rock collecting, scenic driving, water activities and more! For those wanting to Hunt or Fish a valid Missouri Departments of Conservation fishing license and are only allowed to hunt in certain areas of the park.
Particularly beautiful parts of the park include the Glad Top Trail which is 23 miles of spectacular views of the forest. There is also the Eleven Point National Scenic River. Established in 1968, this 44 mile portion of river is free of impounds and has largely undeveloped shorelines and watershed. Guests can enjoy the peaceful river and its relaxing flow.
Whether your a fan of Mark Twain or not this beautiful national forest named in his honor is a must visit when in the Steelville Missouri area. The Lush forest provides an amazing view of nature at it's finest and most undisturbed. Since 1939 the forest has grown back from it's logging days and has become an Eden for animals as well as visitors alike.