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This is a large Corps of Engineers run campground with over 100 sites. Some of the sites are by the water-ish and some are up in the woods. I liked the remoteness of the first seven sites- they are away from the water and up in the trees. All of the sites in the campground had water and electric hookups, concrete tables, fire pits and prep tables. Some sites are not level at all and are terrible sites for tents(stick to the first seven, very level and away from the hubbub, a short walk to the lake). Most sites seemed to have good trees for hammocks. In the large main area of the campground there are a couple playground areas, a beach, marina, boat launch, and several bathrooms with flush toilets. While you are here, head into town which is super cute and home to the Daisy AirGun Museum!
What I like about this campground is that the tent sites are separate from the RV area, and RV’s don’t have to go through the tents to get to their area. However, the RV’s have actual loops off the main road and the tent sites are right on that main road. The main road goes all the way through the park to the actual springs, a picnic area, and a nice arboretum. There are great hiking trails in wooded hills on either side of the campground. The RV area has dedicated parking spots for each RV with picnic tables and fire pits. The keypad coded bathhouse and laundry are also located in this area(keeps out the general public). The tent area is more or less a strip of mown grass with a few picnic tables and fire pits on either side of the road, with the creek and run off channels on either side. Obviously, you want to get a site on the creek side. Definitely hike back to Blowing Springs, LOTS of flowing water. The hiking trails up top are really pretty and surprising. I came across a cemetery up on a bluff, and found another small spring. It’s easy to get turned around and confused on the trails as they seem to overlap and some trail names seem to appear on several trails.
All sites have nice tent pads, concrete picnic tables, fire rings, and lantern hooks. The sites are either on the river side of the long skinny loop or on the road side(sandwiched between the main road and the campground road). All sites have great hammock trees, and late at night and early in the morning you can hear the river from everywhere. However, you have to work really hard to get down to the river as the campground sits on high ground next to the river. You are better off going down the road a bit to get to one of the fishing access points instead. All of those have a nice parking area and a wide trail up and over a berm to get down to the river and skinny trails along the river for fishing. They also have several horns scattered up and down the river to warn of sudden flooding/high water when the have to do a release from the dam upstream. It will startle you for sure!
So when I look at this stop, I would say this, the cabins are a 5 the RV area is a 3. The reason for this is the the RVs feel a bit crammed into the space in most areas. The treehouse cabins and regular cabins however are exceptional and well thought.
As typically a tent camper there wasn't anything special about that area and it did seem like it was the lower end of the property. For $26 a night I was underwhelmed by the smaller spaces with fire rings and picnic tables. If I was to invest in a location for the same price points there are others which set themselves apart in spacing.
But like I said the cabins and treehouses are an experience you will not find elsewhere in this area. They are fun and functional. They are family friendly and have a little bit of excitement for everyone. Each of the cabins and treehouses are themed, something which is reflected not only in their names but also their decor. With that said however the themes make them more appealing to book so people book well in advance on most of these. I suggest if you are interested in staying booking well in advance of your trip or come during a less busy season to ensure your last minute bookings.
Cabins typically sleep 6 and have fireplaces and decks with great views of the forest. They each have kitchens which enable you prepare a meal for your family or for those who do not wish to do so there is still a dining are for bringing food back from an adventure into Branson.
The Treehouses are my person favorite because it isn't every day you can sleep in an African Safari treehouse or retreat to a couple's cabin in the treetops. The themes with these are so specific and so unique and with each theme you find different styles of amenities within each. For example the couples treehouse has a jetted tub for those special occasions and despite being for couples it sleeps 4 so you can still share this with another couple or bring the kids and maybe get away to a private space. The Grist Mill has a jacuzzi on the porch with a view, which is amazing!!!
I basically fell in love with the cabins and treehouses if you cannot tell. This place is worth investing in the higher priced accommodations to take advantage of their uniqueness. Unlike many cabins which are nice places to stay just to go somewhere else these could easily be the destination all themselves.
The main camping area is on an island that you drive onto, how cool is that?! Unfortunately, it was temporarily closed due to Covid19, and a lot of the sites were flooded from high water anyway. I took a walk over the spit of land connecting the camping island with the mainland and walked around the small(maybe a couple acres) island. Here’s what I saw: every site had water and electric hookups, a picnic table, and a fire ring. Sites right on the lake(and some very much under water) also had a pavilion covering the picnic tables. Sites in the middle had nice mature tree cover, but weren’t necessarily as level as the lake sites. The bathhouse was closed, but looked fairly new or at least well maintained. I didn’t see any boat launches or places to bring your boat right up to sites, but back on the mainland is a public boat launch. There are also some sites along the lake on the mainland, also with electric and water hookups.
The view here says it all. The lakefront sites are the way to go if you are wanting uninterrupted sunrises and sunsets!! These sites are elevated and even and allow you to get out and enjoy without having a lot of work to set up and make sure you are going to be in a good place. Everything is pretty much already where it should be.
Some of these sites do have stairs and that could be a problem in some cases, and I definitely advise to be careful on these when it is wet outside as they can become very slick quickly(trust me on this one…lol).
