SMORR fun in the Ozarks
“Keep going” were the famous last words of Thelma and Louise, as they refuse to surrender and drive their 1966 Thunderbird over the Grand Canyon. This cinematic scene, remarkably, is re-enacted regularly at the Southern Missouri Off-road Ranch (SMORR). However, instead of Thunderbirds and the Grand Canyon, his Jeep wranglers drive over jagged ledges and rocky terrain.
Located just 5.6 miles outside of the town of Seymour, the 940-acre park, AKA SMORR, is located at one of the highest points in Webster County. Nestled along the Salem Highlands, the elevation offers terrain for the beginner off-roader to the experienced crawler. Countless spider web trails through the park with each trail marked for its level of difficulty; Class 1 to 6. Class 6 being the most difficult.
“A cool head and four wheels is all it takes at SMORR,” laughed Ethan Andrews. “I’ve been coming here since I was 17 and I’ve been hooked ever since. I may not have had the prettiest rig in the park (in reference to his 1996 Jeep Cherokee), but I did some really tough trails. The adrenaline rush is enough to keep you coming back.
A rush of adrenaline can be a disappointing description of what happens during class 5 and 6 hikes in the park. Large modified vehicles wrapped in brightly colored roll cages can be seen bouncing down the Class 6 trails, along with classic jeep wranglers strategically scaling the waterfalls. To brave these trails, riders not only need a modified ride, but also nerves of steel.
“There were close calls, where people rolled over or broke (their vehicle) in the middle of the park,” Andrews explained. “But the people at SMORR are like family. Friendly faces are as common as the trees there. People are always ready to lend a hand or cheer you on when tackling a tough trail.
Andrews, now 31, continues to visit the park with his 2020 Kawasaki side-by-side. Andrews has witnessed the expansion of the park over the years, attracting crawlers from across the country. Occasionally they host special events for clubs, families and holidays.
SMORR has become a household name for off-road enthusiasts nationwide. Not only is the park praised for its many trails, but also for its scenic views, wildlife, and amenities. With 8 rustic cabins, 45 electric RV sites and an abundance of space to campaign, the park makes an exciting weekend getaway for families, friends and off-road enthusiasts.
Visit SMORR.net for reservations, rules, hours of operation and more.