Unwind In The Wilderness: Where To Schedule Your Next Camping Trip

By Rachel Brandt
In Culture

Life can be stressful and sometimes a getaway is necessary. But, dedicating a week to an extended vacation sometimes isn’t an option. Time in nature nourishes the soul and as John Muir, author and American naturalist said, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” In Missouri, we have the luxury of being located near some of America’s most beautiful state parks and campgrounds. With wellness in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some places to consider when planning your next camping getaway.

Image of Johnson Shut-Ins courtesy of Missouri State Parks

Image of Johnson Shut-Ins courtesy of Missouri State Parks

Johnson Shut-Ins State Park
Drive about one hour and thirty minutes southwest of St. Louis city and you’ll find yourself on the edge of Mark Twain National Forest in Johnson Shut-Ins State Park. This newly renovated campground wraps around the Black River and adjoins Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. Together the parks cover over 16,000 acres of the Missouri Ozarks. The term “shut-in” refers to a part of the river that is limited by hard rock. Thousands of years ago the river was confined to a small channel through this rock that’s resistant to water erosion and pokes up out of the ground causing the water to twist and turn around it. After so many years of this, the rocks have become smooth and created a gorgeous, natural landmark. For Missouri families, it’s a fun place to experience what some people call nature’s water park.

Bass River Resort and Ozark Outdoors Riverfront Resort
Steelville and Leasburg, respectively, have long been popular places for campers. Their convenient locations situated near the Courtois, Meramec and Huzzah rivers offer a swath of options for active weekenders. Bass River Resort in Steelville and Ozark Outdoors, 15 miles away in Leasburg, see much of that traffic as they are the campsites often picked for popular St. Louis radio station floats and camp events. In the warm months, you won’t be at a loss for activities, but if you prefer a more quiet, woodsy experience read on.

Red Bluff Recreational Area and Campground 
This hidden gem, tucked into the woods along the Huzzah creek, serves as a great getaway for those looking for a quiet weekend in nature. The large, red bluffs towering along the Huzzah bank create a scenic backdrop for campers lounging in the river. Make the trip to this Davisville, Missouri campground in the fall when the leaves are just starting to change. The trees along the bluff at sunset create an impressive autumn palette.

Photo courtesy of Timber Ridge Outpost

Photo courtesy of Timber Ridge Outpost

Timber Ridge Outpost
Tucked away near Shawnee National Forest, a little over two hours outside St. Louis sits Timber Ridge Outpost. After a day of hiking or rock climbing in Shawnee, head to Timber Ridge and stay in one of their impressive tree houses built in 200-year-old white and maple oak trees. Both cabins are equipped with running water and heating and air conditioning. You can live out your childhood fantasies of tree house dwelling or round up a group of friends for a weekend of glamping.

Join the conversation in the comments and let us know what other campgrounds you’re planning to visit this summer. #31DaysOfMovement 

 

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