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This is a new(ish) and well maintained campground. It is located on the Black River, and the water flowing through the shut-ins is crystal clear and cool. We weren’t there during the summer months, but I am sure this park is busy when the weather is good for swimming. We stayed at the campground at the end of September when the leaves were just starting to change colors and it was beautiful.
All the sites have concrete pads and there is plenty of space between sites with lots of trees. There is also a walking path that cuts through the middle of both loop 2 and 3. This is great if you are planning trips with friends and family but can’t get sites directly next to each other. The park has a great general store which is centrally located and there is a nice big laundry facility attached if you need it. We didn’t use the bathroom/shower facilities while we were there due to covid, so I unfortunately don’t have information about those for you.
Be aware the shut-ins are separate from the campgrounds. This can be either a positive detail or a negative depending on how you look at it. It’s only bad if you are concerned about the fact that you have to drive or walk to go play in the water. However, I think the good outweighs the bad in this case.
Although we weren’t there during the warmer/swimming months, I can imagine the park gets pretty busy during the weekends and hot days. So the positive is, if you are camping, that the campground area won’t be busy with day-use visitors because the park is split up. Which means, you can still enjoy the peace and quiet if you aren’t playing at the actual shut-ins. That is definitely a plus in my book.
The only issue we had was there was nobody at the gate to check us in. We had to check in by text or we could scan a QR code and there were no campsite maps available either. So hopefully you have better phone service then we had, and make sure to download a site map so you can find your campsite more easily.
Overall, the park is great. The shut-ins are beautiful and if you are into exploring the area around Johnson’s Shut-ins there are multiple state parks nearby where you can drive to and do some more exploring.
Very nice campground with nice showers and clean bathrooms. Camp sites were somewhat close together so hope you like neighbors. We didn’t check the nearby trails to the shut-ins before coming. The shut-ins trail DOES NOT allow dogs so that’s a bummer. Found some other local hiking trails so overall it wasn’t too bad.
We loved our waterfront campsite. We had a section of the river to ourselves and it was a large private spot.
The site was rocky, so mats would be hard (but we had an air mattress, so we were fine).
The water is spring-fed and very clear and beautiful.
Be sure to visit the nearby springs and sites of the recreational area. The springs are so deep blue and dramatic against the rocky cliffs.
Hearing the sounds of the river and the chirping birds at night was amazing.
It was a bit buggy but we were prepared.
We loved this clean and beautiful campground! We stayed in the fall and the colors were amazing. Our kids loved climbing all over the shut-ins. We have already planned to return in the summer to swim! Well maintained facilities and the store had everything you could need. Nice paved sites that have picnic tables & fire pits.
This campground offers no-services tent/RV and RV with electrical. The electrical spots are all in cut grass areas, many with great shade trees. The no-service sites are more wooded. We did not visit the facilities (COVID) but the campground is well kept and nice. The staff did not wear masks (hence the lower rating).
There are plenty of good walking trails along the river. We are looking forward to coming back in the spring to walk these nice wooded trails. We did not see any bike trails.
There is good cell service (ATT) at the campsites. We did not detect any WiFi from our camping spot.
NOTE. The park is close to some motorsports arena which had loud events (drag racing?) during the entire weekend we were there. If you appreciate peaceful days and nights, check out the racing schedule first.
My group and I camped in two of the basic sites in Asher Creek campground and we couldn’t get enough of the front-row lake view! The sites closest to the lake are very level, and everyone in the campground is only a short walk from the cleanest park restrooms I’ve ever seen. If you’re like me and are just doing basic tent camping, I’d recommend a pop-up canopy for the table area since there is not a lot of tree cover in those sites. Overall, an excellent place to camp!
Just spent the weekend with my family at Sam A Baker (SAB). We stayed at campground 2. Spot 145 and had plenty of shade and space. There are two traditional camps and one equestrian. The park is crowded but that’s because of how great it is. Lots of paved walk/bike trails around the park. If you forget your bike no problem you can rent one for $5 a day! The visitors center was neat. The general store has everything you need and a restaurant attached where you can get breakfast, lunch and dinner. We spent some time on the gravel bar which was a short walk from our campsite. The water on Big Creek was clear, shallow, and not too cold. I would recommend this state park to any family looking to camp.
The state of missouri does an amazing job providing opportunities for families to enjoy the beauty of nature. Nature programs for kids and parents to learn. Well kept facilities. The ice cream is just a bonus. This is by far my favorite campsite for the kids.