It could definitely be argued that Missouri is the absolute BEST state to go camping in the U.S. With the beautiful landscapes, miles of nature, and numerous waterways, there is a seemingly endless supply of options available. These 14 mostly represent camping within the state parks, but there are many smaller, less crowded options as well.
1. Big Creek RV Park, Annapolis
There's something for everyone at Big Creek. They have 50 camping sites featuring electric, water, septic, cable TV and even Wi-fi internet! They also have a meeting hall, a propane fill station, coin laundry, a playground, pool, arcade, private showers and a camp store for all your basics. For reservations or more information you can email Patty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Cuivre River State Park, Troy
A short drive from St. Louis will get you to Cuivre River State Park campgrounds. They offer basic, electric, sewer/water/electric, and equestrian camp sites. Their on season services include a dump station, showers, water, laundry, firewood and ice. For bigger groups, they also offer organized group camps, a special use site, and family campsites. For a more unique stay, try one of the raised platform tent sites.
3. Meramec Caverns Campground, Stanton
So much to do around you if you stay at the Meramec Caverns Campground! Features include river front camp sites, trailer hook-ups, barbeque pits, sheltered pavilions and a playground. Seasonal dates are from April 1- October 31. There are also restrooms, showers, and a concession stand. Visit their website at www.americascave.com.
4. Table Rock State Park, Branson
Be close enough to Branson to enjoy all the activities and shows there, but far enough away to spend some quality time with nature. These campgrounds feature boat rentals and marina, hiking and biking trails, and SCUBA diving. You can rent a site with lake access, and choose from basic, electric, or electric/water/sewer sites. They have two locations. One is open year round, while the other is only available on season (March-November). On season amenities include showers, water, and a dump station. They also offer family sites for larger parties. If you want to stay on a weekend, it is a requirement that you stay both Friday and Saturday nights.
5. Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park, Middle Brook
The campgrounds at Johnson's Shut-Ins offer walk-in, basic, sewer/electric/water, and equestrian/electric water sites. There is also a special use site. Weekend stay is a two-night requirement (Friday & Saturday) and amenities include a dump station, showers and restrooms, laundry, water, wood lot, and campground store.
6. Montauk State Park
Fisherman come for the trout fishing but the park, located near the scenic Pigeon Creek Basin, has something for everyone and features basic and electric campsites as well as family sites.Features electricity, water, and a wood lot year round, and showers and laundry on season (Feb.25-October).
7. Pomme de Terre State Park, Pittsburgh and Hermitage Campgrounds
Located on Pomme de Terre Lake, both campgrounds are open all year with water, showers and dump station only available on season (April - October). In the Pittsburgh site, year round amenities include a full service marina, beach, shelter house, laundry, picnic and trails. This location also features family sites. The Hermitage location features a large beach, picnic areas, trails and laundry.
8. Hawn State Park, St. Genevieve
Campers can choose from basic or electric sites. During season (April-October) enjoy reservable sites, a dump station, showers, water, and laundry (Sorry...showers and restrooms are closed in the off season.)
9. Sam A. Baker State Park, Patterson
Located on the St. Francois River and Big Creek, Sam A. Baker has two regular campgrounds and an equestrian campground. Campground 1 is open April-October, and features basic and electric sites, restrooms, shower houses and a dump station. Campground 2 is open all year but only offers restrooms, showers, laundry and dump station during the season. The equestrian site is open March-November and features basic and electric sites and a vault toilet. For all three locations, in order to stay during the weekend, Friday AND Saturday are required.
10. Long Branch State Park, Macon
If you are into water sports, Long Branch is a good choice for you. They feature three boat ramps to Long Branch Lake. There is also fishing and a swimming area with a beach. They have 80 campsites available, with basic or electric. There is also a special use area, family sites and walk-in available. They are open April-October and offer showers, water, and a dump station. As with many locations, weekend stays require both Friday and Saturday nights.
11. Lake Paradise Camping Resort, Lone Jack
A bit more upscale, the quite large Lake Paradise features 100 camp sites plus 500 large RV pull-up sites. They use 30/50 amp electric in the sites. On location, they offer laundry and shower facilities as well as a convenience store, bait shop, boat storage and even RV service and repair. Feeling a bit disconnected? You won't miss anything in their internet cafe with wifi available. You can rent golf carts to drive around the resort, and there is a full service restaurant. There are cabins if you prefer that, and a ginormous swimming pool. Find out more at www.lakeparadiseresort.com.
12. Roaring River State Park, Cassville
Another great fishing location, Roaring River has three campsites; one open year round and the other two open only from February 25 through October 31. In season, you can count on reservable sites (basic, electric, or electric/sewer/water) showers, laundry, water, and a dump station. Family sites are also available. There are also campsites available at the nearby Viney Creek Recreation Area.
13. Knob Noster State Park, Knob Noster
Choose from basic and electric, as well as family campsites. Seasonal amenities (April-October) include showers, laundry, water, dump station and firewood sold weekdays during office hours.
14. Van Meter State Park, Miami
A unique feature of this location is that you can view remnants of ruins of the Missouria Indian village and learn about them at the American Indian Cultural Center. Campsites are either basic or electric, and seasonal amenities (April 15-October 31) include restrooms, shower, and water. Weekend stays require both Friday and Saturday nights.
For any of the state parks, you can find out more information at www.mostateparks.com. There is absolutely no way I have included all the wonderful camping locations in this wonderful state, so feel free to share your favorites in the comments below. Happy Camping!