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.
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.
Meramec is a campground centrally located in the Meramec caverns. It is a flat area, soft ground, and open space to camp. Not a lot of privacy from neighbors but it is cozy and everything is close by. Bathrooms could be updated but they are well maintained. Host is kind and halloween trick or treating is the best time to come. Lots of playgrounds and space to play yard games. No trails but it is along a short trail that leads to a cave and the river.
this ground is very well kept and is oerfect for tent camping. the only downfall is the amount trees. although the sites are very large, flat, and easy, you can see everyones business because there is maybe 1 tree in between each site. but there is a creek, trails, walk in sites, and lots of history to check out.
johson shut ins campground is very well kept. each loop is separated into categories and each site is separated by trees. it feels secluded even though your neighbors are close. there is a trail behind everyones site that is connected and it leads to the showers and general store. there is areas for RV, Tent, and walk up. there is safe drinking water and it is only a mile from the actual shit ins which is a remarkable experience. the pavement was massive but still had plenty of flat grassy area inyo the woods for tents. i would highly recommend. but it is a distance to find gas and food so shopping at the general store may be required.
i have been to Thousand Trails in Indiana for 25 years and each time i visit i get more disappointed. its no longer a campground but an RV park. which makes me sad because tent camping is forced onto gravel or next to a septic tank hose from a neighboring RV.
however, the park is very large, has many activities such as swimming, fishing, arcades, cornhole, volleyball. you will need a vehicle to travel to activities because thry are far away. there is a general store that now serves breakfast so that is pretty nifty. it seems they are making improvements regarding grounds but i would not recommend tent camping. they do have cabins surrounding the lake.
Babler is always a place you should try. we camp here every weekend because its so close to our house when we cant travel. but there are a few things to keep in mind.
The good: good trails, the whole park is a memorial so good history, very large, equestrian available, showers and bathrooms, playground, paved drive in, wood and ice available, near a grocery store and restaurants
The bad: racoons everywhere! they are scandalous and will be happy to shake your hand they dont care. thats how close they get to you. we used homemade cayenne pepper water for a perimeter but it only works until we went to bed. if you are tent camping your spot is very hit or miss. we always plan ahead and look at the pictures because some sites say its for tent but its just a dropping slope. you might as well pitch on the concrete. the sites are good are Very good! the sites that are bad… just annoying while sleeping. it lools like they are fixing it this year though. the ticks are pretty bad in spots nesstled into the trees. fpr RV's half the spots for you are out in the sun. you have to look at the pictures and choose wisely.
i know its a lot but babler is really a great park.
This campground is absolutely gorgeous, clean, well kept and each site area of pitching is nesseled into the woods while having easy access to vehicle. Therr is a restroom every 4 campsites. You are far away from other campers and you have the grounds crew who have that kind Michigan feel. The only downside is no showers. But there is walking access to the river! Easy access for kayaks! absolutely quiet, no animal issues, no bugs besides daddy long legs.