A 70-mile drive starting in Cape Girardeau and following the eastern Ozark border on both sides of the Mississippi River. Located on the easternmost edge of the Ozarks, this drive follows the rugged river hills and floodplain of the Mississippi River. The Ozarks extend about 10 miles into Illinois. This section of the Ozarks was once part of a much larger Ozarks millions of years ago until a new, southward-flowing river system formed and cut deep into the landscape. The geology, plants, and animals are basically the same on both sides of the Mississippi River, but the Illinois side is forever isolated. The river is still a dominating force on the landscape, and this drive provides opportunities to see it in action.
Special attractions: Cape Girardeau, Conservation Southeast Regional Office, Mississippi River, Trail of Tears State Park, Port Cape Girardeau, Cape River Heritage Museum, Glenn House, Union County Conservation Area, LaRue—Pine Hills Ecological Area, Clear Springs/Bald Knob Wilderness Area, and Grand Tower; scenic views, hiking, camping, fall colors, spring wildflowers, hunting, and fishing. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
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