Top 3 Hiking Trails around the Ozarks


The Lake of the Ozarks features over 1,100 miles of shoreline which is more than the Californian coast; no wonder, it’s Missouri’s most popular lake destination. While the lake offers several public beaches, amazing fishing opportunities and some of the most fun water activities, it also offers something other than water and it’s the hiking trails around the Ozarks and great possibilities to find the delicious morels. Let’s explore.

1. Ozark Trail

The Ozark Trail spans from St. Louis to Arkansas and is more than 500 miles long. Although the full trail is still under construction, it’s going to be one of the top long-distance trails of the nation. It’s divided into thirteen sections. While the entire trail is stunning, the Taum Sauk section is the most amazing. This 35-mile section meanders through mountains that are 1.5 billion years old. The entire trail is full of verdant glades, natural springs and rolling forests, and is certainly worth a visit.

2. Busiek Red Trail

The heavily trafficked Busiek Red Trail is 2.9 miles long. It’s a loop trail featuring a river and is perfect for all skill levels. It’s open year-round, even to dogs and horses, and offers numerous activities including morel hunting. The Red Trail can be best hiked counterclockwise. To start with, there’s a short climb and small undulations next to that. At the end, you can cross the river or stay along the shore.

3. Ozark Park Trail

This 2.2 mile trail is moderately trafficked and features a lake and is perfect for all skill levels. It’s open year-round and offers a number of activities.


Exploring Morel Mushrooms

As such, the hiking trails around the Ozarks offer a range of activities. But one of the most amazing among them is to hunt for morel mushrooms. You’ll find people wandering off these gorgeous trails with a bag or container of some sort. Families, old timers and even teenagers participate in this activity and it’s quite addictive. This fun, challenging activity offers a delicious reward at the end. It’s recommended to hunt for morels near ash, dead or alive apple trees or elm. South-facing slopes are also recommended.

Start looking for them after the average daily temperature is more than 50 degrees for many days with a few springtime showers. Look for the right ones i.e. deeply grooved, beige-colored raisins on top of a tan stalk. The season typically ends in late April in some parts of Missouri, but elsewhere it can last until mid-May.

Quick and Easy Morels with Shallot, Peas and Mint Recipe

Here’s a quick and easy morels recipe:

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and 2 tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium-high flame. Cook 1 roughly chopped shallot for a minute; add 8 oz. fresh morels, cleaned and trimmed, and 8 oz. each of snow and sugar snap peas, both trimmed. Cook for two minutes. Now add a cup of fresh peas and cook till morels become tender i.e. for 2-3 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp. minced preserved lemon peel, ¾ cup chopped mint leaves and 1 tsp. kosher salt. You’ll find these morels even better than steak!

The Ozarks hiking trails will make your hiking trip adventurous as well as yummy!

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State Parks in the Ozarks of Missouri You Should Never Miss

If you’re a Missourian and a camping enthusiast, you don’t need to look for beautiful campsites outside of Missouri because there are so many of them just within the state. Take for example the area around the Ozarks, also called the Ozark Mountains or Plateau. This is actually spread in three states including Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas. However, it’s still quite unknown that this region in Missouri consists of some amazing state parks ideal for camping, trekking, picnicking, biking and many such exciting activities. Here are a few of them.

Lake of the Ozarks State Park

Lake of the Ozarks is quite well-known as a picnic area and receives many visitors. However, these visitors don’t realize that there is a 17,441 acre park lying just to the south of the Osage Beach! In fact, Lake of the Ozarks State Park is the largest park in Missouri and can be a nice addition to the area’s attractions. It consists of 85 miles of shoreline, a couple of public beaches and a boat launching area too. The park also offers hiking trails, four organized youth camps and horseback riding stable.

The park is dissected by the Grand Glaize Arm of the lake with more than 85 miles of shoreline. This water corridor contains several facilities at the Grand Glaize Beach, on Highway 54 in Osage Beach 1.5 miles south of Grand Glaize Beach and at Public Beach #1 where the Hwy 134 ends.

