best places to camp in missouri

It’s always up to a debate that Missouri is one of the very best states to go camping in
the U.S. With its numerous waterways, beautiful landscapes, and miles of nature, there
are seemingly endless options available to camp here.

For the last 4 years, we’ve been living and camping in Missouri. Now we live in the
Northern part of Kentucky but we’re just an hour away from the Missouri/Kentucky
border, making some of the best places to camp in Missouri and some of the parks
we’ve visited through the years accessible to us still.

When going outside of Jefferson, which is the capital of Missouri, you’ll find some
amazing state parks with caves, boulders, cliffs, and rivers. The geography of Missouri
is filled with diverse landscapes and breathtaking views that you should experience at
some point in life.

Now, I’ve compiled some of the best places to camp in Missouri should you be
looking for a reference for your upcoming trip. These places are all state-run and some
are national landmarks. Of course, there are private campsites out there too, but i’m
focusing on the state parks more since they require minimal budget and are very

Since all these sites are run by the state of Missouri, you can book your camping trip on
this website. The charges remain fairly constant and they’ve recently added one
awesome perk: free wifi. In some areas of Missouri parks, the wifi runs through, while in
other areas, you have to ask for the log-in code in the main office to use it. It’s certainly
nice and convenient to have while camping in a remote location.

Without further ado, here is the list of 5 of the best places to camp in Missouri.

The 5 Best Places to Camp in Missouri

5. Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park

The Missouri State Park Division says that this campsite is their most visited spot.
Campsite 10 E is frequently occupied more than any other sites anywhere in the state.
Why? Let’s find out what’s available to campers there.

  1. From June to August, the amphitheater has shows and programs for the
    campers during Saturday nights.
  2. There is also a so-called “Historic Sites Explorer Program” where people of all
    ages can earn a badge on Sundays and Saturdays by participating in activities
    inside the visitor’s center.
  3. They have trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding:
  • Woodbine Trail is 2 miles long and crosses 3 of the other trails. This trail
    is perfect for those who love to see plant life while camping.
  • Virginia Day Memorial Trail, this trail is named after a volunteer
    naturalist who worked at the park. It’s a moderate 1.5-mile trail.
  • Paved Bicycle Trail. From the word itself, is a 1.75-mile paved path for
    biking and hiking.
  • Hawthorn Trail is the smallest trail on this list at 1.25-mile long.
  • Equestrian Trail has beautiful terrain and is a 6-mile riding or hiking trail.
  • Dogwood Trail is a 2-mile hiking trail that is rugged and rocky.

4. Meramec State Park

Meramec State Park is located at Sullivan, Missouri on Route 185. It’s only 3 miles
south of interstate 44 at exit 266. A couple of meters down the exit is the entrance of the
park. Some of the amenities and activities include:

  • With all the water available year-round, you can go boating. Fishing is also a
    popular activity in the park.
  • Beautiful and spacious campgrounds for group camping. All sites have electricity
    available year-round.
  • Along the 8.5-mile wilderness trail, you’ll be passing by 8 campsites.
  • Backpacking trail
  • Biking and walking trails
  • There is even a restaurant on site.
  • As mentioned above, you can go boating as well as canoeing in its vast, crystal
    clear waters. You can actually buy canoe outfitters and everything you need to
    ride down the river.
  • The most visited attraction of the park is the caves. You should definitely check it
    out if you happen to camp in Meramec. If you are claustrophobic or some of your
    friends are, don’t worry because some these caves are larger than most houses.
    With 30 ft columns marked with bear claws, these caves are a must see.

3. Table Rock State Park

The Table Rock State Park is located in Branson, Missouri. This park is open year-
round for camping and boating. It offers a lot activities which includes:

  • You can swim along the shore line, except near the boat launch and marina.
  • There three trails in Table Rock available for hiking, two of which allow biking.
    The trails range from 2 to 12 miles with with different terrain types from smooth
    grass to rugged land
  • They have a full service marina where you can buy swimming gear for scuba
    diving, snorkeling, etc.
  • You can go fishing, go on catamaran excursion, parasailing, waverunning, and
    pontoon boating.
  • There two campsites available in Table Rock. If you are a big group, you can go
    to the family campsites for extra space.
  • Lastly, there are a lot things you can do in Branson. There are shows every
    evening, plenty of restaurants to choose from, and the nearby parks and
    downtown city is a must visit.

2. Roaring River State Park

If you are an avid fishing guy or just want to experience catching fish, Roaring River
State Park is the place to be. The park is located a couple of miles near Cassville,
Missouri. Definitely a longer drive but worth the wait. Some things to do are:

  • There is a restaurant near the park called the Roaring River Restaurant.
  • The park has a swimming pool.
  • Campsites are available year round, with water available from Feb 25th to Oct
    31st. It also has electricity.
  • Roaring river houses one of the premier fishes in the nation. Moreover, you can
    fish trophy-size trout here. Fishing license and tags are available at the store
    near the main office. There are three different fishing zones, so make sure you
    follow all rules and regulations.
  • You can hike on one of the seven hiking trails at the park. It ranges from 2 to 10
    miles, and offer a lot of stunning sceneries and many types of terrain.

1. Bennett Spring State Park

The most visited and popular park in all of Missouri is the Bennett Spring State Park.
The park is located west of Lebanon on state Route 64.

In 1864, this campsite started as a campground for farmers waiting to have their grain
milled. A privately owned fish farm was built here on 1923. The following year, the state
decided to buy this place and built it to be one of the first state parks in the U.S.

Bennett park is over 3,216 hectares of land and water that’s full of fish. I suggest you
make time to visit this place. While you are here, you can do a lot of activities like:

  • Located in the dining lodge is a restaurant where you can take your catch of the
    day and let them cook it for you. It also has made-to- order food items if you don’t
    want to catch fish.
  • 7 miles from the starting point, you can go down Niangua River. In here, you can
    rent six-man rafts, kayaks, and canoes. It takes about 3 to 4 hours of paddling to
    explore the river. You are likely to see otters and other wildlife on your trip.
  • There is also an olympic sized pool with a kiddie pool besides it for the younger
  • There are seven hiking trails. The longest is 7 ½-miles long, and the shortest is
    ¼-mile long.
  • If you forgot your tent, you can reserve different kinds of cabins.
  • Campgrounds and fishing are available year-round.

Read More: How Hot Is A Campfire And How To Build One?

Final Thoughts

Definitely, Missouri is a go to state if you’re planning on having long camping trips.
Actually, there are a lot of campsites in Missouri besides the ones on the list but these
are my Top 5.

Did you find this article useful? Do you like my top 5 best campsites in Missouri? These
five parks are great places to go camping! Each one is different and stands
out from the others. Do you have other suggestions? Feel free to comment below. Take
care guys and happy camping!

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