A 58-mile drive beginning in Gainesville and proceeding through scenic hills and valleys visiting glades, historic old water mills, springs, and clear-flowing streams along the way. Traveling through this part of the Ozarks takes you back to an earlier life when “goin’ to mill” was a common event for backwoods families. For more than a century, these old mills not only ground their corn and wheat but also provided other services. The power used to turn the grinding stones often, with a system of belts and pulleys, drove rock crushers, cotton gins, woolcarding machines, lumber mills, woodworking equipment and, later, electricity.
The mill was also a gathering place where folks could visit, exchange stories, and catch up on the latest news. Beside the mill was usually a general store that supplied tea, coffee, yard goods, and simple clothes. A blacksmith shop and a post office were nearly always a part of the scene. Special attractions: Caney Mountain Conservation Area, Rockbridge Mill, Zanoni Mill, Hodgson Mill, Dawt Mill, Bryant Creek, North Fork River, scenic views, showy glade wildflowers, fall colors, hiking, swimming, canoeing, hunting, and fishing, including trout.
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