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Use the Academy as your jumping-off point for these amazing recreation activities:

Johnson Shut-Ins: ​​Play in the shallows of the East Fork of the Black River. Shoot through Mother Nature’s hydraulics in the shut-ins. Hike a trail that will show you 1.4 billion years of geologic history. Take your horse on a pretty mountain trail. Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is a jewel of the system, a place with something for everyone: pretty picnic areas, Ozark landscapes, natural places to swim, great campsites.

Elephant Rocks: The giant elephant-shaped granite boulders are the star at Elephant Rocks State Park. The coarsely crystalline red granite forms are popular with history buffs (who like to read the names of the 19th century miners who used to work in the area and who carved their names into rocks), children (who love to climb and scramble over and through the rocks) and parents (who revel in taking pictures of their children pretending to push the rocks). The park has a trail that winds through the rocks, which is an interpretative Braille trail. Abundant picnic areas and vibrant fall colors add to the park’s appeal.


Clearwater Lake: Located close to Piedmont Missouri, Clearwater Lake is a place where families can relax without being surrounded by crowds of other tourists. Surrounded by three state parks, Clearwater Lake boasts fishing, boating, and skiing, as well as canoeing on the nearby upper Black River. Restrictions created by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in order to preserve the lakes natural beauty have prevented private boat docks from being constructed leaving plenty of open coast line. Visitors here can plan on enjoying beautiful scenery and abundant opportunities for viewing wildlife. The serene lake and environment allow its visitors to share quality time together while having fun on the water. Clearwater Lake offers camping, swimming, fishing and boating. Clearwater is an oasis from the hectic day to day life which makes it a perfect vacation destination.


Missouri Wineries: Before prohibition, Missouri was the country's second leading wine producer, behind only New York.  Today, a new generation of well-educated winemakers, healthier lifestyles, and the increasing consumer demand for locally brewed spirits has once again catapulted Missouri's wine industry into the international spotlight. Growing 70 percent since 2001, Missouri now ranks 11th in the nation. Missouri wines are once again winning national and international acclaim.

Take a tour of Southeast Missouri Wine Country while you're here.  A "must" for visitors to the Show Me State!


Attractions & Recreation Activities

Entertainment, River Rafting, Shopping, Civil War Sites, Canoeing, Antiques,

Hiking, Swimming, Biking, Boating,  Rock Climbing, and more!

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