Where To Stay Mark Twain National Forest

Mark Twain National Forest is a stunningly beautiful and sprawling landscape, spread across 3,068,800 acres of Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. Located in the the southeastern corner of the state, visitors of the area will be in awe of the serene nature that twists and turns with an ethereal grace throughout the region.
A wide array of outdoor activities, such as camping, can be enjoyed in the area, creating an experiential stay that could keep even the most experienced traveler entranced. To ensure the best possible experience, it’s important to stay at the right place in order to reap the full benefits of a stay here.
For camping enthusiasts, the area provides incredible opportunities for those who are looking to make their stay a memorable one. The Beaver Pond Campground is the perfect destination for families, as it’s located in a picturesque area surrounded by the Mark Twain National Forest. It provides a private area, with nearby trails and ample opportunities for fishing nearby. With choice spots for both a tent or RV, the campground is perfect for a special stay.
For those looking for a more secluded experience, then Big Creek Campground should be considered. Surrounded by windows and foliage, this campground is known for its tree canopy, creating an incredibly immersive experience. With the main trail of the forest guiding you around the glistening foliage, it’s ideal for anyone looking to take in nature without the hustle and bustle of the parks’ more popular attractions.
Although camping is the most popular method of stay in the vicinity, many travelers opt for other options. Pampered with the beautiful nature of the area, lodges and Bed & Breakfasts provide luxurious services, while cabins and cottages give travelers the opportunity to appreciate the area in private.
The area also features a decent selection of hotels, with the Barton House being an excellent choice. Not only is the location close to the Mark Twain National Forest and a handful of local tourist attractions, but the Barton House itself provides all the basic amenities for an enjoyable stay, including a pool and pets are welcome for an additional fee.

Activities in the area

Exploring the surrounding rural landscape is always a treat here in the Mark Twain National Forest. From the open terrain of the rolling hills, to the rustic beauty of the beaches, there is much to do here. One of the best ways to explore the area is to embark on a hiking expedition and meander through the lush paths.
The Mark Twain National Forest is home to a vast amount of trails, catering to hikers of all abilities. The most popular trails tend to be the seven mile trek and the fifteen mile trek, however those who prefer a less demanding option should consider the three mile trek. Whether a leisurely stroll or a ferocious hike, exploring the tranquil nature of the forests will no doubt be a rewarding experience.
The rivers that cut through the area such as Big Creek, Little Piney and Rock Creek offer an array of activities such as paddle boarding, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. All offer different levels of difficulty, meaning whatever level of thrill one is after, they’ll no doubt find something that suits their needs.
The area is also home to several specie-specific wildlife sanctuaries, giving visitors the chance to observe exotic species in their natural habitat. The native species include several species of deer and an abundance of birds, while the exotic species include several types of raptors, waterfowl and cranes.

Dining and Shopping Opportunities

The surrounding towns have plenty to offer in the way of local dining and shopping. For a taste of the traditional flavours of the region, there are a number of quaint mom and pop restaurants in the area. There are also several local markets and craft stores that offer homemade items, from homegrown beef and pork to handmade quilts.
The larger neighbouring towns are also home to bigger shopping venues, such as Branson and Springfield, where locals flock from all over to enjoy picking up locally made goods. Those afraid of missing the big city life won’t have to worry about that here, as both towns offer retailers for clothing, electronics, outdoor gear and anything else one may desire.

Outdoor Events

For those outdoorsmen and women seeking to partake in something extra special, the area holds several numerous outdoor events. These events range from annual marathons and sporting events, to music festivals and cook-offs. Most of the events are centered around activities held outdoors, such as biking, running, and fishing.
The most treasured event in the region however is the annual MudGames. It centers around outdoor obstacle courses, created with some of the most meticulously designed courses found in the states. Every year, tourists flock from all over the world to try their luck at conquering the course, with help from a group of trained instructors to oversee the event.

Local Attractions

The Mark Twain National Forest is full of interesting attractions, from historic monuments and quaint restaurants, to popular tourist destinations. One such place is the fan favorite Welch Cave. This stunning cave is located deep within the Mark Twain Forest and holds some of the most breathtaking underground landscapes one could hope to see in real life. The cave has numerous traversable paths and is open for exploration for a minimal fee.
For those exploring the area, there are plenty of nearby attractions that’ll keep one enticed. The well-known Stone Hill Winery is located a mere twenty miles west of the area, making it perfect for a day trip. Tours of the winery and its grounds are available, providing visitors with an insider look as to how specialty tinctures and liqueurs are made.


Mark Twain National Forest is an area full of potential and promise, with an array of settings and activities that appease all kinds of travelers. From camping and lodges, to numerous restaurants and events, there is never a dull moment here in the Mark Twain National Forest. Visitors will be left with lasting memories, in a very special corner of Missouri.

Dannah Hannah is an established poet and author who loves to write about the beauty and power of poetry. She has published several collections of her own works, as well as articles and reviews on poets she admires. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a specialization in poetics, from the University of Toronto. Hannah was also a panelist for the 2017 Futurepoem book Poetry + Social Justice, which aimed to bring attention to activism through poetry. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she continues to write and explore the depths of poetry and its influence on our lives.

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