Just spent the weekend with my family at Sam A Baker (SAB). We stayed at campground 2. Spot 145 and had plenty of shade and space. There are two traditional camps and one equestrian. The park is crowded but that’s because of how great it is. Lots of paved walk/bike trails around the park. If you forget your bike no problem you can rent one for $5 a day! The visitors center was neat. The general store has everything you need and a restaurant attached where you can get breakfast, lunch and dinner. We spent some time on the gravel bar which was a short walk from our campsite. The water on Big Creek was clear, shallow, and not too cold. I would recommend this state park to any family looking to camp.
Thousand Hills SP was great. Huge swim beach, lots of trails, pavilions, playground equipment and beautiful views. Park has a full service marina where you can rent kayaks or fill your boat with gas. It also has a restaurant. Restaurant was not a little more upscale. I wouldn’t show up in flip flops and swim trunks. If you don’t have a RV or tent there are cabins to rent as well.
Nice clean state park close to St. Louis. My family and I spent all of our time on the gravel bar. Parking is limited at the gravel bar so show up early if you want a good spot. The trail to the water is short but it is just a narrow path through the woods & brush (maybe 50 yards). If you have even the slightest mobility issues you will have trouble due to the narrow unkempt path and incline. The host was present if you need anything. Quiet hours start at 10:00 but did not need to be enforced. Everyone seemed to close it down before 9:30. Shower house was ok. Pads seemed level. Short drive to town if you forgot anything.
Watch out for raccoons. They have no fear and appear to be very hungry. One tried to access our trash at 9:15 in the evening. I was sitting no more than 5 feet from the trash and that raccoon did not care.
My family and I had a fun time at Piedmont Park. The swimming beach was the main attraction for us. The beach has a designated swimming area that boats can’t access. Due to the water level the beach had a bit of an incline. The water was a great temperature and the sand was clean. No alcohol allowed on the beach. We stayed right next to the beach in site A15. Spot was lacking shade but made up for it with the view. Site includes concrete picnic table, pavilion over said table, fire pit, 30 amp electric, and paved pad (very roomy). Only one shower house for all 3 loops. 4 shower stalls (one ADA) and 2 flush toilets. There are latrine style toilets throughout the park but they smelled like they needed to be pumped.
We spent our first weekend at HVO. We stayed in the danceyard camp site with 30 amp electric only and plenty of trees. The newer RV sites have full hookups but no shade. Quiet hours run 10pm-7am which was nice for my young daughters. HVO does allow golf carts so you have to watch out for those zooming around. The camp store is amazing. They have a full menu including pizza for those days that you’re too tired to cook. The gravel bar was nice and close to our site. However the gravel bar isn’t huge so make sure to show up early to get a prime spot. Not a necessity for me but I did have full LTE on Verizon.
My family and I will definitely return in the future.
Spent the weekend there with my family. We stayed in the “family” section. Positives: quiet time starting at 11:00 pm, we didn’t hear cursing, loud music, or anything else that disturbs little ones once they go to sleep, close to the river, clean restroom and shower house, shaded camping spots, clean grounds. Negatives: Nothing to report.