Guest Post: A Nature Enthusiast’s Guide to Southwest Missouri

A note from Madison: I get many requests by content providers to do guests posts here on the Wild Ozark blog. Most of the time, the subject matter isn’t closely related enough to nature or any of the site topics. However, southwest Missouri is a destination for folks all over the Ozarks and British Solomon’s post is a good fit.


A Nature Enthusiast’s Guide to Southwest Missouri

Though many people are familiar with St. Louis and the Mississippi River, there is a lot more to Missouri. The southwestern part of Missouri is filled with numerous recreational activities, including a wide range of outdoor adventures. In southwest Missouri, the Great Plains meet the Ozarks. This mix of terrain and plentiful access to public lands makes the area an ideal destination for the nature lover. Though it isn’t possible to list every site of interest in the area, here is a look at a few of the area’s outdoor attractions.

Roaring River State Park

As its name implies, Roaring River State Park is home to a fast-moving river that sweeps through the park. The park is home to 3 separate campgrounds (with another one nearby). The campgrounds have a mix of sites for campers using tents and RVs of different sizes. Roaring River also offers a lodge for overnight guests as well as rental cabins. Roaring River State Park is one of the few state parks in Missouri to be stocked with trout, making it an ideal destination for the avid angler.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is a 10,000 acre park that offers many different activities for visitors. The park offers tram tours, horseback riding, hiking and biking trails and much more. Much of the park is handicap accessible so everyone can enjoy the scenery and wildlife. Park visitors can expect to see elk, bison, waterfalls and lots of peace and quiet.

Dogwood Canyon, Branson
(Picture courtesy of Dogwood Canyon Nature Park)
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
(Picture courtesy of Dogwood Canyon Nature Park)

Table Rock Lake

Table Rock Lake is one of the most visited sites in southwest Missouri. The flood control dam provides many water based recreational activities. Boating, fishing and water skiing are some of the more popular activities. Table Rock is served by a number of marinas, restaurants and other related businesses. Sky Harbor Resort is a waterfront resort built on Table Rock Lake with its own private dock for guests to enjoy. Table Rock State Park provides other recreational options and more accommodations, so you never have to leave the beautiful scenery.

Neosho Bicentennial Park

Southwest Missouri is dotted with little gems that are easily overlooked. The city of Neosho is home to the Neosho Bicentennial Park. The park offers a meandering bike trail that mountain bikers will love. Prairie State Park, located near Missouri’s border with Kansas, offers visitors from the east an up-close look at the topography of the Great Plains. The park is home to native grasses, bison, cactus and other plants and wildlife indigenous to the area.

These are just a few of the outdoor recreation spots in southwest Missouri. The area is well served by Interstates 44 and 49, making the region easy to reach for those looking to enjoy the area’s natural beauty.

© 2018 British Solomon

British Solomon is a contributing writer and media specialist for Sky Harbor Resort. She regularly produces content for a variety of travel and lifestyle blogs.


First Hunt by Ima ErthwitchPredator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.

Nature Farming


Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


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