I have stayed at a lot of sites from the Corp and this is by far one of my favorites. I was pretty impressed overall by the site and wasn’t expecting this caliber after some of the others I had stayed at previously. The grounds were kept immaculately and the restrooms stayed so clean.
I stayed in site 33, a random placement when I arrived because there were no others around me. It was great. I could walk easily to the facilities or to the beach without being right there in the middle of the day use area. That was perfect placement in my opinion.
Speaking of that day use area they have volleyball and a basketball court along with several picnic areas. Though this is an overnight or day use site, on many days there is little traffic by those coming just for recreation, at least when I visited slightly after summer.
I will be staying here again in the future whenever I want to stay a bit off the beaten path but still near Table Rock. I liked that there were supplies nearby in Kimberling City so I didn’t have to worry about to much and you can get a site through the attendant for multiple nights easily instead of worrying about everything always being reserved.
We had site #22 which was on the water facing west at the end of the loop. We had electric & filled with water when we arrived. There is a dump station here. It's a big lake We launched the kayak in from our site which is nice & floated on noodles in the lake at our site. It was a busy campground and there was a big group across from us with a mile long clothesline. Not a big deal just don't look that way. We had a tent camper that partied till 4 am one night loud people. It was only one night though.
Eureka Springs is a cute town very narrow streets and tough to park. Nice old houses built into the hills with springs.
Went to Blue springs, Pivot rock, Christ of the Ozarks statue, antiquing and good eats galore.
Any stay at Table Rock State Park is a treat. This park is one I have been staying at off and on since I was young so it has been great to see the park continue to grow and upgrade since that time.
Camping as a tent camper in the primitive areas I have noticed that the spacing has always been just enough along the outer loops. In the more open middle areas it tends to get a bit more chaotic especially during weekends or holidays. I tend to stay off on the rim of the loop, which is a bit further to walk to the restrooms, but is valuable in that no one walks around your site to get to another location.
All sites primitive and improved have common features with picnic tables and fire rings. The improved sites have both 30 and 50 amp connections to choose from. This is handy when your rig can run off the smaller voltage because you will save a few dollars by selecting the smaller connection site.
Bathrooms have come a long way since the older days. What once was a daddy long leg haven with open showers only divided by shower curtains and cavernous and non climate controlled restrooms, is now evolving to a more individual shower and restroom area with door closures and better climate control and venting. It no longer smells like mildew because the moisture is not stuck inside.
A path runs along the backside of the campground which you can travel along to access the water. This path will allow you to walk from the marina to the Branson Belle and all the way to the Dewey Short Visitor Center to learn a bit more about the lake and its creation. Along the opposite side of the highway you will find more than a few trailheads which are great for a little departure from the typical Branson experience.
When I visited this time the waters were very high on the main side of the lake making it impossible to enjoy the shoreline which had been swallowed by the overflowing banks. Instead, I traveled to the side which is less traveled and enjoyed some quiet retreat alongside some bass fishermen on the spillway side of the water.
Quite a difference in crowds as this area with access to hiking and relaxing was mellow. To access this area I suggest taking the last turn off across the road from the Dewey Short parking into a large parking lot with a view point of the dam. From this point take the small side road which departs the parking lot and follow it down til it dead ends and there you will find a hiking access point and a wonderful trail to the water.
Having stayed at the portion of Table Rock previously nearest Branson, I had no idea about this location and just how much it had to offer. It is much more quiet even on a busy day than options closer to the city.
The sites have a quality to them which I wasn’t expecting for them to be a bit more removed either. Pulling into a site the drive is lined in pavers which create this almost platform which makes leveling a dream for my RV friends.
For myself a tent camper I was excited to see this because it allowed me to space out my camp comfortably and still keep everything safe. The fire ring is also elevated and surrounded by these pavers which makes it aesthetically look nice from site to site but also keeps things functioning away from trees and debris.
Though there are various styles of sites to accommodate a variety of sizing needs I found that even when busy they were not crowded and spacing amongst campers left plenty of room to enjoy the ample activities near camp.
The lakeside access along with docks for fishing and a swimming area were very nice for a dip to cool off considering how hot and sticky it has been. And though water was higher than usual at the lake when I visited I noticed it was effecting this area a bit less than at the dam location near the state park.
Bathhouses were very nice and spacious and the water here was extra cold or hot, depending on your preference.
I would recommend coming prepared as there are not really any services to pick up last minute need for several miles. That was I believe both a blessing and a curse depending on your level of preparedness. Come prepared!!!
Additionally, I would take advantage of all the recreation. Bring your kayak or small boats and launch from the shore areas or the launch. Play volleyball or soccer here. Enjoy some of the areas you can explore from camp. This is a retreat for those who do not want to be in the middle of all the action and actually want to enjoy the quaint camping experience!!
This space is day use however is classified on most maps as camping. You cannot camp here however and they do close the gate to restrict access.
The beach area is nice, but with that said during most warmer months does quickly get congested. During spring when rains are common the same beach ends up engulfed in water and is very limited.
You can rent the picnic structures here for larger gatherings and it is a great access point to Table Rock. For those just wanting to have a day at the lake without renting a big boat this is the best place I can find with a flat shoreline.