Hawn State Park is gorgeous. The campground is small and quiet. It's tough to grab a site, so plan ahead. We've had lots of trouble getting a site here in the past. When you visit Hawn, be sure to hit the trails. There are plenty of trails and each one is unique. Backpacking is allowed on some trails, as well. Our favorite has always been Pickle Creek Trail, crossing over onto Whispering Pines. The bathrooms are well maintained and there are plenty of outhouses throughout the park. If you're lucky enough to snag the campsites closest to Pickle Creek, you can literally hear the creek running. What a peaceful way to wake up in the morning!
Really, this state park is a must for anyone who lives nearby or is driving through. It's just that gorgeous! The campground is wonderful! There are lots of well maintained trails to hike… hikes that include bluffs, caves, creeks, etc. Our favorite is Hawk's Cave Trail. It's an easy hike and the kids explored the caves for hours! Also in this park is a little lake and a gorgeous waterfall. We will be back again next year. One of our favorites!
So, there are two separate campgrounds at this park: one with electric sites and one primitive campground. The campground with electric sites is right on an active railroad. While my kids loved watching the train come through, it was extremely loud and went night and day. The camp sites are generously spaced. One thing we love doing at this park is hiking. There are lots of trails. Our favorite (with our smallest kids) is the trail that goes around the lake! It's so easy to miss, but a nice little easy hike. We also love to play on the beach and in the water. There isn't much here outside of a little visitor center, but it's also not too far from the city if you forget something. Cell service is spotty, but have definitely had worse in our MO State Parks. Bathrooms were very clean.
We've made the three hour drive to Montauk State Park a couple of times in the last year. We just love it there! It's especially wonderful if you can make it in November when the crowd has left and you can really enjoy the crisp, cool fall and have so much of the campground to yourself. Just beware, they lock the bathrooms and shower houses down during the off season! We, of course, love to trout fish and have always had fishing luck in our favor there. We also love to eat a meal at the little on site restaurant and enjoy the convenience store when we've forgotten things. Try the ice cream at the restaurant! Delish! We've only located one trail in the park: Pine Ridge Trail. It's a nicely maintained trail. We went at sunset and the view from the top was gorgeous. One of the conveniences of Montauk is cell service! You can actually use your phones here, unlike many Missouri State Parks. If you're looking to take your family swimming- I don't think this is a great park for this. There are literally people fishing everywhere and there isn't really a great place to swim. Campground does have a nice play area for the kiddos. Camp sites are generously spaced. We did have some nightly skunk visitors circle our camper, but they were so fat and cute and thankfully kept their stinky spray to themselves.
We absolutely loved this state park! It's easily our favorite Missouri state park to visit with our kiddos. There's just so much to do! The campsites are nicely spaced and clean. Expect plenty of sand at your site (my kids loved this, of course). There's a paved bike path that runs through the park. We took bike rides every day! We were pleasantly surprised that Big Creek was clear, cool and shallow (at least where we were). Swimming in the creek was one of our favorite activities each day… even having a 2 year old. The kids caught and released huge bull frogs and tons of minnows. We also enjoyed the evening presence of deer. Shower house and bathrooms were as clean as to be expected from a packed campground. This park also has a couple of on site stores in case you forget swim shoes or even swimsuits (like we did). You can even rent kayaks and canoes!