Kelsie L.
Festus, MO
Joined May 2018
Great Campgrounds

My one regret is that we didn't get to take a cave tour. Definitely going back!

The facilities and campsite were all really clean. Our neighbors left all of their food items on their picnic table, and had a justifiable raccoon encounter overnight. I would think any responsible camper would have no issues with critters here otherwise!

The park is very easy to get to. Like other MO State Park campsites they all have picnic tables, fire pit, and area for a tent. The basic loop, sites 1-13, are not very private, but would be ideal for a group of people sharing space and adjacent sites! We stayed in site 16, which backed to the woods but was at the beginning of the long road toward the rest of the campground, so there was comparatively high traffic to other campgrounds with separated loops.

Nice Campground with Many Activities

My site was very nice, it was tucked into the trees so although the sites are not very far apart, they feel private.

The weekend we were here there was a large party of young adults who were very loud and fought all night. However, I can't really judge the campgrounds itself on this. It did make me feel that the current campground host was less attentive than I have experienced at the other MO State Parks.

There were great trails and overlooks of the Mississippi, as well as decent fishing in Lake Boutin. On our way out, we parked and fished from a rocky area and I caught my first catfish - I literally didn't know what to do!

Small Quiet Campground

We camped here over Memorial Day weekend in 2017 - the campgrounds were fairly empty! The area was grassy and open and well maintained. The campground host was incredibly nice and helpful, as this was our fist camping experience in the MO State Park system and we had no idea what we were doing!

The visitors center has some great information and interesting displays about American Indian heritage.

Before leaving, we took the short .10 mile Missouri River Overlook Trail.

We had intended to fish in Lake Woolridge, but the gate was closed already for the night when we arrived.

This is a campground that I have high intentions of returning to.

Great relaxing campground with many activities

Beautiful secluded campsite - amenities were clean. Kayak rentals were available for Lake Buteo - kayakers were out on the lake, and the lake has a trail all around it. Nice trail. The other lake, Clearfork Lake, was great for fishing for us! We did have a problem with Raccoons, but with our site being on the very edge of the sites I think that may be inevitable.

Beautiful Camping, Historic Education, Incredible Lake

We camped at Mark Twain State Park for one night. We didn't go out on the lake, but agreed that we would love to come back here with a boat. The lake is huge - probably not a lake I personally would love to kayak in. The campgrounds were well kept and fairly secluded. Be sure to check out Mark Twain's Birthplace!

Peaceful Campgrounds with River Access

Camping at Graham Cave was a very nice time. We walked the Loutre River Trail and fished in Loutre River - it was a beautiful hike and the river scenery was beautiful. Before leaving, we parked near the picnic area and walked the Graham Cave and Fern Ridge Trails. The cave itself is underwhelming if you are expecting something like Fisher Cave at Meremec State Park, but it has an interesting story and I love rock formations of all kinds!

Overall Great Campground

This trip was the HOTTEST of the entire year. River access was nice. Lots of well marked trails. The campsite itself was incredibly dry so we had dirt and dust all over everything. Not much grass on the ground in the campsite area. Campsite was at entrance to one of the trails, which was nice. Brought the dogs, great time.

Great for Trout Fishing

We visited this as stop on MO centennial passport challenge. We are not much for trout fishing. The campsites were all along the river, so you had AMAZING river access if you wanted to trout fish. The sites are all out in the open next to each other. No shade at all. Nice facilities.

Secluded Camping with a View

Self-service campsites, the closest you can get to backpacking with access to a toilet! (Vault toilet) The sites are all secluded from each other by trees and are very beautiful. The overlook to the valley is beautiful, especially for sunrise, and another short walk will take you to the marker for MO highest point.

Easy Riverside Camping

The campgrounds have two loops, electric and basic. The electric loop sites are close together, and is mainly RV camping. The loop has great river access. Further from the river is the basic loop - these sites are nicely spaced, most back to the woods, and all were grassy.

All sites are within reasonable walking distance to the very nice shower house, bathrooms, it even had laundry. All facilities were well maintained and clean. Campground host sells wood and ice. Nice playground next to shower house.

Big River is great for many water activities - kayak, float, fish, etc. I gave a try at fishing and caught a couple small bluegills. If you'd rather get away from the people, there are a number of beautiful trails to hike, many providing bluff river views or are along creeks (I prefer hikes with water views!) I hiked the swimming deer trail, which is 3.15 miles and a combination of forested areas and bluff riverside terrain. The trailhead is at the campgrounds, which made it very easy to access.

While we were there, we encountered a lot of wildlife! We passed by a momma (we assumed) raccoon in a tree, a few snakes on the trail, a few turtles on the trail, an abundance of squirrels, and even had some deer spend time right behind our campsite. It was amazing!