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Sand Beach

Chapel Hill Beach in Mark Twain National Forest. Open May 26 - September 10.
Changing rooms, flush toilets, water fountains, body showers, and a sand beach are provided. A small play area with slide and climbing structure is adjacent to the beach.

MONSANTO and PIM Lakes. Both lakes are easily accessible and have excellent swimming beaches.

Many of Mark Twain National Forest's beautiful rivers, lakes, and streams are but a short drive from a long list of large metropolitan areas and small towns. You'll find plenty to do on or near the water! Whether it's a weekend float trip on a stream that's clear all the way to the bottom --
or letting your boat drift across a sparkling lake, while you cast in hopes of hooking a big fish -- or a peaceful day of camping as you watch your kids throw rocks into the river -- Missouri's National Forest can fill the bill.

Courtois Creek Canoeing

Forming in the Mark Twain National Forest of Washington County, Courtois Creek offers paddlers a beautiful, small Class I flatwater stream that flows to the Meramec River in Crawford County. This reach is 21.5 miles between Washington County Road 657 near Brazil and the Crawford County Highway E bridge just above the Meramec confluence. The creek is a very popular paddling destination for recreational canoe, kayak and raft paddlers who venture there for the enjoyment of beautiful, but gentle streams in the Missouri Ozarks. The creek is bordered by dense stands of gorgeous trees and indigenous vegetation giving it a remote feel that offers seclusion from signs of civilization in an area with abundant wildlife and little commerical or residential development. Courtois Creek closely parallels Huzzah Creek, which has very similar characteristics, and is just north of the splendid Current River and its Jacks Fork River tributary. Even closer to the south is the 1,772 foot tall Taum Sauk Mountain, the highest point of elevation in Missouri.

Though basically hazard-free, the tight, narrow character of the creek lends itself to trouble in high flow conditions. When the flow approaches 1,000 cfs paddlers should objectively assess their paddling skills before venturing onto this stream. Overhanging brush and trees suddenly become potential strainers, and strong cross currents and eddies can develop, sending a boat out of control, possibly leading to capsizing and/or pinning or wrapping. This is shallow creek boating at its finest under normal flow conditions, as many local paddlers already know.

Council Bluffs Trail

This trail is a beautiful 12.5-mile loop that follows the shoreline of Council Bluffs Lake on the Big River. Most of this scenic trail is single-track, with one mile on an old logging road and a half-mile on a gravel road near the swimming beach. While it doesn't require much climbing, much of the single-track is technical, passing over lots of rocky terrain that will test your bike handling skills. Novices probably shouldn't try it, unless they don't mind walking their bikes through the tough spots. This trail is located 20 miles southwest of Potosi.


Dove Hunting

If you are the type who thinks the perfect hunting trip is one where you get to fire your shotgun a lot, dove hunting may be the sport for you.

Missouri's 70-day dove season begins Sept. 1. Hunters ages 16 through 64 must purchase a Small Game Hunting Permit and a Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit to pursue doves. Shooting hours are one half hour before sunrise to sunset.

New to the 2002 season is the addition of the Eurasian collared-doves and white-winged doves in the aggregate. The change provides for the incidental taking of the two species during the mourning dove season. The combined daily bag limit of all three dove species is 12, with a combined possession limit of 24.

Full details on dove season regulations are available in the 2002 Migratory Bird Hunting Digest. The booklet is available free of charge at Conservation Department offices and wherever permits are sold.

Mourning doves should prove irresistible to anyone excited by speedy, erratic targets. Doves can fly as fast as 40 miles per hour, but they seem much faster when you are trying to follow them with a shotgun. They twist in flight, evading most shots fired at them. The average hunter expends three to five shells for every dove that goes in the bag.

Dove hunting can be a great sport for beginners as equipment needs are minimal. A shotgun, ammunition and a container for carrying doves and empty shells from the field are all you need. A small cooler provides a handy seat and is useful for carrying cool water and keeping the doves you shoot cool.

A healthy statewide dove population bodes well for the upcoming season. Annually the Missouri Department of Conservation conducts two surveys to estimate changes in the dove population. The Mourning Dove Call-Count Survey tracks the number of doves heard calling along about 20 survey routes. The Roadside Dove Survey documents doves observed in every county in the state except Jackson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties. This year, both surveys found dove numbers slightly higher than in 2001. Last year, Missouri hunters harvested 754,599 doves.

