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Missouri State Parks

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USA Parks
Southeast Region
Beal State Forest
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Beal State Forest is a scenic and diverse natural area that offers a tranquil retreat for outdoor enthusiasts. Spanning over vast acreage, this forest is characterized by its dense woodlands, serene hiking trails, and abundant wildlife. The forest boasts a rich biodiversity, with a variety of indigenous plants and trees, creating a picturesque landscape throughout the seasons. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful stroll along the well-maintained paths, which lead to breathtaking views of picturesque streams and hidden waterfalls. Beal State Forest is a cherished recreational destination, ideal for those seeking solace in nature and a chance to connect with the tranquil beauty of Missouri's wilderness.
History of the Area
The history of Beal State Forest dates back to the early 20th century. The forest was initially established in 1936 as one of the first forest demonstration areas in Missouri. Its purpose was to serve as a testing and demonstration site for various reforestation techniques, as well as a place for forestry education and research.

During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a work relief program established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, played a significant role in the development of Beal State Forest. CCC workers were responsible for transforming the degraded and eroded farmland into a productive forested landscape. They planted trees, built roads and trails, and implemented erosion control measures to restore the land.

Beal State Forest has gone through various management practices and reforestation efforts. Today, the forest consists of various tree species, including oak, hickory, maple, and pine. It serves as a demonstration site for sustainable forest management practices and provides opportunities for recreational activities such as hiking, hunting, and wildlife viewing.

Beal State Forest has faced some challenges, including invasive plant species, storms, and natural disturbances. Efforts have been made to combat these issues and maintain the ecological integrity of the forest.

Beal State Forest has played an essential role in reforestation efforts and forest management practices in Missouri. It continues to serve as a valuable educational and recreational resource for the local community and visitors alike.
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Area Campgrounds

1. Start by heading onto Highway 63 and continue driving south.
2. After approximately 15 miles, take exit 144 toward Ashland/Hartsburg.
3. Merge onto Route Y and drive for about half a mile until you reach E Broadway/Route M intersection.
4. Turn right onto E Broadway/Route M and continue on this road for around 7 miles.
5. At the roundabout, take the second exit to stay on Route M/E Elm Street towards Hartsburg/Jefferson City/Rocheport/Katy Trail State Park (signs will indicate Katy Trail).
6. Continue straight ahead on this road as it becomes S Main St/South Old Hwy A/Missouri F12A Road after passing through Hartsburg town center.
7. Drive for another approximate of 8 miles until you see signs indicating Beal State Forest entrance located off South Old Hwy A/Missouri F12A Road.

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Missouri State Parks