Backcountry Primitive Campsite next to a water source with a fire ring. All garbage must be carried out
Easy to find. Clean crisp water from the river at its origin. Quiet and perfect.
OZARK TRAIL: I backpacked 50 miles during spring break on the Ozark Trail between Council Bluff Lake and Johnson Shutins State park. When I planned the trip the only information for camping that was available were regulations requiring you to camp 100 feet from the trail.
I have to admit that the Ozark Trail Association provides amazing resources about the Ozark Trail but they fail to describe what has become primitive backcountry campsites all along the trail. Many of these sites are marked on the detailed National Geographic maps provided for free by the Association as water holes, but they are also clearly set up as campsites as well.
Make sure you bring a water purifier. It is some of the best tasting water I have ever had.
BIG RIVER: Make sure you plan your trip so that you can spend the night at Big River. It is an easy hike from Council Bluff Lake and is at the bottom of a hill. Big River isn't really a river but it is a reliable creek with a beautiful setting. It has a nice fire pit with plenty of large logs for seating. It can hold about ten campers comfortably. Tip: Dig your cat hole before you go to sleep and make sure it is at least 100 feet from the water.