Turkey Hunting Tactics for the Unprofessional Hunter
How does that guy kill two birds every spring?  I used to ask
that question frequently when I first started turkey hunting. Calling 
in a bird sometimes seemed impossible.  Since my introduction to the sport of turkey hunting, I have spent the last 19 years discovering the not-talked-about secrets of many successful hunters and I would like to share them with youth rough my considerable experience.  What I have learned is that the most successful turkey hunters have many tricks up their sleeve that they would rather not tell you about. 

Shoot & Chase  I shot my first bird in spring of 1983at 11:00 am, calling him in to 15 yards.  I cleanly missed with the first shot, winging him on the fly with the second.  After stomping around for 30 minutes, I decided that the bird must have run off. I returned to the scene one hour later with my father in a last ditch effort to find the bird.  Almost immediately, the bird busted out from under a log, apparently flightless and on the run with a good head start.  Six shots and a one half mile later we caught up with the bird, beating it to death with a stick. (We had run out of shells.)  The bird weighed27 ūpounds and to this day, it is the biggest bird I have ever taken.STRONG>

The Law of Averages (If you go enough times, you'll get your chance) In 1988, after hunting every day for two weeks, I finally took a bird on the last day of season.  I had hunted every day till 1:00pm without success.  Missing two birds earlier in the week with my12 gauge 3"magnum, I had been given more that one opportunity to take a bird, and I still couldn't get the job done.  It was raining the last day, so I took out the old Winchester 20 gauge single shot that was leaning against the wall in the corner.  It was already weathered and easy to pack. Getting to the woods late, I sat down against a tree to listen. Not more that a minute later, I saw a gobbler pop up over the ridge, and shot him dead at 35 yards without so much as a twitch. I had been in the right spot at the right time.


Waterfowl Hunting Clubs

Duck and Snow Goose hunting doesn't get any better than at Minton Farms in Southeast Missouri! Ken Minton and Hunter Johnson invite you to enjoy a successful guided or non-guided waterfowl hunt on the more than 1,000 acres bordering Otter Slough Conservation Area on two sides and consisting of flooded rice, corn and soybeans which makes up MO Ducks.

Record Kill for 2003

       Waterfowl guide Hunter Johnson brings a lifetime of waterfowl hunting experience to MO Ducks and his name says it all. Hunter knows what it takes to kill ducks. His enthusiam for the sport and his experience in the field will guide you to a successful hunt.

       Ken and Hunter are committed to providing excellent habitat, management and waterfowl use areas. Their goal is to provide you the hunt of a lifetime! If you're a waterfowl hunter, you have come to the right place because you'll shoot More Ducks at MO Ducks! Contact MO Ducks for more information!

The Flyway Hunting Club LLC offers over 1600 acres of prime hunting area on one of the few remaining river deltas on the Mississippi River. Our location in southeast Missouri has flooded rice and beans for ducks and dry land corn and wheat for excellent snow goose hunting.
     Our premier location borders on Eagle's Nest and is within 6 miles of Ten-Mile Pond (NWR) (located on the Mississippi flyway, the largest waterfowl flyway in the United States). We are 20 miles southeast of Sikeston (Missouri) in the middle of thousands of acres of rice.

Mark Twain National Forest


Welcome to your Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri's National Forest, where a wide range of learning and recreational opportunities await you. The Mark Twain National Forest is located in southern and central Missouri, and extends from the St. Francois Mountains in the southeast to dry rocky glades in the southwest, from the prairie lands along the Missouri River to the nation's most ancient mountains in the south. Clear spring-fed rivers and streams, rocky bluffs, pastoral views and shaded trails all welcome visitors to explore and enjoy the beauty of the renowned Ozarks.

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

 THE BONNE TERRE MINES, the world's largest man-made caverns.

Boat tours, land tours, and scuba diving are all available in this partially water-filled cave formerly used for mining. The water is clear to the bottom and the cave is cool. Take 55 South to Hwy 67 South, located where 67 hits Hwy 47. Then just follow the signs. DIVE TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, in the world's largest diving resort.

Picnicking in the Ozarks

The water is blue and sparkling with perhaps a Canadian goose or two making a home. The kids are exploring the mussel shells and cattails at the water's edge. A short hike in the woods turns up a monarch butterfly chrysalis. The picnic table is set with sandwiches, oranges, homemade cookies, and recycled water bottles....

Yes, the family has gone on a picnic. The Ozarks are filled with good places for families to picnic and hike. If you live in southern Missouri, chances are, there's one near you. Fortunately, the excursion doesn't have to cost much, either. With a little bit of planning, your family can jump in the car and spend an afternoon picnicking, hiking, and just hanging out outdoors.

