Van Buren, MO is in the midst of to the Ozark National Scenic Riverway. This whole area is party central for water lovers that spend their vacation time either motoring, floating or sitting along the Current River and the several natural springs that feed into it.
Big Spring State Park is nearby with plenty of camping options. The campground is still under renovation due to the 2017 flood. There is a showerhouse used by all that is a bit cryptic and bug infested. There is one flush toilet in the first campground loop, the other two loops have porta pots. Picnic table, fire ring and lantern hook on semi-private, mostly level sites. Some have more shade then others. Also a group site is available.
Skyline Drive is the scenic roadway through the Mark Twain National Forest in this area of the state. There are several areas that people camp on the Current River sand bars. If your looking to commune with nature it is possible even with the crowd, they stick mostly to the river.
Eminence, MO is the crossroads to several of the springs and Current River areas. Food , fuel and shopping.
Definitely a destination camping area.
Campground review: As always, the staff at the campground are awesome and helpful. We had a site very close to the entrance/store/showers this time. It was wonderful coming off of the river and being just steps away from our tent! I've decided that while I love the Saturday karaoke, I really like camping here on Sundays when it's quieter and less crowded. ----------------------------------------------------------Gear Review: As a Dyrt Ranger, I also get products to review and test in the field. I tested the "Sleep Under the Stars Pack" by Lightspeed Outsoors. The pack included a queen size air mattress, two inflatable pillows, and a pump. The mattress inflated in just a couple of minutes. It is thinner than my air mattress that I usually use, so I was skeptical. It seems to have some support that normally isn't there. It's pretty firm! The two of us and our dog slept comfortably on it all night, although we preferred to use our actual pillows. Paw prints wiped off easily, and it deflated in a snap! I can't wait until we get to use it again!
If you are a fish or amphibious in anyway this is the area to vacation! Primitive well maintained campsites, I also saw campers with generators. BYOB, etc. and spotty cell phone coverage, best way to get away! Water sports galore!
We've stayed here for 3 of our Current River float trips. I LOVE THIS CAMPGROUND!! The tent sites are great, the ground is wonderful and not rocky. It's very well maintained. The little store where you check in is so convenient for anything you may have forgotten…and the staff is friendly and helpful!! You can even have pizza delivered to your site, and are within walking distance to an ice cream shop, yet you don't feel like you're out of town. It's right on the river and next to the float check in area. The bathrooms and showers are clean. There is just so much convenience it's crazy. And the absolute best is that there is campground karaoke on Saturday nights when the sun goes down!! I love how that gets the campground to gather and have some fun together! I honestly wish I could live here for the summer.