lake in the Ozark Mountains

5 Fun Facts About the Ozark Mountains

One of the best parts about visiting Branson is getting to explore the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains. The Ozarks are a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. When you’re in town visiting Dolly Parton’s Stampede, be sure to carve out some time to experience all the best that the Ozark Mountains have to offer. To help you learn more before your trip, we’ve made a list of 5 fun facts about the Ozarks.

1. The Ozark Mountains actually aren’t mountains.

Contrary to popular belief, did you know that the Ozark Mountains aren’t actually “mountains”? At least, not technically — it’s a highland region consisting of plateaus, rolling hills, and karst formations. The Ozarks are known for their woodlands, waterlands, and recreation destinations.

2. They are home to a variety of plant and animal species.

deer in woods

Did you know that the Ozark Mountains are home to a diverse ecosystem? They have 58 different species of mammals, including white-tailed deer, black bears, foxes, coyotes, and more. There is also a variety of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Keep an eye out, because you never know what you’ll spot while you’re there! In addition to animals, visitors may see various types of plant species in the Ozarks. The Ozark Highlands have more species of plants than anywhere else in the Midwest! Popular plants in the Ozarks are trilliums, jack in the pulpit, white oaks, shortleaf pine, and wild mountain mint.

3. The name is from the French phrase “aux arcs.”

Have you ever wondered where the Ozarks got its name? It is said to be derived from the French words, “aux arcs.” There are several theories about why, some saying it means “toward the arches,” and refers to the neutral bridges formed by erosion and collapsed caves in the region, and others saying it means “with bows,” given by an early French explorer to the Bow Indians, who were native to the area.

4. They extend across 4 states.

Ozark Mountains

The Ozark Mountains extend across 4 different states: Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and the southeastern corner of Kansas. The Ozarks cover most of the southern half of Missouri, as well as northwestern and north central Arkansas. It also covers smaller portions of northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas. The area is primarily home to various small towns built around farming, lumber milling, and mining, but popular cities, like Branson, have made it a popular vacation destination!

5. The area is home to impressive geological features.

The Ozark Mountains are so much more than just hills and plateaus! The area is actually home to some impressive geological features. There are quite a few natural bridges, sinkholes, and limestone bluffs, as well as extensive cave systems. If you’re up for some cave exploring, this is one of the best places to visit! The Ozarks also feature a network of scenic rivers and streams. It’s an outdoor-lover’s paradise!

Learn More About the Ozark Mountains

These are just some of the many fun facts about the Ozark Mountains. Hoping to learn more? Take a look at these things you can only find in the Ozark mountain region.