Sometimes the most pleasant spots are practically right in your own backyard. People who live around Mountain Grove, MO, are familiar with a little picnic spot known as Austin Lake. Even if you don't fish, which is a popular activity here, there is still a lot of free enjoyment to be had. You can walk about three/fourths of the perimeter of the lake, then back, for a gentle walk. Picnic tables, grills, a floating dock, boat ramp, and bathrooms are all available for your use.

Near Salem, MO, is Montauk State Park. This is a more inhabited spot which is downright busy during trout season. While there are activities that cost, the hiking trails and picnic tables are free. Being a trout park, the spring fishing season brings the people out in droves, so if you're looking for a quiet spot, this might not be it.

About 19 miles south of Cabool, MO, is another nice little lake for picnicking and hiking. It is Noblett Lake, nestled deep in the Mark Twain National Forest. But these are just a few of the great places to get away from it all.

Now for some tips for having a great time without spending a lot of cash!

1. Skip the trip to the golden arches on the way. Pack a picnic instead. If you have fruit, sandwich makings, and chips or cookies available, you have the necessary ingredients for a meal outdoors. Keep a gallon freezer bag stocked with a can opener, a few paper plates, napkins, and plastic forks for more elaborate fare (like a can of pork and beans.) Food always tastes better outside, and when you're hungry.

2. Instead of canned sodas or fountain drinks, bring along a jug of water. Yogurt cups can be recycled into travel cups for picnicking. If they get lost or damaged, you aren't out much. (Plus, you'll be healthier!)

3. Another neat trick for travel drinks is to save plastic single serve drink bottles. Fill them half full of water, put on the lid, and stick them in the freezer. When it's time to hit the road, finish filling them. The ice will make the new water cool, and go on to melt into fresh cool water.

4. Let the kids help make the sandwiches. Instead of each one having its own plastic sandwich bag, you can slip them one after another into a bread bag.

5. Don't forget to take along a plastic grocery bag or two for bringing back trash if there is no trash can available. Sometimes there isn't. Please, don't litter! Remember the old adage, "Take only pictures and leave only footprints."

Family fun doesn't have to be expensive. Take along a frisbee or other flying toys. There are some toys that launch a spinner high into the air. If you take kites, watch out for electric lines and kite-eating trees. But whatever you do, enjoy your time together!

Scenic Drives

Scenic Driving in the Ozarks

The Ozark region is one of the most identifiable in the United States. You don't have to visit the area to be able to picture thoughts of rugged, wooded landscapes with clear-flowing streams, and abundant wildlife. The Ozarks is a region of geographic contrasts:from unbroken woodlands to crop fields and pastures; broad, slowmoving rivers to swift mountain streams; nearly level plateaus and river valleys to dramatically rugged terrain; and sloughs and swamps to some of the driest forests in eastern North America.  Below describes just one of many scenic drives in the area.

Ancient Rocks: Potosi to Taum Sauk Mountain, MO

Preview: A 40-mile drive that begins at Potosi, heads south into the St. Francois Mountains, and ends at Taum Sauk Mountain, the highest point in Missouri. This drive leads through the heart of the St. Francois Mountains to Taum Sauk Mountain, the highest point in Missouri. This region was formed by ancient volcanoes more than 1.5 billion years ago, making it the oldest landform in the mid-continent. Special attractions: Big River; Hughes Mountain Natural Area; Arcadia and Belleview valleys; Buford Mountain Conservation Area; Elephant Rocks, Johnson’s Shut-Ins, and Taum Sauk Mountain state parks; Fort Davidson State Historic Site; and the Ozark Trail; scenic views, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, canoeing, and geology.

Berryman Trail
Preview: Put the 24-mile Berryman Trail on your must-ride list: it offers one of the best mountain bike experiences in Ozark Country. Almost all of this scenic loop ride is on single-track-parts are rough and rocky, but are rarely so difficult that you will have to portage your bike. With its many climbs, rock-strewn technical sections, and satisfying length, the Berryman is ideal for the experienced rider, but probably a big much for the beginner. Still, an inexperienced rider with a good attitude can enjoy riding a short section of the trail, using one of the roads that bisect the loop to create a shorter, less intimidating ride. Because the trail alternates between ridge tops and creek bottoms, the scenery includes both pleasant meandering streams and beautiful views from the tops of the climbs. This trail is located 17 miles west of Potosi.
Brazil Creek Campground, Ozarks, Missouri

Camping in Missouri is such a great thing to do. Pack your camping stuff and hit the road, if you happen to be in Missouri, Brazil Creek Campground is a great local campground. Fun things to do are abundant around Brazil Creek Campground and many people like to come here to get away. This camp ground is located in the wonderful Ozarks. The great people who run this place and the well cared for facilities has a lot of people coming here. If you love the outdoors you won’t be disappointed, there's whitewater paddling, and hiking, so getting bored is not something that is likely to happen. - - Briefly about the area around Brazil Creek Campground: The sights at Ozark National Scenic River will blow your mind and paddling on Meramec River is so much fun. Yeah, come up here to the Ozarks for a good time. The Berryman Trail offers hiking at it's best and Hidden Valley has good slopes and a friendly staff. This campground is always fun. Greer Hollow is a great place to explore and get wet paddling on Black River - East Fork.

