Samuel Clemens, or Mark Twain as many know him, was born in the Show Me State. As a steam riverboat captain, Clemens fulfilled his childhood dream of steering tall paddle ships around sandbars, trees and through currents on the mighty Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. His experiences on the rivers led to the writing of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, two characters who lived life on the rivers and in the woods to its fullest, with adventure after adventure. That same spirit of adventure lives on in the great state of Missouri today.
The Mark Twain National Forest, divided into nine sections, is scattered throughout the southern third of the state and provides 3 million acres for outdoor recreation. The Houston/Roll portion, comprising 190,000 acres, is one example of prime whitetail habitat. The area is dominated by hardwood forests that spread across beautiful hills reaching into the Ozarks.
Listen closely and, chances are, you’ll hear the rolling echos of wild turkey gobbles that thrive in this picturesque state. The Big Piney Trail in the Paddy Creek Wilderness offers secluded hunting as well as hiking and off-the-beaten-path backpacking destinations.
Nestled in Missouri's Ozarks, near Branson, is beautiful Table Rock Lake. Comfort and relaxation along with some of Missouri’s best fishing and boating are found here. Surrounded by forests and rocky outcroppings, the lake offers up huge bass, large crappie and memories with family and friends to last a lifetime. Sunshine, steady breezes and waves gently lapping at the side of your boat rock all your cares away.
The Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, considered the state’s main geographical features, merge in St. Louis. Standing tall and proud, the Gateway Arch reminds us that Lewis and Clark departed from here on their expedition to find the northwest passage. The West was opened and the gateway to the plains and fertile soils for farming was uncovered.
North of the Missouri River lies Missouri's iconic fertile farmland. As the sun slides down on another day, impressive, large populations of whitetails emerge from the hardwoods to munch on corn or soybeans, the state's largest cash crop. Pheasants are kicked up in fields of winter wheat with hunters taking over 20,000 total birds each year. Seemingly endless cornfields roll over gentle hills. When harvested, the corn keeps Missouri's cattle fed and keeps the cattle industry thriving. The state is the third largest cattle producer in the country.
The incredible income potential, recreation and long hunting seasons with a wide variety of wild game attract sportsmen across the country to experience the breathtaking landscape.
Adding to the state's diverse industry and agricultural crops is it's grape production and wine industry. The warm, long summers and plentiful sunshine make Missouri perfect for supporting large vineyards. Everything from Concord, Catawba, Vignoles, Syvals and good-old American grapes emerge from fertile Ozark soils.
Missouri is a state of common sense: A state that tells it like it is. What you see is what you get here, embodying a quintessential midwestern lifestyle that fills the soul and invites you outdoors to make memories year-round. This is the Show Me State ... and what we see looks pretty good!