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Getting outside in the Ozarks

Within a week, the heat wave will have run its course and we’ll surely have a little rain. Then we can get moving again in the wonderful Ozarks outdoors and watch the greens become gold, orange and red.

Here are some links for outdoor activities of various kinds:

Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners, based in Springfield, promotes running events. Its website includes upcoming events and race results.

Ozark Mountain Paddlers is another Springfield-based education and conservation organization, whose members travel widely in pursuit of whitewater thrills and relaxation with canoes and kayaks. The website offers links to river and lake levels.

Riverhills Traveler is the webpage of my brother Emery’s print publication of the same name. The website contains a multi-author blog called News and Views, with the focus on hunting, fishing, environmental issues and events. A companion site, Guides and Outfitters, is a directory of Missouri businesses providing campsites, hunting and fishing guides, canoe and kayak outfitters, restaurants, and others, covering most of the state.

Autumn is a great time to visit Missouri’s many wineries. Missouri Wines offers information about dozens of Missouri wineries and five different maps of Missouri “wine trails,” each of which could be the basis of fine weekend. Arkansas also has several wineries and microbrewers, which you can learn about at

If you want to know more about the plants and animals of the Ozarks, so that you have a better understanding of what you see and hear and smell, several professional and amateur naturalists share their knowledge at these sites (there are many others):

Ozark Highlands of Missouri is the work of Allison Vaughn, whose acute eye, great photographs, and snappy writing make it one of my favorites. Her focus is on plants, but she also applies her learned brain to birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Allison’s passions infuse her writing, especially about the use of fire to restore and maintain natural areas, with diversions into wines and tennis. Allison’s blog has many links, including to The Vasculum, an Ozarks botany blog, and Beetles in the Bush, which is about insects.

If you’re interested in music festivals and community events, check State of the Ozarks and the Ozarks Mountaineer.


About Harry Styron

I'm a lawyer and mediator who lives in Branson, Missouri, whose professional interests involve real estate, nonprofits, and local government. As of 2022, I'm shrinking my legal practice so that I have more time to mediate real estate disputes. I'm happy to mediate using video platforms like Zoom and WebEx, or in person anywhere in Missouri.

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