If you are looking for a nice free campground, this is another great place. Another gem I should really keep to myself. But, for those who are looking for peace and quiet and back to nature, again, this is it. This site wouldn't let me put in free, so I put in $1, but it costs nothing, nada, zip, zero dollars, just a little respect for nature. It offers nothing in the way of amenities. No water hookups, no electricity, no showers and only vault toilets. Though these are the cleanest vault toilets I've ever seen (I actually used them). There is potable water at the ranger station and store at the lake which you can use to fill your tanks. They also have a dump station at the same place, so you don't have to take that home or find a place to dump. The ranger station is also where you can rent boats for a couple bucks a day. You can't bring you own boat because they have a zebra muscle problem. They also give free tours of the fish hatchery, all you have to do is ask. Pretty darn cool stuff for a free campground from the Missouri Conservation Department. There are a ton of really nice sites and two years ago they closed down an entire section from non-use of the sites. The roads are paved on the north side of the lake, but gravel on the south side, but the roads and the sites are level and easy access for campers large and small. Many of the sites are shaded and water access is only a very short walk from the campsites. The only drawback is you have to bring your own fire ring, which has to have a bottom. Some people cut out the bottom of a barrel. We, went to Wal-Mart and bought a fire pit, which we also use at home, so it works perfectly. It is a conservation area, not a state park. But, it is again just fabulous for peace and quiet. We actually meet people who understand nature and just want a peaceful time fishing.
We came to Wallace, not on purpose. We were intending to go to Watkins Woolen Mill, but when we got there the campground was full. So we went up the road to Wallace. We got the better end of the deal. Wallace State Park is very nice. The hosts were excellent. Lots of nature surrounds the park.
If you are looking for a nice free campground, this is the place. I should really keep this gem to myself. But, for those who are looking for peace and quiet and back to nature, this is it. So, this site wouldn't let me put in free, so I put in $1, but it costs nothing, nada, zip, zero dollars, just a little respect for nature. It offers nothing in the way of amenities. No water hookups, no electricity, no showers and only vault toilets. There is potable water at the lake which you can use to fill your tanks. They are still developing this area too! This last year they put in some nice fire rings and a few re-rod lantern hangers. There are a ton of really nice sites. The roads are gravel, but they and the sites are level and easy access for campers large and small. Many of the sites are shaded and some do have water access within 20-75 feet of the campsite. It is a conservation area, not a state park. But, it is fabulous for peace and quiet. We actually meet people who understand nature.
I only rated this one a 7 because of what's not really in the State's control. Other than they have rangers come around who should enforce quiet hours and such, including stupidity. This park is a really, really nice park. I have been camping there since before the river was flooded into Mark Twain Lake and the old part of the campground is now under water. I spent my summers growing up in this area. Through the years, I have noticed how the crowd of people who camp here have changed. From respectful decent folks to a whole lot of rowdy and sometimes unruly people who do not watch their kids. The roads at any state park in Missouri are not big enough for 6 kids riding bicycles and campers as there are many hidden corners. The last time we camped at Mark Twain State Park, we not only had to deal with those bicycling kids screaming throughout the park the entire time, but an ongoing weekend party on one side of us and on the other some jerk who thought it was a wise idea to have four super bright halogen lights pointed at the sky all night long. Yeah, what a bright freaking idea, that shined in OUR camper for five straight days. And the bugs those light drew to our sites were awful. Not to mention, since the lights were left on both day and night and were on a stand about four foot off the ground, I kept fearing the wind would knock them over and catch the entire campground on fire. Halogens are not very practical OR smart to be using like this camping as they get very hot and are not stable on a four foot stand! Duh! Luckily, that did not happen. The worst part was we felt like we really couldn't say anything because the woman in the site was one of my son's teachers. They would have know who complained and he would have been punished in his grades.
The ONLY thing I don't like about this park is that this is one they severely need to make 100% reserveable on all the electric sites. This entire campground is first come/first serve only. You had better know someone who lives in Macon to hold a site for you on Tuesday or Wednesday or there won't be one available. The folks in that live in this area go to Long Branch lake and will hold a site starting on Wednesday. We've gone up on early Wednesday just to get a site and I've seen sites being held for 3 or 4 days without being paid for by placing a lawn chair on the site. This isn't right, nor fair to people who want to be there and will pay for their time. Not to mention, it's against state park rules. This is a great place to go bass fishing, skiing or swimming. Just wish we could go there more often by reserving a site and guaranteeing there will be a spot available.
