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If you're not too pressed for time, Shrinky, I'd recommend you hook a left on either I-57 or I-55 toward Cape Girardeau and the Mississippi River. From there, head west through south-central Missouri and the scenic Ozarks. Definitely schedule some time to visit the Ozark National Scenic Riverways near Van Buren, MO. There's some great activities here, including hiking, canoeing, and horseback riding. Closer to Branson as you continue west through the hilly Ozarks, there's also some lovely stretches of roadway through surprisingly rugged Mark Twain National Forest, including two National Scenic Byways: Glade Top Trail (24 miles) and Blue Buck Knob Scenic Byway (24 miles). Plenty of other fun activities throughout the forest such as hiking, mountain biking, and paddling. Here's a link to a guide on Mark Twain National Forest from Away.com's sister site, GORP.com: http://bit.ly/adAZ5H. Have a great trip!
answered this on August 09, 2011 at 10:40 AM
Answer Shrinky's question