Missouri is where the Ozark Mountains and valleys, lakes and caves, forests and farmlands all come together to set the stage for scenic drives and non-stop outdoor adventures. There's no better time than now to visit the "Show Me State." Missouri campgrounds and RV parks welcome visitors year round with open arms.
Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is on northwestern Missouri's river floodplain near Mound City. Migrating ducks, snow geese and such threatened or endangered species as bald eagles, piping plovers and peregrine falcons find an important seasonal migration stop at Squaw Creek. One of the best and easiest ways to explore the refuge and observe local wildlife is to drive the ten-mile-long, self-guided car tour winding through the wetlands. There are also two trails for visitors who prefer to travel closer to the action - on foot. The Eagle Overlook Trail takes hikers on a walk into the wetlands. The Loess Bluff Trail does one better, ascending 200 feet to the crest of the preserve's bluffs. At this elevation, visitors enjoy a sweeping, eagle-eye view of refuge lands.
In north central Missouri's farmland near Macon, Long Branch State Park is on the shores of the 2,000-acre Long Branch Lake. This park is fully equipped for water sports enthusiasts; the on-site marina has boat launches, covered slips and watercraft rentals. There's a sandy beach for swimmers, plenty of open water for water skiers and an accessible fishing dock for physically challenged guests. Long Branch is known for providing more than respectable catches of bass, crappie and catfish, so anglers consider it the perfect spot to test their luck and skill. Besides the lake, the landscape consists of prairies, hills, and forests of oak, sycamore, hickory, and silver maple. Animals and birds like it, too, as evidenced by the population of red foxes, white-tailed deer and bobwhite quail living at the park.
As might be expected, there's no shortage of honors bestowed on this extraordinary state park affiliate. Katy Trail's St. Charles-to-Boonville section has been named part of the famed Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Furthermore, the entire pathway is also a designated Millennium Legacy Trail and an official portion of the American Discovery Trail.