County Seat
Potosi, Washington County Seat

The unusual name of "Potosi" comes from a South American Indian word ironically meaning "place of much noise", and through the years the historic town has been the home of hardy pioneers who made "much noise" in Missouri and throughout the American West.


Washington County Courthouse

102 North Missouri Street
County Courthouse
Potosi, MO 63664-1744
Phone: (573)438-4901

Recorder of Deeds
Clerk of the County Court
Clerk of the Probate Court
Clerk of the Circuit Court
Tax Collector


Washington County Memorial Hospital, Potosi

Washington County Memorial Hospital (573) 438-5451 300 Health Way Dr Potosi, MO 63664

Following is a List of Services Currently being offered at Washington County Memorial Hospital:

Physician Specialists

Nursing Services Laboratory Services

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Diagnostic Imaging

Respiratory Care

Physical Therapy

Social Services

Home Health Agency

Rural Health Clinics

Health Way Primary Care

Austin Plaza Primary Care.

Diving Mines/Caverns Scuba Diving Where the Sun
Does Not Shine I’m not talking about deep sea diving. No Sir…..I’m talking about diving in a mine, the Bonne Terre Mine, about an hour south Missouri The crystal clear water in the caverns at Bonne Terre Mine fills vast rooms of abandoned railroad tracks, ore carts, and other mining equipment.  The clarity of the water throws off one’s sense of distance.Before the mine flooded, it was worked for about 100 years as the lead ore dwindled.It was abandoned in 1962, and water has seeped in filling it with fresh clear water.The mine is still largely unknown to the scuba diving community.If you dive, and want to try something different, this is the adventure for you.  It’s a great alternative to diving in a murky lake, river, or ocean.There is nothing else like it.

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking usually refers to the sport of riding bicycles possessing particular design characteristics (mountain bikes) off-road, although sometimes the term simply refers to riding a mountain bike, which can be done almost anywhere - bike trails and street riding are examples of mountain biking typically based in more urban locations. The sport requires endurance, bike handling skills and self-reliance. It is an individual sport which can be performed almost anywhere. There are aspects of mountain biking that are more similar to trail running than regular bicycling. Because riders are often far from civilization, there is a strong ethic of self-reliance in the sport. Riders must learn to repair their broken bikes or flat tires to avoid being stranded miles from help. This reliance on survival skills accounts for the group dynamics of the sport. Club rides and other forms of group rides are common, especially on longer treks.

Mountain biking is roughly broken down into three categories: cross country, downhill, and trails/street riding. However, most mountain bikes have a similar look: knobby tires, large round frame tubing, and some sort of suspension or shock absorbers are the usual pieces of equipment. Mountain biking can be done anywhere from a back yard to a gravel road, but the majority of mountain bikers prefer to ride trails they call singletrack. These are narrow trails that wind through forests or fields. Mountain bikers describe a sense of euphoria that results from singletrack or downhill riding.

There are a variety of mountain biking experiences from beginner to advanced.  Loops around lakes, single trails, to technical challenging trails.

Indexed are only three of many trails.


Fishing in Washington County

The Big River offers fishermen opportunities to catch a wide variety of fish, from catfish and crappie to large and smallmouth bass. The portion of the Big River that extends from the Hwy. 21 bridge to the Meramec River has been designated by the Missouri Department of Conservation as a Smallmouth Bass Special Management Area. Special regulations of length and possession limits apply to smallmouth bass in this area.

Night Fishing

Fishing at Night in Washington County



Ever tried it?  I didn’t until I got to Washington County, Missouri.   


My fishing partner and I found fishing at night more exciting then during the day.  Not being able to see the fish on your line until it gets close to the boat just added to my overall sense awareness.  Reduced vision because of darkness sharpened my other senses.  I seemed to hear the actions of the fish better, and feel the tension and drift of my line better.  Fishing at night has a certain ambience to it.  It’s one I’ve never experienced before doing it.  I’ve come to like night fishing better than fishing during the day.


