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Mark Twain National Forest Rv Camping

Pine Ridge Campground New Bloomfield

Finding Dispersed Campsites in SE Missouri | Mark Twain National Forest & Ozark Scenic Riverway

Drive from New Bloomfield, Missouri and make your way to Pine Ridge Recreation Area.

This heavily wooded landscape rests amidst the enormous breadth of Mark Twain National Forest.

It also puts you on the doorstep of a 36-mile hiking trail called Cedar Creek Trail.

NOTE: Closed from December 1st to April 15th due to weather.

Why do we love it?

Its a small, quiet campground within short driving distance of Missouris state capital.

You can enjoy outdoor activities like fishing in the Missouri River, or hiking along Cedar Creek Trail.

If you get bored you can drive to Jefferson City and learn about the states fascinating history. Its a spot for history aficionados and nature lovers.


  • Amenities: Vault toilets, table, grill, and drinking water
  • Max Stay: 14 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Spend a Day in Jefferson City Tour the state capitol building, browse the citys historical museums, and learn about the Native American cultures that did and do live here.
  • A 1.5-million-acre forest containing lakes, meandering rivers, epic hillsides, and a plethora of animals. You could explore here for years!
  • Gaze at the Missouri Rivers Muddy Banks The longest river in the United States stretching over 2,000 miles. You can fish it, float it, or just enjoy its muddy waters from the shoreline.

For more information on RV camping at Pine Ridge Campground visit HERE.

Most people underestimate the states of the Midwest, but theyre mistaken if they do that with Missouri.

Camping In Mark Twain National Forest

The way Mark Twain National Forest is spread out over southern Missouri makes it an ideal national forest to visit in an RV. By using an RV, visitors camp in one location, explore it thoroughly, and then pick up stakes and move to another section of the forest to explore a completely different environment. Each evening, these visitors can relax in comfort before tackling the next day of adventure. You can begin this journey by visiting one of the RVshare sites above to find the perfect RV to rent for you and your family.

The Campsites Have Picnic Tables And Fire Pits All You Need To Bring Is Your Tent

The campsites at Mark Twain National Forest have picnic tables and fire pits. It is important to note that the facilities are only available in designated camping areas and not dispersed throughout the forest. These facilities can be reserved up to six months in advance by calling 476-3735. Although there are no formal campgrounds with electrical hookups, some of the sites do have water spigots nearby for visitors who bring RVs or trailers with them on their trip. The fee for a stay ranges from $8 to $14 depending on which site you choose and how many people will be staying overnight with you. If you plan on pitching a tent instead of using an RV, then it costs less per night as well about half as much.

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Council Bluff Lake Trail

Council Bluff Lake Trail is a moderately used pathway located near Belleview, MO. The trail is a loop that stays close to the shore of Bluff Lake. Traveling through forests that walk right up to the lake’s edge, this pathway takes hikers through natural wildlife habitat areas.

Length: 11.4 miles

Intensity: Intermediate

Explore Missouris Only National Forest At These 8 Campgrounds


The Mark Twain National Forest is renowned for its waterways, including some 3,000 natural springs that cover more than 350 miles of the forest in pristine, crystal-clear water. The Ozark Trail is another famous resident of this national forest the ever-expanding trail is at least 400 miles long and lies mostly within the boundaries of Mark Twain National Forest. Thanks to the unique layout of the forest tracts, there are plenty of camping options available. Out of the numerous options for camping in the Mark Twain National Forest listed on The Dyrt, weve assembled a diverse collection of some of the best you can find.

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Whetstone Camping Area Whetstone Creek Conservation Area

Veer off the highway between Columbia and St. Louis, and take an underdeveloped road for three miles until you come across this camping area.

The oak trees crisp to reds and yellows and purples in the fall, making the entire landscape appear like something from a fairytale.

Rabbit and quail call this place home and attract hunters from all over the country.

Why do we love it?

Just get done exploring St. Louis, or Columbia? We cant think of a better place to stop for the night Or the week.

No judgement here! This beautiful campsite strikes a happy middle ground between primitive seclusion and modern comforts.

Its situated between two of the most populous cities in Missouri however, its also nestled in an isolated scrap of gorgeous Show-Me State forest.

Get the best of both worlds, go to Whetstone Creek Conservation Area.


  • Maximum RV length reported: 28ft
  • Number of sites: Undesignated amountwide open space
  • Amenities: Vault toilets, picnic tables, fire pits
  • Max Stay: 14 days

Top Things to do Nearby

For more information on RV camping at Whetstone Camping Area visit HERE.