Both areas have free sand beaches for swimming. A picnic shelter can be reserved by large groups for $40 and when not reserved, it’s offered on a first-come, first-served basis. You can launch your own boat (free at McCubbin Point and for a nominal fee at Public Beach #1 and Grand Glaize Beach). You can also fish free at a dock with crappie beds, provided you have a valid fishing license.

There are some unusual natural features along the shoreline of the park with which you’ll be amazed. For example, Lake of the Ozarks Aquatic Trail is designed for boaters and has stops marked by buoys. You can get a free booklet at the park office which explains the significance of these 14 marked stops.

An ideal time to visit the park is from May to mid-October because during this season, naturalists present programs in an open air amphitheater featuring movies or slide shows about natural wonders occurring in the Missouri’s state parks. Plus, you’re offered guided hikes and various other programs.

Another wonderful highlight is 56° Ozark Caverns, a nice place to escape the summer’s heat. You can access it by following Highway A (between Camdenton and Osage Beach) for 8 miles and following the signs. You’re given handheld lanterns after paying a small fee. Once you enter the caverns, a wonderful world of underground splendor opens up before you in the light of the lanterns. The Angel’s Shower is a never-ending spectacular flow of water seemingly falling from the solid rocky ceiling, down into a couple of massive bowl-shaped stone basins on the cavern floor. Plus, you can see some uncommon animals, adapted to the dark world.

Ozark Caverns Visitor Center which opened in 1987 is always happy to help visitors understand the unusual environment. Plus, there is a one-mile Coakley Hollow Self-Guided Trail near the Center that takes you through a scenic and naturally varied part of the park. This is one of park’s ten major trails. There is a Trail Center on Highway 134 where you can get interesting information of the features along these trails. Just behind it, there is the Woodland Trail that takes you to Patterson Hollow Wild Area, spread into 1,200 acres, but totally undeveloped. Additional information can be obtained at the park office.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

This park is spread over 3,600 acres on the Niangua Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks, located 5 miles southwest of Camdenton on State Road D.

The park contains 12 hiking trails of different lengths (total 16 miles) that take you to places like Turkey Pen Hollow and Devil’s Kitchen. Plus there are 8 caves. In addition, there are so many picnic areas. Two of these can be rented for events and there is a playground too. The visitor’s center at the park’s entrance offers a Trail and Natural Area Guide. Visitors for the day can arrive easily by car or boat. Overnight camping is not available.

By the beginning of the 18th century, a leading Kansas City businessman, Robert McClure Snyder visited the park and was fell so much in love with it that he started purchasing the surrounding land and acquired more than 5,000 acres and built a beautiful European-style castle here. Unfortunately the Snyder family faced many adversities, Robert Snyder was killed in a car accident, the family was forced to sell their natural gas supply business and had to fight a long legal battle against Union Electric and the mansion was leased by a Mrs. Ellis who ran it as a hotel. But this too came to an end by a fire sparked from Ha Ha Tonka’s many fireplaces and the huge castle was shattered, leaving just the devastated outer walls that still stand on the cliff’s edge. In 1978, the State of Missouri bought the estate and opened it to the public as a State Park.

However, the ruins are impressive, so are their natural surroundings. According to geologists, the area is an ideal example of “karst” topography marked by caves, natural bridges, sinks and underground streams. Huge caves are now collapsed creating large theater-like pits called the coliseum. According to legends, Native American tribal meetings were held in the coliseum. The park also contains one of Missouri’s largest springs which feeds around 48 gallons of water a day into the Lake’s Niangua Arm.

Roaring River State Park

Located in the southwest of Ozark Hills, the Roaring River State Park is one among the three state parks stocked with rainbow trout. It’s located in a deep, narrow valley and is surrounded by a rugged, striking landscape. It’s open year round to visitors that mostly contain eager anglers who enjoy catching their favorite fish.

