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Tours temporarily suspended at Meramec Caverns

Meramec Caverns, which is one of the major tourist attractions in Missouri, has suffered a “double whammy” this year. According to its website, Meramec Caverns is “the largest commercial cave in the state of Missouri.” This popular attraction is located…

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Fried morel mushrooms, crappie filets, and wild turkey breasts are the perfect trifecta of Ozark foods with which to celebrate spring.

A spring trifecta: Recipes for 3 favorite Ozark foods

Spring is a time of awakening and renewal. Outdoorsmen long for the sweet smells of honeysuckle and apple blossoms and the delicate flavors of nature’s spring bounty. Fried morel mushrooms, crappie filets, and wild turkey breasts are the perfect trifecta…


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ONSR tourism is huge for Missouri

From staff reports A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 1,277,941 visitors to Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) in 2015 spent $53,886,200 in communities near the park.  Wow! That spending supported 835 jobs in the local area and…


Pineville, Mo., tree planting with Tyson Foods volunteers.

Nature Conservancy joining stream cleanup

The Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition is excited to have new efforts on the waterways of the Western Ozarks. Pineville, Mo., tree planting with Tyson Foods volunteers. We would like to extend a warm welcome to The Nature Conservancy and…


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Good Friday spelunking

When I was a sophomore in high school, my brother, Lucas, and our boyhood friend, Jack Lilly, decided we were going to explore a sinkhole we had heard about off Lions Den Road in Jefferson County, Mo. To this day…


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Landmark gets a new life on the Katy Trail

Marthasville, Mo. – Ralph Glosemeyer returned to his boyhood home to help celebrate its rebirth as a pit stop for riders and walkers enjoying the Katy Trail State Park. Glosemeyer, 66, grew up in the white, two-story general store that…


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Doesn’t everyone have a place they can go to relax?

(Editor’s note: Luke Nolan, 17, lives with his family on 40 acres in the hills of northeast Cape Girardeau County. He wrote this article for his junior composition class at Notre Dame Regional High School in Cape and thought readers…


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Slow down, enjoy the little things with a camera

As an avid hunter I am fortunate enough to be able to spend several hours a year in the outdoors. Throughout some of my hunting adventures I have witnessed amazing landmarks, wildlife, and some of God’s most beautiful creations.  I’ve…


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Not just anyone can invent the No. 1 crappie jig

I recently had an opportunity to meet a truly remarkable inventor and sportsman – Mr. Dennis Crocker. He is the inventor of the QUIKSET Weedless Crappie Jig, which was invented in 1997.   Dennis, who is a man of many…


A beautiful brook darter from Indian Creek in Butler County, Mo.

Get out and find some of these beautiful darters

A lot of people are getting excited about the redbuds and wild plumbs blooming and coloring up the woods and creek bottoms this time of year. A beautiful brook darter from Indian Creek in Butler County, Mo. What a lot…


The Golden Eagle Ferry stands in sharp contrast to this gorgeous sunset. This ferry only closes when ice or floods make it unsafe to operate.

Pioneers found a way to get to the other side

A 20-mile trip for shopping or visiting a friend might entail crossing half a dozen bridges. We take our infrastructure for granted, often flying across bridges at 60 miles an hour without giving them a moment’s thought. The Golden Eagle…


Taneycomo rainbows love tan-colored scuds, but are also real suckers for a beadhead nymph.

Ritz, glitz, and 100 fish days

The cypress swamps of southeast Missouri set the stage for my grand entrance into the world of catching behemoth largemouth bass on fly rods stiff enough to use as a pool cue in Ma Tally’s Tavern. Taneycomo rainbows love tan-colored…


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3 unique turkey loads are put to the test

With turkey season approaching, the anticipation among us hunters seems to build just like the hours in the spring days. One of the topics that I hear every year while hunters start preparing is what turkey load they will be…


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Battlefield offers a glimpse of Civil War life

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, located near Springfield, Mo., is this month’s featured National Park. Wilson’s Creek volunteers portraying members of the Missouri State Guard. In 1861, it was the scene of the first major Civil War battle fought in Missouri,…


Crappie Fishing

Fishermen pumped for crappie season

It’s about this time each year that hype begins building for the spring crappie spawn – a fishing event that’s as near and dear to many anglers as any other outdoors happening in the Ozarks. When crappie start to head…


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A treasure in the prairie

When I think of Kansas, I think of flat prairie land, wind farms, and feedlots. Images of wheat fields, tornadoes, and scenes from “The Wizard of Oz” fill my mind.  As a resident of the beautiful Central Ozarks, there is…


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A gobbler sounded off way down deep in the hollow

I sat down next to a towering oak and within seconds the big bird materialized to my left not fifteen yards away. This was my second location in Missouri of the first week of the 2015 turkey season. The opening…


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Small things then and now

Can you imagine going your whole life in the Ozarks without ever seeing a white-tailed deer? That was a real possibility around here at one time.  I find it interesting how different the plant and animal landscape – both wild…


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Lost in the Huzzah River Valley (Pt. 2)

(Editor’s note: Part one of this story appeared in the March issue of the River Hills Traveler.) We crawled further into the cave and I turned out the lantern because it sounded like it was running out of fuel. The…


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Drones, campground living, and a squirrel recipe

According to a press release issued by the Corps of Engineers, drones are now outlawed at Wappapello Lake. Drones are a relatively new and exciting technology available to everyone and can be used for many purposes, especially photography and videography….


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You’re missing out! Try a fried potato sandwich

Fried potato sandwich. A simple fare with an easy recipe. Grab two or three potatoes from your cellar or cupboard, wash the dirt off and cut them into slices a bit heavier than a quarter of an inch.  Fry them…


Young angler Ayden Dietrich found this huge crappie in a small pond of about one-acre.

Big crappie can be found on little water

When crappie fishing becomes the topic of conversation, big lakes dominate the discussions. Mark Twain is mentioned as is Rathbun and Kentucky Lake. Up north Geneva gets press and in the south Bull Shoals. All have merit and all of…


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Critter for April 2016: Badger

• Species: Badger. • Scientific name: Taxidea taxus. • Nicknames: None. • Claim to fame: In Missouri, badgers have become one of the symbols of prairie habitat. Although not often seen because of their secretive nature and relatively scattered population,…