Experiencing Missouri: The Great Outdoors

The state of Missouri provides a multitude of opportunities for enjoying its many beautiful natural areas. This reading list includes books about the Show-Me State’s parks and trails, as well as books on camping, cycling, caving, backpacking, and fishing in Missouri.

Missouri | Camping | Cycling | Caving | Backpacking | Fishing

Related events:
Camping Missouri, March 3
Cycling Missouri, March 10
Caving Missouri, March 17
Backpacking Missouri, March 24
Fishing Missouri, March 31

Missouri

Natural Missouri: Working With the Land
By Napier Shelton
Napier Shelton offers a tour of notable natural sites in Missouri through the eyes of the people who work with them. Over a period of three years, he roamed all over the state, visiting such different places as Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, Pomme de Terre Lake, Mark Twain National Forest, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Roaring River State Park, Prairie State Park, Ted Shanks Conservation Area, and Mingo National Wildlife Refuge.

Missouri Landscapes: Designs from Nature
Photography and text by Kevin Sink
In Missouri Landscapes, renowned nature photographer Kevin Sink provides more than fifty breathtaking color images of Missouri's most dramatic and beautiful landscapes. His passion for the environment and his expertise in photography are evident in these lush photos, which so beautifully capture the delicate artistry of nature.

Unspoiled Beauty: A Personal Guide to Missouri Wilderness
By Charles J. Farmer
Farmer begins by describing the wilderness region prior to the Congressional Wilderness designation, providing an overview of the numerous battles that were waged to reclaim the state's wilderness and to assure its preservation. Farmer devotes a chapter to each of the eight Wilderness areas, accompanied by numerous engaging photographs, many in color. He provides a brief history of each and shares his own fascinating personal experiences of camping, hiking, backpacking, hunting, and fishing within each. He discusses trails, fauna, flora, and other colorful details along the way.

The Complete Katy Trail Guidebook
By Brett Dufur
This guidebook covers the many towns along Missouri's 225-mile-long Katy Trail that follows the Missouri River from Clinton to St. Charles. It includes service information for each town, as well as maps and photographs.

Camping

 Missouri and the Ozarks book jacket

The Best in Tent Camping: Missouri and the Ozarks
By Steve Henry
From the Mark Twain National Forest to the northern reaches of the Show Me state, only the most scenic and serene campsites are included in this easy-to-use guide that includes campground layout maps, directions to each campground, and descriptive profiles.

The Best of Fishing, Hunting, Camping, and Boating In Missouri: Tips from an Outdoor Enthusiast
By Charles J. Farmer
In The Best of Fishing, Hunting, Camping, and Boating in Missouri, Charlie Farmer provides the reader with some excellent tips for making the most of the four major outdoor nature activities that are available in Missouri. He also shares many of the fascinating adventures he has had during a lifetime of participating in his favorite pastimes.

Cycling

Biking Missouri's Rail-Trails: Where to Go, What to Expect, How to Get There
By Shawn E. Richardson
For some off-road riding, Biking Missouri's Rail-Trails: Where to Go, What to Expect, How to Get There covers the Katy Trail and more. Author Shawn E. Richardson shows you how to enjoy some of our state’s most beautiful scenery.

Show Me Mountain Biking: The Complete Mountain Biker's Guide to Missouri
By Brett Dufur
If you’re looking for an adventurous ride, Show Me Mountain Biking: The Complete Mountain Biker's Guide to Missouri should provide the tips you need. Dufur details over 50 mountain biking trails all over the state.

Guide to Cycling Kansas City
By Steve Katz
The Guide to Cycling Kansas City by Steve Katz contains useful local advice, maps, and information for more than 85 routes in the Kansas City area, including Lawrence and Leavenworth, Kansas.

