Explore natural wonders, see historic sites, be charmed by small towns and just get away from it all in the Arcadia Valley.
Work up a sweat climbing around these giant, billion-year-old granite formations. The name comes from the fact they stand end-to-end like a train of red circus elephants at this park. A self-guiding trail (with Braille signage) winds among these geologic wonders.
Route 21, Belleview MO 63623, 573-546-3454
Hours: Park hours: April-October, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; November-March: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
After climbing around at Elephant Rocks, cool off with a dip in the shut-ins area of this popular park. The shut-ins create unique formations, and fun swimming spots, on this section of the Black River.
148 Taum Sauk Trail, Lesterville MO 63654, 573-546-2450
Hours: March-Memorial Day weekend, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Memorial Day-Labor Day: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Labor Day-Nov., 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; November-March, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
After a swim, take a trail ride and view a working cattle farm. You'll see countless birds, wild turkey, eagles, and white tail deer. Trail rides by reservation only. Stall rentals are available. Bed and breakfast inn on-site.
11178 Route 72, Ironton MO 63650, 314-640-2564
Hours: Office: 9 a.m.-dusk
If you'd rather shop than take a trail ride, stop at Bert's. Buy a gift or treat yourself to limited antiques of unusual interest for decorating and collecting or find a more updated style.
111 S. Main St., Ironton MO 63650, 573-546-2662
Hours: Wed.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
At an elevation of 1,772 feet, this is the highest point in Missouri. The state's highest wet-weather waterfall, Mina Sauk Falls, is a highlight of this scenic rugged park.
Route CC, Ironton MO 63656, 573-546-2450
The Wilderness Lodge features lush expanses of rolling green hills, squiggly back roads, serpentine rivers and a log lodge built in the 1920s. Try roughing it Wilderness Lodge style, in your own rustic cabin with cozy beds, a fireplace, and a screened porch overlooking the Black River.
Peola Road, Lesterville MO 63654, 573-637-2295
Hours: Office: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-4 p.m.
This 1908 farmhouse has four guestrooms. Features include: a hot tub overlooking Stouts Creek; a gazebo; a patio with fire-pit; full breakfast.
11178 Route 72, Ironton MO 63650, 573-546-1182
Hours: Office: 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Koinania offers three lodging options: A three-bedroom, two-bath cottage (sleeps 11); a three-bedroom, two-bath ranch house west wing (sleeps 12); a three-bedroom, one-bath ranch house east wing (sleeps nine) and the lakeside cabin (sleeps four). Each unit includes a fully equipped kitchen and all linens. These cottages and cabins are situated on 110 privately owned acres in the Arcadia Valley.
1231 County Road 66, Black MO 63625, 573-269-4544
Hours: Office: 8 a.m.-9 p.m.