The Real Ozarks is here! Get your free copy.

The 2020 Real Ozarks Magazine, a glossy-covered, full-color guide to exploring Ozark County and the surrounding area, is now available at the Times office and wherever newspapers are sold.

The popular magazine, published annually by the Times, is also distributed at visitor centers across the state, including the centers at Eagleville, Hannibal, Joplin, Kansas City, St. Louis, Conway, Rock Port, Hayti, Springfield, West Plains and more. 


This year’s cover photo

This year’s cover photo was taken by Theodosia resident Connie Smiley in the Devil’s Backbone Wilderness Area of the Mark Twain National Forest near Dora. 

“My cousins were visiting from Washington State, where they do a lot of hiking, and I enjoyed showing them a little of what Missouri has to offer. We hiked along the North Fork River among stately pines and mature oaks. Besides our conversation, the only sounds we heard were the crunch of leaves underfoot, bird songs and the rush of the river below,” she said.

Smiley said one of the cousin’s wore a bright red backpack, which creates a speck of brilliant contrast against the summer-green foliage of the forest. She said the pop of red wasn’t staged, “but it sure helped my cousin show up in the photo,” she said.

See more of Smiley’s work at 


Recreation areas

This year’s The Real Ozarks features information on several recreation areas in the area including Caney Mountain Conservation Area, Glade Top Trail, Noblett Lake, the North Fork Recreation Area, Hercules Glade Wilderness and Pigeon Creek trails and access.

The recreation area section gives readers a good look at the variety of recreational options available at each area including hiking trails, river, creek and lake accesses, boat launches, fishing information and more. 


Lace up your hiking boots!

The hiking section includes distance and trail configuration information, as well as details about facilities available at trailheads, a description of the trail and directions to trailheads. 

Trails included in the section include the 3-mile Spout Spring Nature Trail at Caney Mountain Conservation area, the 20-mile Pigeon Creek trail system, the 1-mile Blue Springs trail at North Fork Recreation Area, the 13-mile Devil’s Backbone trail loop in the Mark Twain National Forest, the 22-mile point-to-point Ridge Runner Trail that traverses from the North Fork Recreation Area to Noblett Lake, the 8-mile Noblett Lake loop trail, a 6.8 mile Coy Bald Loop within the Hercules Glade Wilderness area and the 16 miles of Trails at Bateman trail area. 


Enjoy the water

The Norfork and Bull Shoals Lake sections give readers a good glimpse of information about Pontiac Cove Marina and Theodosia Marina Resort, both located on Bull Shoals Lake, as well as public boat ramps and lake accesses, history of the lakes, fishing information and several photos of residents and visitors enjoying the clean, clear water. 

A river section in The Real Ozarks details everything river-goers need to know about the North Fork of the White River and Bryant Creek, including directions to and information about the area’s public river accesses, private canoe, kayak and raft rental businesses, campgrounds and fishing reports for both rivers. 


Pitch a tent

A camping section provides location information, phone numbers and information for how to make reservations at 22 different campgrounds in and near Ozark County.

The campground information is arranged in sections that group campsites located along Norfork Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, North Fork of the White River and other areas in Ozark County.



Those looking to hunt in Ozark County can find dates for deer and turkey seasons, as well as information on public hunting areas, obtaining permits, public shooting ranges and other hunting opportunities. 


Mill country and scenic drives

Information about Ozark County’s famed historic grist mills, Dawt, Hammond, Hodgson, Rockbridge and Zanoni, is included in this year’s editions. 

Driving directions for a 63-mile “Ozark County mill tour” is provided, as well as directions for other scenic drives including Glade Top Trail, Missouri’s first National Forest Scenic Byway, the curvy drive to Branson via Highway 160 and a visit to the Buffalo River area of Arkansas. 


Places to eat and drink

The “places to eat and drink” section includes 31 different businesses in Ozark County and the nearby area, including sit-down restaurants, convenience stores that sell meals, grocery stores and a microbrewery. 



This year’s magazine includes information on several festivities scheduled this year, including the Theodosia Chamber of Commerce’s Sizzin’ Summer Kick-Off 

(May 23), area fireworks displays (July 3,4 and 11), Bakersfest (Sept. 12) and Hootin an Hollarin (Sept. 17-19). 

The Glade Top Trail section of The Real Ozarks also includes information on the Flaming Fall Revue, scheduled for Oct. 17. 


Advertisers’ index

An advertisers’ index lets readers quickly find informational ads that share what area businesses offer. 


Get your copy!

The magazine is available free at the Times office and at other newspaper locations. Readers from outside the area can order one to be shipped for a $5 mailing fee. Call 417-679-4641 to provide address and payment details.

Local resort or business owners are welcome to pick up a bundle of The Real Ozarks magazines from the Times office to distribute to guests and visitors.


Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423