Vast rolling hills
There is a mountain range in southeast Missouri known as the St. Francois Mountains. They're referred to as Precambrian igneous mountains. They climb over the Ozark Plateau. Precambrian dates back to the Earth's early history.
According to the Geographic Names Information System (GNIs), the actual name of the mountain range is Saint Francois Mountains. The name also was pulled from the St. Francis River. The name of the river was also spelled François. In the early part of the 20th century, the river's name was changed to Francis.
Missouri state parks
Below are some state parks that are located in this area:
- Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park
- Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
- St. Joe State Park
- Sam A. Baker State Park
- Elephant Rock State Park
Part of the Ozark Trail goes through parts of the St. Francois Mountains. The Missouri Department of Conservation has some public lands that are accessible to the public for recreational activities such as boating, fishing, hiking, and hunting.
The mountain range
There are several mountains that are part of this range. They're listed below.
- Taum Sauk Mountain
- Bell Mountain
- Buford Mountain
- Proffit Mountain
- Pilot Knob
- Hughes Mountain
- Goggin Mountain
- Lead Hill Mountain
Taum Sauk Mountain is the highest peak. It's also the highest point in Missouri.
Volcanic and intrusive activity formed the St. Francois Mountains about 1.485 billion years ago. In geology, an intrusive rock is an igneous rock that's formed from magma that forces into the older rocks in the Earth's crust. Of interest, the St. Francois Mountains are older than the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains.
In 2009 this was the state’s largest designated natural area and probably its most rugged. This natural area had its origins 1.5 billion years ago as a landscape of volcanoes surrounded by a shallow sea. The dominant rocks strewn across this area are rhyolite, formed from magma that extruded onto the surface as a lava flow a long time ago. (Source.)
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