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Missouri State Parks

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USA Parks
Southeast Region
Blair Creek State Forest
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Blair Creek State Forest is a pristine natural oasis that seamlessly blends picturesque landscapes with rich biodiversity. Renowned for its lush greenery, the forest captivates visitors with its rhythmic melody of chirping birds and rustling leaves. Stretching across acres of undulating hills and encompassing meandering streams, it enchants explorers with breathtaking vistas and tranquil surroundings. The forest's diverse range of flora and fauna, including towering oak trees and elusive wildlife, provide ample opportunities for hikers, birdwatchers, and nature enthusiasts to immerse themselves in its captivating beauty. With its serene atmosphere and unspoiled wilderness, Blair Creek State Forest entices visitors to disconnect from the chaos of daily life and connect with the raw splendor of nature.
History of the Area
1. Early Settlement: The area where Blair Creek State Forest now stands was initially settled by European immigrants in the early 1800s. These settlers were mainly of German and French descent, seeking fertile land for farming.

2. Logging and Lumber Industry: By the mid-1800s, the region had become known for its valuable timber resources. The abundant forests attracted logging companies, and the area saw extensive logging activity. Giant trees were felled, and the logs were transported downstream via creeks and rivers.

3. Farming and Community Growth: The cleared land was gradually converted into farmland as agriculture became the primary economic pursuit in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The community grew and prospered, with many families establishing farms and homesteads in the area.

4. Evolution into State Forest: In the 1930s during the Great Depression, the federal government initiated various conservation and public works programs to revive the economy. One such program was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which employed young men to carry out conservation projects. In 1933, the CCC established Blair Creek State Forest as a conservation area, focusing on reforestation efforts, wildlife management, and soil conservation.

5. Forest Management: Over the years, the state forest has undergone various management practices, such as sustainable logging, prescribed burns, and habitat restoration. These practices aim to maintain a healthy forest ecosystem, promote wildlife habitat, and provide recreational opportunities.

6. Recreational Opportunities: Blair Creek State Forest offers several recreational activities today, including hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and horseback riding. Trails wind through the forest, allowing visitors to explore and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Throughout its history, Blair Creek State Forest has witnessed a transition from dense forests to farmland and, subsequently, a focus on conservation and reforestation. Today, it serves as a testament to the ongoing efforts to manage and preserve Missouri's natural resources.
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1. Blair Creek Section of the Ozark Trail: This 30-mile trail is a part of the larger, renowned Ozark Trail system and offers an immersive experience into Missouri's wilderness. The path winds through hardwood forests, across rocky bluffs and alongside clear streams.

2. Current River Section: A challenging yet rewarding hike that stretches for about 8 miles within Blair Creek State Forest boundaries before continuing outside it to connect with other trails in the region.

3. Kaintuck Hollow Trails: These are several interconnected loops ranging from easy to moderate difficulty levels covering approximately 16 miles total distance offering diverse terrains including creekside paths, forested hillsides and open glades.

4. Middle Fork John Roth Memorial Loop: Named after one of Missouri's most dedicated conservationists; this loop covers around six miles featuring scenic views over valleys filled with shortleaf pine trees along its course.

5. The Devil's Backbone Wilderness Area Hiking Trails: Although not directly inside Blair creek state forest but located nearby these series of trails offer stunning panoramic views as they traverse rugged ridges known locally as "The Devils Backbone".

6. Round Spring Cave Nature Trail: An accessible half mile long interpretive nature walk showcasing local flora & fauna leading up to Round spring cave entrance which can be explored further on ranger guided tours during summer months.

7. Two Rivers Bike/Hike Path: Starting at Two rivers campground this multi-use paved pathway follows banks of both Jacks fork river & current river providing ample opportunities for wildlife viewing while hiking or biking.

8. Powder Mill/Owl Bend Scenic Drive: Not exactly a traditional hiking trail but worth mentioning due its accessibility by foot . This five mile stretch road provides breathtaking vistas overlooking emerald green waters flowing beneath towering limestone cliffs.

9. Sinking Creek Mountain Viewpoint Walkway: Short quarter mile uphill trek leads you towards wooden observation deck perched high above surrounding landscape giving unobstructed view all around especially during fall season when leaves change color.

10. Blair Creek Horse Trail: A multi-use trail that is popular with horseback riders but also open to hikers, this 25-mile path takes you through a variety of landscapes including dense forests and wide-open glades.

11. Bear Cave Loop: This short yet adventurous loop leads towards an interesting rock formation known as Bear cave . The surrounding area offers good opportunities for bird watching & spotting other wildlife.

12. Rocky Falls Shut-in Hiking Path: Another brief hike leading up to one the most picturesque waterfalls in Missouri where Rocky creek cascades down over series of ancient volcanic rocks forming natural pool at bottom which can be used for swimming during warmer months.

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Area Campgrounds
Discovery Ministries
HC 3 Box 32
Eminence, MO
Eminence Canoes, Cottages
Highway 19 North
Eminence, MO

1. Start on the nearest major highway or interstate that leads to Blair, Missouri.
2. From there, take Highway 19 south towards Steelville for approximately 10 miles.
3. Look out for signs indicating the entrance to Blair Creek State Forest on your right:hand side.
4. Turn onto the designated road leading into the forest area.

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Missouri State Parks