Erin R.

Cape Girardeau , MO

Joined January 2020

Big Fun on the Lake

This huge campground has the best tent sites near the water on loop B that aren't reservable, so you'll likely get a good one just showing up on a weeknight in the summer or less busy weekend. The kids had a great time at the beach/swimming area and there's a nice store and not too much traffic for riding bikes. Firewood was dry and reasonably priced. Definitely a favorite family campground at LBL!


I grew up in Arkansas but had never been here until this past winter. It's an absolutely beautiful place.

I can't wait to return here for summer activities. Awesome lodge with great food, the best view I have seen in ages. The park staff was also great and very helpful. One day we were there the visibility was nil, turns out we were in low clouds, not fog. Pretty cool.

Book Early

Love this small campground and the creekside campsites, but spots are very hard to get in the warmer months. We went the other day for a hike and wrote down our favorite numbers, so hopefully we can plan a little more in advance and get a good one. Hawn overall has excellent hiking and is a good family day trip or overnight. It's also fairly close to Farmington should you need anything. Ice and firewood is available at the campground.

All You Need in a Campground

Sam A Baker is really hard to beat. There are all the amenities (electric, showers, store, bike and watercraft rentals, etc) and plenty to do. We stay here 2-3 times a year depending on if we can get one of the sites we like. We normally stay in Campground 1. It's great for the kids to ride bikes. There are short and long hiking trails, good swimming and wading areas in the creek and river and mostly friendly people. The closeness of some sites along with the barking dogs and few loud partiers tend to get on my nerves when camp is full, but that can happen anywhere. I have bought firewood here twice and it was a waste. Overall this is a great family campground with attentive hosts. I also love the old-style CCC buildings and it's just a pretty area.

Awesome Winter Cabin

So in the winter we can't stay away from the state parks and Johnson Shut Ins is a perfect base to explore the area when it is too cold to tent camp with kids. We got a camper cabin in the first weekend of December and brought our two dogs. The campground is mostly empty this time of year. The showerhouses are clean with hot water and there is a friendly host. We bought firewood at a gas station in Arcadia before we got to the park. Of course it was a little wet but burned OK. I wasn't sure if wood was available in the park because of limited facility openings during the offseason. We walked the Shut Ins trail one morning and it was misty and beautiful. No dogs allowed there though. There is some cell service on the cabin loop. My only complaint is other campers, who let their dogs run loose. Obviously not the park's fault. The cabins are clean and very nice with rockers on the front porch. We visited Elephant Rocks also, where dogs are allowed.

Very Good

A friend and I and our 4 kids stayed in a camper cabin here in September. We normally tent camp but it was a weekend with record heat. I love this campground as an alternative to Hillman Ferry, where we have often stayed. The cabins were clean and comfortable with cold AC, the hosts were friendly and the no-wake lake and canoe rentals were fun. I would advise checking with the hosts about canoe and kayak rentals upon check in, there is limited availability when camp is full and hot weather can also affect. This campground is also in a good location to explore all LBL has to offer when compared to Hillman, it's closer to the Elk and Bison Prairie and Wranglers Campground, as well as the Nature Station, which is great for us since we like to trail ride and hike. Downfall is the beach is muddy and rocky and the playground is old with just a metal slide and swings. We didn't want to swim here so maybe plan on doing that elsewhere at the lakes. Next time we will camp, likely on loop D, which had some nice lakeview sites. You can't see the water from the cabin loop. There is spotty cell service throughout the campground.

Raccoon Heavy but...

Giant City is otherwise wonderful. A site wasn't hard to get in June, the campground is quiet and beautifully green with decent space between sites, the hiking trails are A+, and kid-friendly as long as you don't let them climb too high. The kids were able to ride bikes through the campground. Raccoons were numerous and fearless, and kept approaching us at the playground, around the fire at night and kept our friends who were camping with us up all night. We slept through. You can buy firewood at the stable, and I was pleasantly surprised it was properly seasoned and dry. We run into bad firewood often when buying at state parks. Overall Giant City is great and we will return.