One of the best parts of night fishing, is that few, if anyone, is on the lake.  There are no skiers flying by, no ski-doos, no swimmers, rafts or tubs floating by.  Of the several night fishing trips I’ve done; only three other boats were encountered.


I basically use the same equipment at night that I use during the day, except that I bring a black light, which greatly helps me see my line, bait, and other items.  Fluorescent line glows like neon under black light.  I also take a flashlight (or two).  Make sure your navigation lights are working.

Casinos, Riverboats, & Major Entertainment within reach!

 Just about an hour from Whispering Pines!
Since riverboat gambling was approved several years ago in Missouri, casinos and gambling establishments have started to appear all over the St. Louis Metropolitan area. The casinos and gambling establishments have not only increased in numbers but get more elaborate by the year.
Casinos and Gambling Boats in St. Louis
Most people come to St Louis for the well known attractions, such as the St Louis Zoo, the Arch, and Forest Park. More and more, people are starting to think of St. Louis when they want to experience the excitement of visiting a first class hotel-casino. There is no longer a need to travel to Las Vegas or Atlantic City to enjoy the action of busy casinos.[
Ameristar Casino St. Charles
Ameristar Casino St. Charles was formerly known as the Station Casino St. Charles. The casino is located just 10 minutes west of Lambert St. Louis International Airport.
Argosy Alton Belle Casino
The Alton Belle Casino is located just 25 minutes north of downtown St. Louis in Alton, IL. The Alton Belle now has unlimited boarding. Previously you needed to board the boat and go for a river cruise to enjoy gambling.



One of the greatest ways to enjoy the outdoors is hiking. Trails can take you through beautiful areas and can showcase the most spectacular views. Small streams, waterfalls and wildlife are also common. The scents and sounds of nature are all around. Hiking provides time for reflection and can be very relaxing. Walking is good exercise and is a good way for families to spend quality time. Learning and sharing along the way makes for a very enjoyable outing. Hikes can range from very short trails to extremely long adventures over mountains and through the backcountry. Day hiking is most popular and offers a wide choice in trail length, difficulty and destinations. Overnight backpacking can be quite challenging and requires more extensive planning and preparation. The following will provide some useful information that will help you plan a safe and enjoyable day hike.

Hughs Mountain Natural Area


Location: 3 miles south of Irondale. 7 miles north/east of Caledonia. JCT 8 and 21 at Potosi, on 21 at JCT M, turn left. At Cedarcreek Rd CR541 turn right.

The summit of Hughs Mountain is a climb of .5 mile. There is a beautiful view of the surrounding St. Francios Mountains and dup-close are unsual rock formations known locally as Devil’s Honeycomb. This formation is an example of igneous rock, rhyolite or volcanic rock that is the lava form of granite. These rhyolite columns are 3 to 4 feet high. The fractured rock is all round the igneuos rock glades that comprise half of the 330 acre natural area. The other half is forest land and includes Lost Creek and Cedar Creek.

Point to Point Trail begins at the base of Hughs Mountain. The trail is 2 miles roundtrip. The eroded trail travels uphill though oak and hickory trees. Hikers should follow the stone cairns and foot path curving to the pinnacle. At the top are the honeycomb shaped rock, jointed rholoymite.(this type of rock pattern is found in Irleand.)

Bootleg Access trail (10 miles south on HWY 21) Near the area is a trail it is 1 mile along the Big River. It is jointly created Boy Scout working with the MDC.

St. Francois State Park

St. Francois State Park

Seek refuge from everyday life in the beauty of the Pike Run Hills at St. Francois State Park. The forested ridges and hollows of these hills offer visitors a chance for unconfined solitude in a wilderness setting.

Three hiking trails, one allowing equestrians, wind through the forested hills and glades of Coonville Creek Wild Area. Mooner Hollow Trail leads visitors to Coonville Creek Natural Area, highlighted by the clear waters of Coonville Creek, which were once used to make moonshine.

The Big River, which forms the southern boundary of the park, is ideal for canoeing. The park's many shaded picnic sites or two covered shelters provide the perfect place for a quiet picnic lunch or large family gathering.

Overnight guests can choose from more than 100 campsites, both basic and electric. The campground features modern restrooms, hot showers and laundry facilities.

Whether coming to enjoy a day on the Big River, or to seek refuge in the peaceful, natural setting of the park, St. Francois State Park offers the perfect hideout from everyday life.

Tom Golabek
1193 Addison Ave.
The Villages, Fl 32162