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The campground is amazing. There are a number of hiking trails in the park. We only hiked one of them but the views in and around the lake were beautiful. The campground sells firewood at a very reasonable price. The only draw back would be the sites in the Mississippi. The train comes through both day and night. Love the train and whistle but it’s a bit close.
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!
We had a quiet RV site with electric. Many of the sites also have water but not ours. Shaded area. Lake is more of a swamp with cypress trees, very pretty. Showers dated but clean. They are multiple stalls.
Of note, there is not much around in the way of stores. We managed to find one small grocery store. The town of Cairo is a ghost town but Ft. Defiance is worth seeing.
My husband and I recently returned to Trail of Tears State park for a weekend of camping - I have reviewed this campground before and still believe that it is 5 stars.
My main take away for this trip was incredible appreciation for the campground host. During the pandemic, Missouri State Parks have transitioned to reservation only camping with 24 hour notice. This has reduced the number of visitors to some of the parks drastically. This park has two campground loops, one electric and one basic. There is typically a host in each loop. Due to the pandemic, only one host has volunteered for Trail of Tears. The gentleman (I forgot his name) was very attentive to all campers and although he was located at the electric loop (3 miles away) he was very present through the entire park.
The electric loop was almost fully booked. This loop is directly next to the Mississippi River, and there is a playground and a brand new showerhouse down the road from the main loop. The railroad does pass right between the campground and the river, which could be distracting/disturbing. I personally enjoy watching the trains and feeling them shake the earth! At the river there is a boat launch with a nice dike structure providing a calmer channel at the ramp. We fished along the bank here and caught a number of small catfish, one was big enough to fry up for dinner!
The basic loop is up the hill from the lake and is heavily wooded. The sites are spaced fairly nicely and most have trees separating you from the neighbors. The facilities were very well maintained. We stayed at site 43 which was close to the vault toilet but not so close that other visitors using it would disturb you, not that it mattered this weekend, there were only 4 other sites with campers while we were there and we could not see any of them from our site. It was one of the most peaceful weekends I've had in a MO state park.
The lake's swimming area was very popular, as were other parts of the day use sections of the park. There are many places for picnics and bbq overlooking the river, a boat lauch (electric motors only, we saw only kayaks during our visit), and a nice trail that hugs one side of the lake.
Being <2 hours from St Louis City, this is a good choice for anyone in the area who wants to get away. The park is about 15 minutes from the closest convenience store and Cape Girardeau for any grocery, shopping, or emergency needs.
Only 1 other camper when I showed up. Very quiet and clean ( although you do hear a train whistle occasionally). Beware, more ants than I've ever seen in Site 2. I moved to site 1 lol. Great spot if you want some solitude but still wanna feel safe ( sheriff drove through on patrol twice while I was there)
The sites are large and have a big concrete pad attached to the drive. Lots of bike/walking trails. We were in the very back of the campground and it was quiet. The only thing missing was somewhere to swim or sit in the water. Lots of water there, but nowhere to sit in the river or lake.
This is a very basic campground with some shade. No hookups, really good for tent camping. The new picnic shelter is beautiful and there is seating around a fire pit. This forest does a great job of keeping restrooms very clean.
One of the best camping views of the mississippi river! The campsite overlooks the mighty mississippi river and oh what a view it is, watching tugboats move barges up and down. Very clean well maintained, very large grassy area for lots of room for kids to run around. One downfall is the railroad track between the campsite and the river, loud trains rolling thru every few hours. Noisy, but a neat memory for children to see. Also a great sand beach water feature nearby at lake bouton. Some average length trails and a nice short trail for the littles.