This is what makes Mountain View like no other place on Earth: the creation around us. Experience the beauty and excitement of the Ozarks Outdoors!
Make Mountain View your springboard to the riverways, springs and mills of the Ozarks. Below is a collection of some of the most picturesque, special spots for your day trips, camping adventures and annual exploration trips.
Mark Twain National Forest
Much of the scenic beauty surrounding Mountain View is part of the Mark Twain National Forest. A wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities are within the 1.5 million acre forest. Included are more than 40 campgrounds and picnic sites, more than 350 miles of floatable streams, lakes ranging from 10-440 acres and 125 miles of trails for bikers and ATV users. Horseback riding, hiking (including three national recreation trails), sightseeing and birdwatching are other popular activities. Click here for more on the Mark Twain National Forest.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
America’s first scenic riverways perserves 134 miles of the Current and Jack’s Fork Rivers. Year-round enjoyment is available on the rivers, and viewing the scenic beauty is free, except for Round Spring Cave. For more on the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, click here.
Jack’s Fork River
Just a few minutes outside of Mountain View city limits, take Highway 17 north off U.S. 60 to the river access, with camping, picnicking, swimming and hiking available. Learn more about the river here.
WITHIN 30 MINUTES
Alley Spring and Mill
Built in 1894, this mill is a jewel in the Ozark National Scenic Riverway’s crown. The three story mill has been transformed into a museum. The spring empties 76 million gallons per day into the Jack’s Fork River. A mist hangs over the cool, spring-fed lake located in a captivating park. Other attractions include hiking trails, bluffs, a one-room schoolhouse, campgrounds and historic information. Click here for driving directions and learn more about the Mill here.
This is one of the Ozark’s best kept secrets event though it’s not hard to find. Water rushed over igneous or lava rock formations colored in deep purple and burgundy. From Winona, take H Highway to NN, then drive two miles on NN to a gravel road marked by a Rocky Falls sign. Rocky Falls is only 3/10 of a mile.
UNDER AN HOUR
For those who enjoy a challenging hike, this beautiful spring with an average with an average daily flow of 220 million gallons makes it worth the effort. The well-kept trail includes three wooden foot bridges, wildlife and rock wall that overlooks the spring. It is located in a deep, quiet valley just off scenic Highway 19 between Alton and Winona. Click here for driving directions and learn more about the spring here.
This is America’s largest single outlet spring. On an average day, 276 million gallons of clear blue water bubble from the spring located near Van Buren in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Click here for driving directions and learn more about Big Spring here.
Jam Up Cave
This impressive site is accessible only by canoe on the upper Jack’s Fork River. From the Blue Springs access, canoe two miles downriver to where the river bends sharply to the left and empties into a deep wide pool faced by a dolomite cliff that rises more than 100 feet. In the side of the cliff is Jam Up Cave, with an opening 80 feet tall and more than 100 feet across. A waterfall empties into a deep pool in the back of the cave. Leaving Jam Up Cave, the next take out point is Rymers access from M Highway. Learn more about the cave here.
Located east of Eminence on Highway 106 near Owls Bend, it is Missouri’s sixth largest spring, with an average flow of 90 million gallons per day. It is said that Native Americans called this spring “The Spring of the Summer Sky” because of its clear blue color. Click here for driving directions and learn more about the spring here.
Located on Highway 19 north of Eminence, this spring is one of the most beautiful in the Ozarks. It forms a pool of water that appears to be colored deep aquamarine blue, tinted by the moss growing in and around the spring. A wonderful, heavily decorated cave is open to the public from Memorial Day to Labor Day for two-hour long tours. A fee is charged for the tour (limited to 15 people). Click here for driving directions and learn more about the spring here.
This spring is located just off Highway 19 on Hurricane Creek, near the Eleven Point River. Follow the sign on Highway 19 for “Falling Spring Mill”, then turn right at the fork in the road. Enjoy crossing the foot bridge that connects the spring branch to the mill pond. Click here for driving directions.
Built in 1894 over a spring that pours 29 million gallons of water every day into Bryant River, this beautiful old mill is nestles on the side of a hill surrounded by beautiful, old trees. Bring your camera! The Missouri Department of Tourism has identified this mill as the most photographed mill in the state. Click here for driving directions and learn more at the Hodgson Mill website.
Built in 1897, Dawt is the only water-powered grist mill located on the North Fork River. The view from the mill overlooking this trophy trout stream cannot be matched. It is now a resort with canoeing, lodging, camping, food and supplies. Come see the restored general store! Click here for driving directions and learn more at the Dawt Mill website.
Grand Gulf State Park
Grand Gulf is often called the “Little Grand Canyon.” This marvel of nature was created when the ceiling of a giant cave collapsed. The gulf winds for a mile through vertical walls as high as 120 feet. A portion of the cave roof remains as a natural bridge that spans 200 feet and has an opening of 75 feet. Hiking trails and picnic sites are available. Click here for driving directions and learn more about the state park here.
Built in 1868, this mill was once the focal point of a thriving village. Although the mill is no longer operating, it is still a main attraction at the Rainbow Trout and Game Ranch. If you like fishing for trout, shooting sporting clays, relaxing in your cabin or eating a delicious trout dinner, this is the place for you! Click here for driving directions.
Just across the Arkansas state line on south 63, this is the largest spring in Arkansas and 10th largest in the world. An average 9.78 million gallons of water an hour flow into a 9.5 acre lake and then heads up the Spring River. The park includes a Tourist Information Center, 1888 Dam/Waterfall, restored hydroelectric plant, hiking trail around the lake, pavilion, picnic area, 1886 train depot museum, baseball field and natural area home to many species. Click here for driving directions and learn more about the spring here.