Jackson Falls is popular with climbers and has many marked routes. You are able to camp right along the water near the parking pull out and if you don't mind hikers passing by, it is a beautiful location. We were out in spring after a mid-march snow fall and melt which meant good water. I would love to come back in warmer weather to get wet. I would imagine warmer weather brings crowds.
Our first trip camping trip to Michigan and we loved Warren Dunes Campground. Although the sites were on the small side, ours was wooded and felt private. The staff was present and friendly. I was amazed at how often the staff was cleaning our bath house! They made a real effort to keep it as nice as possible given the amount of sand people were dragging in. The general store had just about anything you could need and opened early and stayed open late. We will definitely be back!
Pere Marquette has many options for your stay. The campground may need a little attention and some lots are not level, but the area is worth the hassle. If you prefer, The Lodge has great character and a wonderful great room. There is a restaurant inside the main building with decent food. I prefer to stay in a cabin room which sleeps 4-6 and affords you more privacy. Outside, the hiking is worth the effort. The views from the bluffs are gorgeous.
I camped as part of the Big MO Ride and Row event. It was my first visit to the park. Campsites are walk in, but a short walk. Some are more private and shaded than others. Our site, 35, like its neighbor sites was small and pretty close to others. Other sites like #19 and 20 were more secluded, offered more trees and privacy. There is a seasonal bathhouse, which is clean and well kept, but serves all 43 campsites with its 3 stalls and 2 showers per gender. The cabins look great from the outside and sit back in the woods. The park is beautifil and a great place for a quick escape ftom St. Louis.
I have mixed feelings about this experience. J-Shuts never gets old and I gave been visiting for over 20 years, but only camped once in July. The newish (9 yrs old?) is the result of the old sites being washed out when the Ameren Reservoir breached flooding and destroying much of the campsite area. The decision to move camping across Hwy N is good for safety, but separates you from the shut-ins which is probably why you are there.
We had a site with electric hook up which meant we could charge phones and run a small fan to combat Missouri heat. We tent camped but our site was clearly meant for a camper. There was only a small patch of rocky grass and a large concrete slab and pull through. It backed to trees, but was mostly unshaded and completely exposed to the road. The showers and restrooms are individual, good sized closets. No charge for showers. There is a store that has what you forgot, plus fun stuff you didn't know you had to have until you saw it.
There is so much to see in this area of Missouri. This campground is a great jumping off point for seeing not only the Shut-Ins, but Elephant Rocks, Taum Sauk State Park, hiking the Ozark Trail, and checking out the town of Arcadia Valley.
As a child my family camped at Twin Rivers annually so it was really fun to go back in June. It is a popular spot for people who are there to float the Black River.
We were hiking the OT from Taum Sauk to Johnson Shut-ins so we opted for a camping cabin to keep it simple. We were delighted to find it had A/C! There are 4 small cabins with a double bunk, table and 2 chairs plus the A/C. There is as little porch: nice for sitting or gear stash. It was clean and simple. Bring your own bedding. Outside there is a big water spigot, picnic table, fire ring, and grill. You have access to the "beach" on the crystal clear Black River. There is a camp store with a good stock of what you forgot plus t-shirts etc.
I love Twin River's Landing and we hope to use that cabin again.
We visited in October and were able to hike several great trails in the park and surrounding area. The campsites are nothing special. They are closely grouped and all central sites in the loop are treeless. Sites on the exterior of the loop back to woods. Ice and wood are available at ranger station check in. I will say the the bathhouse/showers are the best I have encountered while camping. They are clean, large, and free. We did not get cell service at our site, but did get it up near the campground entrance so we could check in periodically.
We have camped here for 5 or 6 years always Labor Day weekend. It has large, wooded sites with good shade and hammock worthy trees. Council Bluff Lake is about a 7 min. drive or a 5 mile hike away. The trail is a total of 12-13 miles around the lake. I have run the campground to the beach access and it is well marked and clear. My experience on the trail on the other side of the beach was less favorable as a half mile in it was pretty overgrown. There is a concession stand, shower/bathroom facilities, and kayak/canoe rental at the beach Memorial Day through Labor Day. Gates to access beach parking are currently 11-7. We love camping here. the biggest draw back is the limited access to the pay showers. Otherwise, a hidden gem.