Caving

Missouri Caves in History and Legend book jacket

Missouri Caves in History and Legend
By H. Dwight Weaver
Missouri has been likened to a "cave factory" because its limestone bedrock can be slowly dissolved by groundwater to form caverns, and the state boasts more than six thousand caves in an unbelievable variety of sizes, lengths, and shapes. Dwight Weaver has been fascinated by Missouri's caves since boyhood and now distills a lifetime of exploration and research in a book that will equally fascinate readers of all ages. Missouri Caves in History and Legend records a cultural heritage stretching from the end of the ice age to the twenty-first century. In a grand tour of the state's darkest places, Weaver takes readers deep underground to shed light on the historical significance of caves, correct misinformation about them, and describe the ways in which people have used and abused these resources.

The Wilderness Underground: Caves of the Ozark Plateau
By H. Dwight Weaver
The Wilderness Underground lifts the veil of darkness from the spectacular beauty of the Ozark caves. Master photographers capture primitive cavescapes of water-sculpted rock forms, pits, canyons, streams, and living creatures both sighted and blind.

Backpacking

Hiking Missouri book jacket

Hiking Missouri
By Kevin Lohraff
Naturalist Kevin Lohraff offers detailed descriptions of more than 100 trails throughout Missouri. Featured are easy-to-read park and trail maps, a look at the natural history of the hiking areas, and practical information, such as park contacts and phone numbers.

The Backpacker's Field Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Backcountry Skills
By Rick Curtis
The Backpacker's Field Manual is an in-depth handbook that provides backpackers of all levels, from beginners to trip leaders, with all the essential information they'll need.

50 Hikes in the Ozarks: Walks, Hikes and Backpacks in the Mountains, Wildernesses and Geological Wonders of Arkansas and Missouri
By Johnny Molloy
This guide from prolific hiking author Johnny Molloy features tours of military battlefields, geological walks, and dips into caves, crags, mines, and other enchanting spots throughout the Ozarks and along the Ozark Highlands Trail. Specific emphasis is placed on the most scenic destinations and wild backcountry areas that make the Ozarks unique. The hikes range from 1 to 18 miles, with varying degrees of difficulty to accommodate every age and ability. Each hike is accompanied by a topographic map, hike difficulty, instructions for getting to the trail, and detailed descriptions of the hikes, including trail junctions, stream crossings, and interesting human or natural history you'll find along the way.

Fishing

Flyfisher's Guide to Missouri and Arkansas book jacket

The Best of Fishing, Hunting, Camping, and Boating In Missouri: Tips from an Outdoor Enthusiast
By Charles J. Farmer
In The Best of Fishing, Hunting, Camping, and Boating in Missouri, Charlie Farmer provides the reader with some excellent tips for making the most of the four major outdoor nature activities that are available in Missouri. He also shares many of the fascinating adventures he has had during a lifetime of participating in his favorite pastimes.

Ozark Hideaways: Twenty-Seven Day Trips for Hiking and Fishing
By Louis C. White
Some of the most beautiful places in the Ozarks are also its best-kept secrets. In this practical guidebook for the weekend adventurer, lifetime hiking and fishing enthusiast Louis C. White reveals the hidden splendors of twenty-seven of these quiet places. White reveals the peaceful beauty of secluded waterways, from swirling rapids to deep, shaded pools, from gushing waterfalls to little-known natural bridges and stone columns. There are icy springs, unfrequented mills, and cliffs dotted with caves for the more adventuresome to explore. White offers descriptions of the plants, animals, and geology you may encounter on these day trips, as well as the best spots to fish.

Flyfisher's Guide to Missouri & Arkansas
Dan Limbaugh and Larry E. Kinder
Missouri and Arkansas have fabulous flyfishing for trophy trout in the tail waters of the White River and the Arkansas and Red Rivers. Each year brown trout over 10 pounds are taken. There are also good trout waters in Missouri along with some of the finest flyfishing opportunities for small mouth bass. Larry and Robert have lived and fished in Missouri and Arkansas for many years. They cover all of the fisheries, both rivers and lakes, and how and when to fish them. There are over 70 detailed maps of all of the waters showing mileage, boat accesses, etc. The authors also provide you with all of the travel information so you can plan a succesful flyfishing trip.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.

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