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Missouri State Parks

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USA Parks
Southeast Region
White River State Forest
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The White River State Forest is a picturesque natural sanctuary, characterized by its lush greenery, tranquil atmosphere, and diverse wildlife. Enveloped by majestic rolling hills and dotted with towering oak and hickory trees, this forest acts as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Hikers can embark on scenic trails that wind their way through the forest, revealing breathtaking vistas and hidden waterfalls along the way. Anglers can delight in the abundance of fish, as the state forest is home to various species, making it an idyllic spot for fishing. With its serene ambiance and stunning natural beauty, the White River State Forest promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of Missouri.
History of the Area
- The forest was established in 1928 when the Missouri Department of Conservation purchased 1,237 acres of land from the local landowners. Its primary purpose was to serve as a demonstration area for sustainable forest management practices.

- Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, additional land purchases were made, expanding the forest's total area to 6,942 acres. These acquisitions were made possible through federal programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration.

- During this period, the forest was actively managed for timber production and other forest-related activities. The forest rangers and workers employed here conducted experimental trials, reforestation efforts, and established firebreaks to prevent forest fires.

- In the 1970s, White River State Forest became part of the Cooperative Forest Management Program, which allowed the forest to receive additional assistance in managing its resources. This partnership aimed to enhance educational, recreational, and conservation opportunities.

- White River State Forest continues to be actively managed and serves multiple purposes. It is a hub for wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, and forestry education. The forest offers opportunities for hunting, hiking, bird watching, picnicking, and nature appreciation. It also hosts various educational programs and workshops on sustainable forest management.
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White River State Forest is located near West Plains

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1. Start by heading south on Highway 65 from Springfield, Missouri.
2. Continue driving for approximately 45 miles until you reach the town of Branson.
3. In Branson, take a left onto Highway 76 (also known as Country Music Boulevard).
4. Follow Highway 76 westbound for about 15 miles until you see signs indicating the entrance to Table Rock Lake State Park.
5. Take a right turn into Table Rock Lake State Park and continue straight ahead towards Indian Point Road.
6. Turn left onto Indian Point Road and drive for around half a mile before reaching an intersection with Silver Dollar City Parkway.

At this point, there are two different routes depending on which part of White River State Forest you wish to visit:

To access the North Shore area:
7a) At the intersection mentioned above, make another left turn onto Silver Dollar City Parkway/Indian Ridge Trailhead road.
8a) Drive along this road for approximately three:quarters of a mile until reaching your destination at North Shore Recreation Area.

To access other areas within White River State Forest:
7b) Instead of turning onto Silver Dollar City Parkway/Indian Ridge Trailhead road at step six,.
continue straight through that intersection while staying on Indian Point Road/Silver Lane West/Northwest Bypass route
8b) After traveling roughly one:and-a-half miles more down this path,.
look out for signage directing toward various recreational sites or campgrounds within White River state forest

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Missouri State Parks