Where Can I Camp In Huzzah Mark Twain National Forest

Huzzah Valley Resort

Tents & Rvs

The Huzzah Valley Resort has been around since 1979 and offers something for everyone. You can pitch your tent, park your RV, or lodge in one of their cabins. The resort offers a variety of activities for both children and adults such as canoeing, swimming, fishing, kayaking, rafting, hayrides and horseback riding along the stunning and crystal clear Huzzah River. The river isnt large, however, the clarity and water-quality are unsurpassable. The campsites are along the Huzzah River which gives you a beautiful view of what this area has to offer. There are also RV hookups and campsites in more wooded areas for those that do not want to stay along the river. The resort is located close to beaches, swimming holes, playgrounds and barbeque facilities for all guests. When you leave the resort, youre immediately immersed right into the nature of the Mark Twain National Forest and are freely able to hike along the various trails. A great option for those that want an experience full of nature and wildlife as this resort is designed to be nestled among it. Visit Huzzah Valley Resort

Bass River Resort

Tents & Rvs

Ozark Outdoors Riverfront Resort

Tents & Rvs

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Free Missouri Rv Camping

Public Land offers many free dispersed Missouri RV camping opportunities. You can get free RV camping location tips from the USFS Ranger Districts. US Army Corps of Engineers also has some free RV camping facilities. Boondocking and Dispersed Camping has more information about how to find the best RV camping sites on public lands.

The following are just a few examples of free Missouri RV camping locations available.

AGENCY Agency Conservation Area offers primitive campsites on a first come first serve basis. The conservation area consists of two areas straddled by Rock Creek Road. The north tract of the area offers walk-in access to the Platte River, and a graveled parking lot is located south of the county road. Low area prone to flooding.

KIRKSVILLE Many of the Missouri state conservation areas offer free camping, and Big Creek Conservation Area is no exception. Camping allowed on or adjacent to area parking lots. No camping along roadways. No amenities provided.

LINN Free RV camping is available at the Ben Branch Conservation Area. Facilities include a 12-vehicle primitive camping area, fishing jetty, accessible privy, and two large parking areas.

POTOSI The Mark Twain National Forest offers many free RV camping opportunities, and the area around Palmer, Parole, Howell, and Timberline Lakes is no exception. Fishing this area requires a trout permit and a valid Missouri fishing permit.

Public Missouri Rv Camping

1:96 Dispersed camping, driving through Mark Twain National Forest and St Louis

Missouri RV camping can be found at Federal, state, and county campgrounds offering amenities from primitive no facility camping, to full hookup RV campsites. The following public campgrounds are only an example of the available Missouri RV camping locations.

CRAIG Great RV camping is available at the popular Big Lake State Park. The park offers basic and electric campsites. On-season services include a dump station, modern restrooms, showers , water, laundry and reservable sites. Numerous recreation opportunities include fishing, hiking, boating and wildlife viewing.

MONROE CITY The US Army Corp of Engineers has several water projects that are great Missouri RV camping destinations. has three USACE campgrounds with shaded full hookup and electrical sites with great fishing.

OZARK SCENIC RIVERWAYS From primitive to hookup RV camping, you’ll find it all along the Ozark Scenic Riverways administered by the National Park Service. There are six developed campgrounds as well as 12 defined primitive camping areas.

ROLLA Dry and hookup RV camping is available at the Lane Spring Recreation Area operated by the US Forest Service. The campground provides 18 sites with tables, tent pad, lantern post, and fire ring. 6 sites have RV electric hookups.

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You Can Also Spend Time Exploring The Town Of Hannibal Which Is Only About 30 Minutes Away From The National Forest

You can also spend time exploring the town of Hannibal, which is only about 30 minutes away from the national forest,

and close to the Mississippi River, which means fun is just a boat ramp away!

The abundance of outdoor activities in Mark Twain National Forest makes it an ideal vacation spot for families and individuals looking for fun-filled activities in the great outdoors. Hiking trails, biking lanes, picnic sites, and more can all be found within its boundaries.

The forest not only provides opportunities for visitors to get out and enjoy nature it also works hard to maintain this amazing space with eco-education programs such as Discover Fire and Read Tree . These initiatives help ensure that future generations will be able to experience forests like Mark Twain National Forest in all their natural

Interest: Mark Twain National Forest is the perfect place to go camping in Missouri. With over 500,000 acres of land and more than 1,200 miles of trails, theres no shortage of places to explore. You can camp by yourself or with friends and family its up to you! We have something for everyone here at Mark Twain National Forest.

Bring The Mosquito Spray And The Nets And The Flamethrower

Everyone hates mosquitoes. If you ever meet someone that likes them, run the other way.

There are 50 species of mosquitoes in Missouri50 too many in my opinion.

Youll most often find them in secluded places like boondocking sites. So, make sure you avoid standing water, bring mosquito spray, and load up on chamomile candles.

These annoying little buggers carry all kinds of diseases that you dont want to catch. Stay healthy, be prepared!

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Best Time Of Year To Visit Mark Twain National Forest

The best time to visit Mark Twain National Forest is during the late summer months and into fall. Temperatures and humidity start to decrease, offering crisp mornings, cool evenings, and beautiful fall days. Average daytime temperatures reach the high 70s, with lows in the mid-50s.

Youll also experience fall colors and fresh air during this time of year. The leaves begin to change with reds, oranges, and yellows dotting the mountainsides. Fall brings a sense of calm in the forest, without the rush of summer tourists and summer heat.

Driving Directions To Cobb Ridge Campground

Mark Twain National Forest Cobb Ridge Recreation Area ...

