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Missouri State Parks

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USA Parks
Southeast Region
Deer Run State Forest
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The Deer Run State Forest is a picturesque woodland sanctuary, boasting an expansive natural landscape that offers visitors a peaceful retreat. Verdant forests, meandering creeks, and rolling hills envelop the forest, creating an idyllic setting for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and wildlife observers. The forest is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species, including majestic deer that roam freely. As visitors explore the forest's serene trails, they immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of Missouri's wilderness, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature's harmonious symphony.
History of the Area
Deer Run State Forest is a historically significant area located in the state of Missouri in the United States. Although it is not currently recognized as an official state forest, it has a rich history that dates back to the early settlement of the region.

In the early 1800s, Missouri was still part of the Louisiana Territory, and the land that is now Deer Run State Forest was primarily wilderness. The area was home to Native American tribes, including the Osage and Delaware tribes, who utilized the land for hunting and gathering.

As Euro-American settlers began moving into the area, the land was gradually cleared for farming and logging. By the mid-1800s, much of the forest had been converted into agricultural fields and pasture lands. However, some pockets of woodland remained, including what is now Deer Run State Forest.

Around the turn of the 20th century, a process known as reforestation was initiated across Missouri. The state recognized the importance of forests for various ecological and economic reasons, and efforts were made to reclaim and restore the forested areas that had been lost. During this time, Deer Run State Forest was established as a reforestation project.

The area was replanted with a variety of native tree species, including oak, hickory, walnut, and pine. The new growth served as habitat for various wildlife species, including deer, which eventually led to the forest being named Deer Run State Forest.

The forest has been managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, which has implemented wildlife management practices and recreational activities within the area. Today, Deer Run State Forest is open to the public and offers opportunities for hiking, hunting, bird-watching, and other outdoor activities.

Deer Run State Forest in Missouri has a history that dates back to the early settlement of the region, with evidence of Native American presence. The forest underwent reforestation efforts in the early 20th century and is now managed as a recreational area by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
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1. Start your journey on the nearest major highway or interstate that leads to Deer Run State Forest.
2. Use a GPS device or map application for accurate navigation, if available.
3. Take note of any specific exit numbers or landmarks mentioned below.

From St Louis:
- Head west on I-44 W towards Rolla/Springfield.
- Continue driving until you reach Exit 186A toward MO-Z/Steelville/Viburnum/MO-Bus Loop S/Ironton/Bonne Terre/Potosi/Jefferson College Mineral Area Campus.
- Merge onto US Hwy 67 N via the ramp to Bonne Terre/Farmington Park Hills (signs for Farmington).
- Drive approximately 30 miles and then take a slight right turn onto MO-H E/Hwy H East (follow signs for Belgrade/Caledonia).
- After about 10 miles, continue straight onto County Rd EE/E Main St., which will lead you into Deer Run State Forest.

From Kansas City:
(Note: This route takes around four hours)
-Take I -70 eastbound from Kansas City
-Follow it all the way past Columbia till Kingdom city where there's an intersection with U.S Route Highway No.-54,
-Merge left at this junction taking U.S Route Highway no.-54 southwards heading towards Jefferson city
-In Jeffersson city merge again with Interstate i.e;I -55 South bound , follow through untill Potosi ,
-On reaching Potsosi get off at state road number M & head northward along same road passing Caledonia .
-Upon crossing caledoinia keep going North ward till county Road Number "EE" appears .Take Right Turn here &
-following few more minutes drive would bring one inside Deerrun forest area .

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Missouri State Parks