photo by Scott Merritt

photo by Scott Merritt

photo by Scott Merritt

photo by Scott Merritt

photo by Scott Merritt

photo by Scott Merritt
Swan Creek

photo by Scott Merritt

The streams of the Ozarks are recognized world-wide for their beauty and recreational quality. Of all these justly famous Ozark streams, none is known for the clarity of its waters more than a remote drainage called Swan Creek. This ultra-clear small river borders and defines the character of an equally remote block of roughly 9400 acres of federal land comprising the Swan Creek Wilderness.


photo by Scott Merritt

Swan Creek Wilderness is located in Christian County, thirty-five miles southeast of Springfield, near the tiny settlement of Garrison. Swan Creek flows along and partly through the western border of this wilderness. The eastern boundary of the area lies along a dramatic escarpment separating the Swan Creek breaks from the Ava Plains to the east. In the wilderness itself rugged ridges and steep valleys are densely clothed in mature oak forest, broken frequently by glade openings with Eastern Red Cedar and Ashe’s Juniper.

The area harbors several species of animals typical of the southwest, such as the roadrunner, armadillo, and collared lizard. The numerous glades of the area are a pleasing and characteristic feature of this section of the Ozarks. Equestrian use is very popular and well-established. Hiking and backpacking activity is increasing and 16 miles of old, unimproved tracks form a trail system. The rugged character of the area and the magical purity of Swan Creek and its tributaries give the area outstanding recreation value.

Proposed Wilderness Acreage
  • 9,366 acres in Mark Twain National Forest
Map of Swan Creek Proposed Wilderness
Map provided for reference information only. MWC is not responsible for it's accuracy.