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Rural Missouri Magazine

Clear streams and overhanging bluffs
There's more to Noel than Christmas

Overhanging bluffs and the Elk River greet visitors to Noel.

Locals pronounce the name "No-ul" but that doesn't keep Noel from declaring itself "Christmas City." Still, there's much more to this southwest Missouri town than the garland that hangs year-round or the tens of thousands of Christmas cards postmarked there each year.

For many, Noel's true claim to fame is its three excellent float streams — the Elk River and its tributaries, Big Sugar Creek and Indian Creek.

Equally impressive are the picturesque overhanging bluffs on the outskirts of town. The limestone bluffs (one shown on our cover) are best seen along Highway 90 at the edge of town and to the north along Highway 59 between Noel and Lanagan.

Located in MacDonald county and situated less than 10 miles from both Arkansas and Oklahoma, Noel is an out-of-the-way destination for most Missourians.

Once there, though, you'll find beautiful scenery and traditional river lodges along clear-flowing streams. There are also several commercial show caves nearby.

The town itself has a step-back-in-time charm brought up to date with a south of the border flavor, thanks to a strong Hispanic Community.

For more information, contact the Noel Area Chamber of Commerce at (417) 475-6339.

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