Plus, the park has seven hiking trails, picnic tables where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch, a swimming pool and a nature center to get more information about the park.

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11 Awesome Tips for Winterizing Your Travel Trailer

Once you start noticing the signs of winter, you feel sad that you won’t be able to go camping for the next few months, since it will be so cold outside. Besides this, another thought comes prominently to your mind that it’s the time to store away your travel trailer because it won’t be in use for a few months. Well, that’s right. However, just storing it away in a secure spot is not enough. You should prepare your camping trailer for winter storage which is known as winterizing. Do you know how to do it? Here are a few tips.

1. Wash and Dry Your Travel Trailer

Before you take your trailer to the spot where it will stand without moving for some months, you should give it a thorough wash because that way you’ll have your vehicle in a spick and span condition for your next camping trip.

You should not only clean the exterior of the vehicle, but also its awnings, tires, wheel wells and any nooks and corners that may have hidden dirt.

Then once you are sure that the RV is perfectly clean, make sure it’s completely dry. Drying is crucial because even a small quantity of moisture may cause corrosion and rust over time.

2. Drain the Water and Dry Water Lines

Just as you should dry your RV after washing to eliminate any moisture, you should also make sure not to have water in it during the storage period in its water holding tank, gray holding tank and black holding tank. Flush all these tanks. Some RVs are equipped with a built-in system for this or you may have to clean them manually with a wand.If water remains inside your RV when it’s cold outside, it could freeze and cause havoc to your vehicle. However, don’t drain the water heater until you add antifreeze.

Once you drained all the tanks, flush the toilet a few times, open all the faucets and turn the shower on to make sure all the water is out. Then blow air through all the water channels to drive out any left out water. Then close the drains with caps and shut all the faucets.

If you have a washing machine or ice maker in the trailer, consult the user’s manual to find the best way to winterize these appliances. Also, if the water heater works on electricity, turn it off.

3. Add Antifreeze

It your RV has its own indoor plumbing system, you’ll have to add non-toxic RV camper antifreeze to it to save the pipes from freezing. You can add it with the help of hand pump from outside or with a water conversion kit. Consider skipping your water heater to save it from using gallons of antifreeze. Then turn the water pump on to pressurize the system. Access the nearest faucet and open the hot and then cold valves till antifreeze is seen. Do this for all faucets and then flush the toilet till it’s seen. Turn the water pump off and open a faucet to relieve pressure. Add a little antifreeze to each drain and toilet. Flush the toilet to bring it to the holding tank.

4. Clean the Refrigerator and Other Storage Components

Remove everything from your refrigerator and clean it completely. Don’t let your fridge have some old or leftover food or sticky drink as it would then lie there for the winter months and attract pests. Clean other storage units such as drawers and cupboards thoroughly.

Make sure you clean the kitchen. Check if there are any food crumbs left inside.

5. Prevent Pests

Removing any food or drink leftovers is the best way to prevent pests in the RV during the winter storage. Another essential thing you should do is to look for any holes or gaps in your vehicle through which pests can make their way in. If you find any such holes, fill them with caulk which is an easy task.

6. Close Holes and Vents

Close all holes and vents including roof vents, fan vents, exhaust pipes, vents around appliances, and wider gaps such as that around doors. For some areas, you can even just place a sheet of plastic over the openings and secure it with tape or beneath an existing cover. But don’t forget to remove all these covers when you’ll take your RV out from storage for your next camping trip.

7. Prevent Rodents

Rodents are infamous for chewing up seat cushions, curtains and even the floor, and destroying electrical wiring. While your RV will remain unattended for a few cold months, there are all chances for rodents to get in and cause the destruction. Closing all the holes and vents is one way to prevent them. But you may even have to go underyour trailer where there would be small holes, even about penny-size. You should fill them with aluminum or brass wool. In the interior of the RV, you should consider placing moth balls or setting traps.

