Prairie state park isn’t very large but it is nice to see somewhere dedicated to preserving the native grassland that the Midwest used to be covered with. The main draw for me other than it being close to where I live is that you get to be around buffalo with out fences. It is a surreal experience and worth the time to locate the herd in the park.
If you are interested in bison sightings, this is the park for you. If you need water, supplies, shower or a flush toilet, skip this one. The tent sites are VERY primitive, but you drive up to your camp. You really have to go out of the way to get to this camp, but we were rewarded with a scary but fun close encounter with a lone bull bison. We also got some ticks, so be careful!
I think it’s probably the most underrated park in the area. It’s absolutely beautiful. 45 minutes from Joplin, Missouri. Limited camp sites but the sites are spacious w/ tables, pit, bathroom facilIty a short walk away with a creek nearby. Peaceful as can be.
Limited camping spots available, but the times we've stayed there have rarely been others camping. So, it's peaceful! There is a nice pit toilet with hand sanitizer, tables, and fire rings. There is also a backpacking camping spot out on the prairie.
Bison herds, coyote calls, birding, and wide open spaces make this a memorable place to visit. It’s very basic, which we liked to give it a nice settlers on the prairie feel. There are only a few sites (5?) by the road and one more backcountry site about 3.5 miles down an easy trail (“backpacking”). You can’t have a fire at the backpacking site so if that’s a big part of your camping style stay in the front country and just hike the trail by day. It’s a nice spot and I’d return.
Prairie State park has about 20 campsites and one walkin site. The facility is clean and water is available. The multiple hikes are fun and you get the true prairie experience.
Campsites accommodate up to 20 people. There are toilet facilities as well as a place to get water. Unfortunately, no pets are allowed. =[