From Chadwick, Missouri, take Highway 125 south about 2 miles, then turn right onto Highway H and continue past Camp Ridge day-use area, turning right onto Lookout Road to Cobb Ridge Recreation Area. Fom Forsyth, take H Highway north approximately 14 miles, turn left onto Lookout Road to Cobb Ridge Recreation Area. The campground is approximately .5 miles on Lookout Road from H Highway.

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Ozark Trail: Taum Sauk Section

Expect to travel through rugged terrain on this section of the Ozark Trail. While hikers get a rest when walking through the temporary meadows, the rest of the path is strewn with mudslides, rocky slopes, and incredibly steep climbs up and down hillsides. To make up for the harsh terrain, the views are incredible with many being a sight that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Length: 12.3 miles

Things to Do

Only Camp At A Dispersed Campsite Or 100ft From Any Administrative Site

Whats a dispersed campsite? Easy. Its a site with a numbered placard, found on any public land.

You can camp at any of these for free. Just double check to make sure its not a placard for a paid site.

Neato, but theyre all taken. So, whats an administrative site? These include any trails, buildings, or designated recreational areas. As long as youre on public land, and 100ft from any of these sites, you can boondock. Yippee!

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Federal Rv Camping Information

  • National Park Service Information about Missouri RV camping at National Park Service facilities.
  • US Forest Service Official USFS information about Missouri RV camping in the Mark Twain National Forest. Free dispersed RV camping is encouraged on lands managed by the USFS. Includes public campground information.
  • US Army Corps of Engineers USACE/COE information about COE lakes and RV camping opportunities in Missouri.
  • US Fish & Wildlife Service Most FWS locations do not allow camping, so check carefully before heading to a refuge.
  • Sulphur Springs Boat Ramp Greensville Missouri

    RV Life in the Mark Twain National Forest

    Okay yes, fine, its a boat ramp however its also an amazing camping spot. Youll discover it on the eastern shores of Lake Wappapello, an enormous lake near Mark Twain National Forest.

    This isolated boat ramp receives few visitors so you can relax knowing your saunter into solitude will go uninterrupted.

    Why do we love it?

    This extremely small campsite will give you pure, blissful isolation. Not only that, but its also right on the water.

    You can wake up in the morning, cook some breakfast, crack open a beer, and go fishing only a few feet away.

    Plus, you get to spend the rest of your time marveling at the surrounding serenity of Mark Twain National Forest.


    • Amenities: Fire pit, toilets, and cell service
    • Max Stay: 15 days, every thirty days

    Top Things to do Nearby

    • Johnsons Shut-ins State Park Waterfalls and caves and forestsoh my! This state park has a little for every outdoors junkie. Get your fix at this gorgeous landscape.
    • Ozarks Scenic Riverways Grab the canoes and kayaks! Theres a reason the United States made this the first river system protected by a national park agency. Bring a water-proof camera!
    • Lake Wappapello State Park Your campsite puts you on Lake Wappapellos eastern shores. You might as well take advantage of this proximity and go fishing, boating, or swimming.

    For more information on RV camping at Sulphur Springs Boat Ramp visit HERE.

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    Taum Sauk Mountain State Park

    Image from The Dyrt camper Erica P.

    Taum Sauk Mountain State Park covers 7,500 acres of the states most mountainous landscape within the Mark Twain National Forest. And while the Taum Sauk Mountain campground is relatively basic on its own, the draw for visitors isnt about the amenities. In fact, its the lack of modern features that many campers site as one of its main assets. Instead, visitors praise the campground for its tranquility, scenery, hiking, on-site access to the Ozark Trail, and its close proximity to Taum Sauk Peak.

    All twelve of the available tent sites go for just $12 or $13 per night. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table and a fire pit, plus shared access to the campgrounds drinking water spouts and vault toilets. But once again, Taum Sauk campground really earned a spot on this list thanks to its lush setting and ideal location. Guests are just a short hike away from taking in the views at the highest point in all of Missouri, as well as being less than a mile from the states tallest waterfall. And last but not least, venturing all of 5-10 miles from camp can land you at the shores of several different lakes, multiple rivers, or the heart of Mark Twain National Forest.

    Montauk State Park Campground

    Montauk State Park covers nearly 3,000 acres of land within the Mark Twain National Forest, and is home to seven natural springs, which together form the headwaters of the Current River. The campground within Montauk State Park is a very popular destination for tourists and locals alike. It stays open year-round and offers more than 150 tent and RV sites in total 125 of which have electrical hookups. All sites have a paved pad, fire pit with grill, picnic table, and lantern post. There are also two large and well-equipped restrooms on-site with flushing toilets, hot showers, and laundry facilities.

    The consistent stocking of rainbow trout in the surrounding rivers make this a well-known fishing spot. Fisherman flock here during trout season to get in on the action. But its really the amenities that make this campground so popular with families, RVers, and tourists. Features like an on-site restaurant, a market/gift store, a playground area, extra large family sites, and wi-fi availability make this a pretty luxurious landing spot after a day of getting lost in Mark Twain National Forest.

    This article was brought to you by our friends at Banner & Oak

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