We actually camped at Graham Cave State Park in 2004, when we still had our pop up camper, but there is no 2004 available for selection. Graham Cave is a lovely little park. You could possible get a bigger camper trailer in some of the basic non-electric sites. But there is no way to get a larger rig in the electric sites. Our pop-up at the time would barely fit in an electric site and we had to park off to the side. It is right next to I-70, so you have to listen to the whine of tires all night long. The host at the time, well, was interesting. Don't know if he is there anymore. He was very nice when we arrived, but turned on us two days later when we were leaving. He started at noon and pretty much came around every 30 minutes telling us check out time was at 2:00 pm. When he told us upon arriving it was at 3:00 pm and the paper he handed us also said 3:00 pm. We made sure we were out by 2:00 pm. I'm not sure why he was so worried as we were the only campers in the entire campground that weekend. The cave, is sort of interesting if you know in advance it's mostly just a rock overhang. It's not a cave in my opinion, since I've been in probably 50 caves. The surroundings were nice though with some interpretive markings along the trails. It's too bad we can't submit images, as I have some nice images of the nature in this park, just not of the cave, since I was disappointed in the cave.
When we camped there, given it was over a year or so ago, this campground could use a little work. Not a lot, but with many of the Missouri State Park Campgrounds, they don't replace the gravel often on sites. It was a nice and quiet campground, which had been flooded by the Mississippi in the 1993 & 1995 floods. They have a mark on a tree up by the bathrooms to show the flood level at the time. This is NOT a flood prone area. Those conditions in 1993 & 1995 were extreme. The sand prairies weren't what I expected. I kept looking for huge dunes of sand, but mostly I saw grass growing in sort of sand. Of course, I didn't really understand the concept of what it meant in Missouri. They have a really cool beach in the lake, but was a little put off by the fact you had to pay a fee to use the beach. I almost feel gouged in a way. I pay the taxes that pay for these parks at home, because I live in Missouri, in sales tax and the $8.50 extra I have to pay to reserve a site. I just kind of felt like swimming should be included. At the other parks I stay that offer swimming, I've never had to pay extra to swim, so this must be something new the Missouri State Park System has started in the last few years. Otherwise it's a very nice park and I was surprised that being far from home, I knew the campground host because he was from the town I live in.
Very beautiful campground. Host is very, very nice. The host makes his site look like his home away from home, with hummingbird feeders and flowers. The trails are awesome and filled with lots of undisturbed nature. Perfect sites which are not to close together.
It was okay, has a pretty steep incline to get into the Campground. We were disappointed with the site that was selected for us. The first which was chosen, I refused and made my husband get us another site. We were going to be facing an old trailer with a junk truck half torn apart and stuff out in front of it and the view of many other old trailers of the mobile home type. They ended up putting us in a spot where there was barely enough room to get our slide out without hitting the next camper. There were some nice sites on the north end and am not sure why they didn't put us there. There appeared to be a lot of permanent campers there and many of them not kept in the best of shape. The roads were not real clear where they were and if they were campsites or roads. Was kind of disappointing, but we made the best of it. The people running the place were very nice. But, I'm not sure I'd go back. I'm more of a nature person and don't want to be crammed in a park, less than 10 feet from another camper.
Very nice campground and very, very quiet. No waterfront, but a very nice little pond with benches and ducks. Integrates very well with the town of Arrowrock, where you can take sweet afternoon strolls. Definitely a great place to stay.
We love this campground and it's back to nature feel. Lots of woods and for the most part quiet. We camp at Indian Creek a lot. It is our preferred campground. Lots of nature surrounding this campground and it's not uncommon to see many deer.
We had a very different experience at Cuiver River State Park. I'd like to start by saying that I love the State of Missouri Campgrounds. But, this particular instance I fell out of love and may not go back to this one. We usually make reservations for holiday weekends. But this time we forgot and at the last minute just a week before Memorial Day made reservations for Cuiver River, but we did make reservations. There were five campsites open in the State of Missouri when we reserved. We chose this one because it was the only one available with a handicap space as my mother-in-law was going with us and was nearest to home, in case we had problems with our new camper. When we reserved, we knew it was in the equestrian campground. But no where in the state rules or on the site did it say, you could not stay there if you didn't have horses. We would have never booked it if there was something available elsewhere, but there wasn't. When we got there, the campground hosts refused us our space because we didn't have horses. We are two hours from home WITH a reservation and were being refused. We were mad, to say the least. My husband ended up having the hosts, go through the chain of command. The next guy up the chain, the park ranger, said nope, no horses, no stay. They ended up calling the head guy of the state who told them, you can't do that. No where do we say that you HAVE to have horses and these people have a space reserved, give it to them. So, we stayed and the hosts apologized, but it didn't make for a wonderful start to the weekend. The thing I noticed though, the entire weekend, one half of the campers in the equestrian campground did not have horses, it wasn't just us. The ones who did have horses camping near us, when we told them the story said the handicap site is never taken unless the campground is full. It was just an aggravating situation. And with our lesson learned, we now make our reservations earlier. Cuiver River equestrian campsites and bathrooms were clean. We didn't use the showers as we have a self-contained unit. The area is beautiful. It rained and stormed while we were there and we got great images of orange sky rainbows as it was clearing off.