Mark Twain National Forest has a wide range of popular recreation opportunities. The forest has over 750 miles of trails. There are trails for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and motorized use. The trails vary in length and difficulty.
Approximately 200 miles are completed of the 500-mile Ozark Trail, connecting from St. Louis to the Arkansas border. Plans are to connect the Missouri section with the Ozark Highlands Trail in Arkansas.
The Forest has more than 350 miles of perennial streams, most suitable for floating with canoes, kayaks, rafts, and inner tubes. The Forest and Missouri Department of Conservation maintain river accesses on popular streams.
Permitted outfitters provide services to the public at various locations throughout the forest.
There are more than 35 campgrounds and picnic areas usually located near a special attraction such as a spring, stream, lake, towering bluff or other scenic area. Campgrounds and picnic areas vary from a few table sites to developed campgrounds. There are no cabins available for rent on the forest at this time.
The forest manages more than 78,000 acres as semi-primitive areas where the only access is by hiking, horseback, or mountain bike. Another 265,000 acres offer semi-primitive motorized recreation. These areas provide moderate to high opportunities for solitude. Hunting and fishing, with a valid Missouri Department of Conservation fishing license, are permitted in these areas.
In addition, Mark Twain National Forest has seven Congressionally-designated Wilderness areas and 26,000 “special areas.” Special areas are managed for the protection of unusual environmental, recreation, cultural or historical resources, and for scientific or educational studies.
These 9 maps are legal documentation displaying the roads and trails that are open to public motor vehicle use. If a road or trail you see on the ground does not appear on the maps, it means that it is not open to public vehicular use. The maps are reviewed and updated annually. You download these Motor vehicle maps directly to your device on the Avenza Map app.
Suttons Bluff Recreation Trail #12 is currently closed due to an unsafe bridge that will most likely be removed. The USFS will soon be analyzing a reroute to avoid the need for a bridge at all
The Sutton Bluff Campground is set alongside the West Fork of the Black River in a forested hardwood bottom. A 25 mile off-road vehicle trail can be accessed from the campground. Permits are required for off-road vehicle use in the area.
Nearly 80 miles of multi-use trails for ATV, UTV, motorcycle and mountain bikes wind in and out of deep, forested hollows and down long ridge tops. It's possible to plan a wide variety of full-loop riding without backtracking. The riding area has evolved to a point where portions of all trails have a "most difficult" rating.