Nature Tourism

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Published on: Apr. 2, 1997

Last revision: Oct. 26, 2010

the forests and fished the streams. Here, where country kids in cut-offs and city hikers in their designer jeans, find recreation and common ground in tying flies and catching fish, it is said that singing, dancing and laughing ghosts of the Prohibition era still haunt the lodge.

The old stone building, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps stationed at nearby Shell Knob, mounts the steep hillside near the Roaring River spring outlet.

General Manager Richard Persons, staff member Shari Douglas and others working there late at night say they have often heard the sounds of a party in the lower level. When they check the big hall where dances were held weekly, the sound stops. The doors are always locked; no one is ever there.

The "ghosts" in the stone building will dance on into eternity undisturbed. The new lodge will replace an outdated three story motel nearby, just a stone's throw from the swimming pool and all the natural wonders that Roaring River State Park has to offer.

Conservation will take care of the trout; ghosts take care of themselves, but the residents of Cassville will look after the needs of their visitors, knowing that when tourists come they bring prosperity with them.

Mound City - It's for the Birds

by Jim Murphy

Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to northwest Missouri's Holt County every fall. They come to frolic in the marsh, gabble with their friends, and dine on the local bounty. Though they arrive penniless, they help leave Mound City a richer place.

The visitors in question are snow geese, migratory waterfowl that congregate in vast numbers on the marshes of Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge during their southward journeys. The presence of so many snow geese attracts 200 to 300 bald eagles hoping for a meal, and together they create a natural spectacle that draws as many as 40,000 people over a two-month period beginning in mid-October, according to refuge manager Ron Bell. The first weekend in December alone brings 10,000 guests to Squaw Creek for the Conservation's Department's annual Eagle Days event.

Many of these spectators will take a break from their wildlife viewing to contribute to nearby Mound City's expanding economy in return for meals and snacks, gasoline, lodging and other traveler expenses. This small farming community along Interstate 29 in the loess hills above the Missouri River is poised perfectly to take advantage of the growing interest in ecotourism activities such as

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