For our spring break trip in March we went to Van Buren, MO where we stayed at Big Spring Lodge and Cabins. We were interested in seeing and exploring the area around Big Spring, which feeds into the Current River and is part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways system. I guess most people visit during the summer when they can canoe or float or play around in the Current River but we're not into sharing the outdoors with big, big crowds so we wanted to check it out now in the off-season. Another reason that we choose this location was because the cabins were built by the CCC in the 1930's. Ever since we stayed at the Old Faithful Inn a few vacations ago, I've had this obsession with historical lodges and cabins in state & national parks and/or wilderness areas. This one was cool too. No heat, no air, just a small three room cabin with a fireplace and a few kitchen and bath amenities. Oh, and a screened in back porch. I'd recommend bringing your own sleeping bags and/or blankets though if you go in early-mid March. I did stay warm with the fireplace but not nearly as much as I would have liked once I went to sleep.
On the way there, we also stopped off for a quick hike up the tower at Taum Sauk Mountain, the highest point in Missouri. Bill and I had been there previously but never with Willa. She had a great time climbing to the top. And, on the way home (despite the cold and wet weather) we stopped off at Johnson's Shut-ins and Elephant Rocks State Parks. A few years back, Johnson's Shut-ins was devastated by a major flood and we wanted to see how it looked after it had been restored; we couldn't tell much: #1 the Black River was in spring high water mode, and #2 no real vivid memory of what it looked like before - Bill hadn't been in many, many years and I'd never been.