Dillard Mill State Historic Site
A red mill set on the blue waters of Huzzah Creek is as pretty a picture as there is in Missouri, and that’s the setting for Dillard Mill State Historic Site. The site interprets one of the state’s best-preserved gristmills, completed in 1908. Most of the machinery in the mill is still intact and original to the building.
Today, the restored mill contains most of its original machinery. Two of the three steel roller mills, however, were donated for scrap metal during World War II. Visitors can see the remaining machinery come to life during a tour of the mill. With the turn of a wheel, the mill begins to operate as it did years ago, grinding grain into flour. The sound of the water gushing over the dam outside the mill is replaced with the sounds of the belts and rollers turning. Tours of the mill are given year-round, although days and times vary by season.
Visitors can hike a trail that winds through the hillside amid oak-hickory forest and a plateau of pines. Benches along the trail allow visitors to catch their breath or just sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Deer, turkey or beaver may be spotted along the trail or creeks. Picnic sites provide a shady place to sit and enjoy a picnic lunch. One of the picnic areas provides the perfect location to snap a picture of the mill’s beautiful, rustic setting. If you like the outdoors, the site’s location on Huzzah Creek in the Ozarks provides plenty of opportunities to fish, hike, picnic or just dream about the past.
Another great day trip located just an hour from the hotel. Take Hwy 21 North 6 miles, to West on Hwy 32 for 25 miles, Hwy 49 for 17 miles.
Big Springs State Park
The name says it all. Big Spring is indeed a big spring and the biggest in Missouri in terms of average daily discharge with some 276 million gallons of cool spring water (58 degrees Fahrenheit) flowing from it each day. This is one of the largest springs in the world. A dye-trace study has showed that dye introduced into a losing stream 39.5 miles away (near Mountain View) was detected at Big Spring 16 days later. The spring is at least 80 feet deep based on research dives.
The Big Spring area became a state park in 1925 and was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression era of the 1930s. In 1972 the area was transferred to the newly created Ozark National Scenic Riverways. This beautiful, BIG spring is well worth the drive!
Directions: Hwy 21 south for 55 miles, to Hwy 60 west for 5 miles, Hwy 103 for 4 miles. Approximate travel time 1.5 hours.
This spring really lives up to its name—the vivid blue water makes this Missouri spring a sight to see; well worth the half-mile walk from the parking area. The spring is 310 feet deep; that is deep enough to cover the Statue of Liberty.
At approximately 81 million gallons of water per day, this spring definitely adds its share to the Current River. Blue Spring is one of the many springs that feed the Current River.
The spring may be reached by boat/canoe from the Current River; also by hiking the trail from the parking area located off Route 106 at County Road 535. From the hotel, travel Hwy 21 to Hwy 106. A visit to this beautiful Missouri spring is well worth the little over an hour drive from the hotel. Be sure to bring your camera!