My son and I have stayed here multiple times. We love it! The campgrounds are clean and beautiful, and even during peak times the people that stay are usually very friendly, as are the rangers when they make their nightly rounds. There are some amenities, a small restaurant and gift store and the cave tour is really cool although a little pricey. All in all its a fantastic little hideaway. The only reason I didn't rate it 5 stars is because sometimes the park closes or they have to evacuate due to the quick rise of the river. Easy fix though, just call ahead to see if they're open
All ages and all camping types. From every to truck bed camping. We were in a secluded area and had rented almost all spot in loop. Nice campsites with water and electric. Bathroom and showers were a pretty good walk. Very strict on noise and park rangers were not nice at all. Close to river access and fun area.
Nice park. It’s a pretty long trek from parking to the swimming area with young children and all your gear. I recommend finding a nice pooled in area to swim in. Moving from pool to pool gets dicey. There are some awesome deep pools and “natural slides” but it definitely gets very slippery and you really have to watch the kids. Campground is pretty clean but average for state park.
My husband I visited here for a quick little getaway. We have a travel trailer and our own raft and had a friend drop us off up river. It was a very nice crystal clear float, not crazy with party crowds when we went in August. The office has a bar inside with a tv that looked nice enough if you want to be in a Smokey bar. Our site was pretty uneven and not as close to the river as we’d have liked. It wasn’t very busy when we were there but I bet it is pretty bustling in main season. All in all we enjoyed our visit. It was easy to get our raft out and back to our site (with a truck) and we will definitely come back. They had a pool but it was closed when we were there. Seemed like fairly nice facilities.
While having been greeted with pretty grumpy and demanding owners, who could not quite get their math right, this is a fairly nice grounds. We like to get the site right next to the float pull out so we can easily carry our stuff back to “home.” Tends to be a party and last time there, some locals who were not camping invaded our site and tried eating our food and just flat out would not leave. Staff were not to be found to get them to remove these guys. But we really like this stretch of he Meremec River. Pretty and predictable. Green’s cave is along the route if you can find it and lots of places to swim.
I want to start by saying that this is an awesome sight to see and experience. With that being said, it is also hazardous and not easily accessible. The shut-ins are rock formations smoothed over by water. They are extremely slippery! Shoes are a necessity. The rocks also become very hot to the touch. There is no easy access to the swimming hole. You must climb up and down the hot, slippery rocks. It is not for the faint of heart, or anyone not physically capable of hoisting your own body out of the water, or small children who do not listen.
Despite these warnings, I was glad that my family was able to traverse the shut-ins. It was adventurous (and a little scary) but very cool to do.
Babler is located off I-64 in the chesterfield area about 30 minutes from Saint Louis. There are many spots to choose from. Basic and electric/water sites. Tent and Rv set ups are mixed. The site provides wood, ice, water, shower house and outhouses. There are equestrian and hiking trails. No rivers or water available. It is quiet and some areas are on hills. I would say the only issue is the raccoons. They dont give a darn who you are. They will walk right up to, smile, and take your chips. Scandalous! We love this site because its close and convenient.
Maramec Spring Park is a great place for camping and fishing in Missouri. The Park contains the fifth largest spring in the state. An average of 100 million gallons of water flows from the Spring daily. This is a quiet campground near St James, MO, about 2 hours west of St Louis. There are camping sites along the Meramec River. The Camping season is from March to the end of October. A limited number of sites have electric hookups. Non-electric sites are $16; Electric sites are$36 per night. The campground is subject to flash flooding. The park has a country store, and a museum with the remains of an old iron furnace. This is a Trout Fishing Park!
Enjoyed my stay and hikes on the equestrian trails. At the time no horses were around, only other tent campers, one of which gave me their extra camp wood.
Hazel creek is a picturesque crystal clear creek that is near the campground, featuring tons of wildlife and peaceful views.
The campsites are flat and clean gravel fill or dirt, the grass is usually tamed, each with a campfire ring with a grill and a picnic table and lantern pole. Densely wooded, full shade.
The access road was rough but my wife’s tiny compact car didn’t have any trouble, but I’m sure it’s a mess when wet.
Saint Francois is a tent and rv campground just 1 hour south of saint louis, MO in Bonne Terre. It also along a river which allows swimming at your own risk because there is no real entrance site. But plenty of gravel bars. I personally enjoy this park and its sites. The rvs and tents are separated which i love. And the tent sites have plenty of room for 2-3 tents plus games. They provide individual showers, out houses every 6 sites, flat areas for tents, ice, wood, and activities. Trails, parks, and lots of fields to play in.The only downfalls are (1) entering the park. You enter on a dangerous highway where you need plenty of room and stopping to enter but there is none. Getting out is the worst especially if you have a trailor and move slow. There is no lane for you to pull out. Cars are fine. (2) the river is monopolized by 1 company for rafting/kayaking/canoing. You have to make an appointment, they only accept cash, and the websites dont show correct equipment. But it gets the job done.
