• Canoers


    National Scenic Riverways Missouri

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Big Spring area will be closed Nov 8 & 9 and Dec 12 - 14

    The Big Spring area will be temporarily closed to ensure public safety during the Wounded Warrior managed hunt November 8-9 and the managed archery hunt December 12-14.


Nature and Science

Photo courtesy North American Lichen Project

Lichens are lessons in co-operation we all could learn from. The body or structure of the lichen is made of a fungus, while inside the cells are a green alga. The fungus provides structure and water holding capability, while the algae make food for both through photosynthesis. This known as a symbiotic relationship. Lichens may be found on rocks, ledges and older tree trunks throughout the area. Lichens release acids as they grow and are actually part of the weathering process that eventually wears away mountains. They also provide small micro-habitats for plants such as columbines by holding small pockets of soil. Lichens are intolerant of air pollution, and the abundance of them in the Ozark forests indicates that we can breathe a little easier.

Did You Know?

thick stand of rivercane, which looks like bamboo.

Cane brakes are thick stands of rivercane, which is much like bamboo. The endangered Swainson's Warbler nests in these thickets. Many stands have been lost to reservoir impoundments throughout the South, but many stands are protected at Ozark National Scenic Riverways. More at www.nps.gov/ozar More...