Onondaga Cave State Park is about 2 hours SW of St Louis. There is a campground and a Caverns you can tour, which is nice on hot days. The park is located on the Meramec River, so there is also swimming, fishing and canoeing, and hiking along the bluffs. The campground has basic electric/water campsites. They also have family campsites, which are a little larger. There is a playground and a small store.
We stayed here with a large group of family members for a floating weekend. The sites were close together and there wasn’t much privacy. They have tent sites, and RV sites with 50 amp hookups, water, and sewer. Some sites have river access and some river views. There wasn’t much grass, and few trees for shade. There is a swimming pool, playground and store/gift shop. They have pay showers. Onondaga Cave State Park is right across the river. This is primarily a campground for people floating the Meramec River and other area streams. They provide canoe rental, and transport to the put-in points. On summer weekends it is crowded and noisy.
The campsites are very nice. I don't mind the concrete pads they have for camping and parking. We have a camper but used cots when we tent camped so concrete was not a problem for us.
The kids loved the shut ins. We didn't even make it all the way to the back as it was a very long walk. We also visited some of the historical sites in the area.
I think I like this cave better than Meremec Caverns nearby. Much less of a tourist trap and just a nice cave tour! They also have bats and that’s cool. I don’t have any complaints about the campground but I can’t say anything of particular greatness stands out either. Nice campground, great cave!
We stayed here in April 2019. The roads going through the campground were in terrible shape. They had potholes and were like gravel instead of blacktop in a lot of places. It was very hard to walk to the bathrooms trying to dodge the puddles.
We a spot in the basic or tent area. The driveway for our site was nicer than the roads. The grass was very high. It had rained a lot but seemed to me they could have cut the grass on Friday morning as it was a bright sunny Friday. They were there cutting the grass on Sunday by 9am.
The basic sites seemed spread out fairly well. Driving through the electric and premium sites seemed a lot closer together and if course there were more people camping in that area.
We have stayed in this park many years ago when our kids were small (now they are late teens and early twenties). I remember the park being a lot nicer back then. If I had paid more money for the electric/premium site I would not have been at all happy!
Great staff and gift shop. We once camped in the late fall with our pop up camper and it was very quiet and green. We saw deer and my husband talked back and forth with an owl in the woods. We chose an electric site towards the back to avoid most people. I was pregnant and they had already winterized the back bathroom/shower house but opened up a room for me to use so I didn’t have to shlep my belly all the way across the grounds. Tent sites are very close together and this campground is very crowded in the summer with parties and floaters. I would not call this a family float trip personally but I do see many people bring their kids. Gift shop has basically everything but you pay a convenience price. I enjoy this float route a lot and I hear they have a kids tube loop but I have not experienced that. Multiple bath houses, as clean as you expect a campground bath house to be. Bring your own soap for hand washing. In the summer they have a restaurant with campsite delivery and sometimes live music. Last I saw the playground was not huge but my kids still enjoyed it. Rock beach for wading and swimming. They have small cabins and a pool but we use our camper or tent and swim in the river. Nearby is Onondaga Cave which is a nice experience especially when it is blazing hot outside.
This is a nice place to go for a quick adventure with family. Especially on a hot day. A little more expensive than I would expect, but still worth doing at least once. My kids and parents enjoyed our last trip, however there is a spot that was too steep for my dad. They did warn ahead of time when we were coming to that point and he did not miss very much. They have a route around it to catch up and enjoy the light show at the end. Light show is pretty but was also very “AMERICA!” but some people are all about that. They know their crowd I suppose. They have a snack shop with ice cream, zip line across the river, and a boat ride also available but we have not experienced those yet. I would say allow about 2 hours or so for the cave tour.
Can be quite crowded in the summer and only a few secluded sites that we found of use. This is to be expected as one of the more commonly known campgrounds in MO. But overall a pretty park with lots to do and see. Green hikes that my young kids can handle, swimming, tubing/floating, and of course the caves. We like to put our tube or rafts in the river at one park ramp and float to the next one to take out for a quick shot of nature. That is about a 1-2 hour float depending on water level. This is a nice park even to just spend the day in. Hike swim eat and repeat. There’s usually deer abound. As for camping I can mostly speak for the fall, during that time it is fairly open and easier to relax. Less partying going on and more space in between campers. Bathrooms are fairly clean, staff are fairly accommodating. I would recommend this campground.
Johnson Shut-Ins State Park is located on the Black River in Missouri, just south of St. Louis. This makes it a popular location on hot summer days, especially weekends. If you plan to go, make a reservation by calling toll free 877-ICampMO (877-422-6766). This is a State Park with about 80 walk-in, basic, electric, sewer/electric/water and equestrian campsites. Some of the sites have wooden platforms. The park also has a small store located in the center of the campground. Swimming is popular at the park. The “shut-ins” are rock formations where the river is limited by hard rock that it is cutting through. In these shut-ins, the river cascades over and around smooth-worn rock, creating a natural water park. There is also hiking and rock climbing.
Very fun with little people