8. Have a Nice Fragrance

When after winter, warm pleasant season would come and you’d happily open your RV again for an exciting camping trip, you don’t want to be welcomed with a foul smell. Spraying peppermint oil would give your trailer a nice fragrance all through its storage period.

9. Charge Battery

Charge your 12-volt battery fully before storage and top off the water levels. If the weather is too cold, it’s better to remove the battery and place it in a dry and warm place.

10. Increase the Life of Tires

Tires can wear out even if they are not in use. You can extend their life by providing them additional support with the RV’s leveling system. Consider using outside blocks or jacks too.

11. Keep it Covered

Consider covering your RV whether it’s to be stored outside or in a barn to save it from grime, snow and dust. Preferably use a breathable material to cover it so that mold and mildew will be prevented as moisture won’t be trapped beneath the cover.

So, have you started planning the winterization of your travel trailer?

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Table Rock Lake - Camping, Fishing and Much More

When you look for a camping destination, you obviously expect something very serene, pure, full of greenery and blue waters, which can give you the full pleasure of camping. Here’s just what you want – the Table Rock Lake in Branson!

Table Rock Lake has crystal clear water, beautiful shores full of trees and serene beaches that you and your family would love to pitch tents on and have fun. It’s nothing surprising that this lake is one of the most popular destinations of Branson. Sailing, boating, fishing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, camping, sightseeing or hiking, you name it and you’ll get it in this lovely Ozarks picnic spot.

With more than 100 resorts nearby along with abundant campsites, there is no shortage of accommodation options at Table Rock Lake.

What’s more, Branson’s Entertainment District is just a short drive away! In short, Table Rock Lake is a treasure of Ozark.

Amazing Beaches

Table Rock Lake has an amazing shoreline of almost 800 miles and offers so many lovely spots for taking a swim in its crystal clear water.

For example, Moonshine Beach near the Dewey Short Visitor Center Recreation Area, is the most popular due to its generous sandy beach with facilities to swim, sunbathe, dive, play volleyball, hike or just enjoy watching wildlife if you are a nature-lover.

Or if you want to run away from crowds and boat traffic, head to the Beaver area on the lake’s southwest corner which is a popular swimming spot. Just off Highway 75, Cape Fair has wide-open water to offer where you can enjoy swimming to your heart’s content. Even most campsites have swimming areas.

NOTE: Swimming is not allowed in some areas of the lake, particularly around marinas.

Camping

Table Rock Lake has so many beautiful campsites from where you can enjoy the beauty of the waterfront and quiet woodlands. There are two campgrounds at the lake which feature basic and sewer/water/electric campsites.

Specials are also offered at the State Park Marina. On the western side of the lake, there is Viney Creek Recreation Area which has campsites and water on its three sides which offers an experience that you can never forget.

The beauty of the Table Rock Lake Campground is that it offers a great spot for parking your RV with full hookups with Wi-Fi. This is year-round parking and fees are reasonable.

Fishing

Table Rock Lake is famous countrywide as a premium fishing spot. It’s rich with huge numbers of white bass and Kentucky spotted bass due to its massive forage base and diverse underwater structure. Also bluegill and crappie are in abundance. The lake bottom is rich with catfish of all sizes.

You can even get experienced fishing guides with the help of the several area resorts and marinas. These guides can enrich your fishing experience.

Another amazing feature of this area is that it offers hundreds of local and regional fishing tournaments every year including a leading B.A.S.S. tournament. Thus if you love to watch or participate in tournament fishing, you can get ample opportunities here.

Boating/Marinas

Whether you arrive with some scuba diving adventure on mind, or a quiet day fishing or exciting water sports, Table Rock Lake has everything for you. You can get boats and equipment rentals here. Everything from wave runners and fishing boats to water skis as well as inner tubes is available on rent at the State Park Marina.

What’s more, you can try parasailing too or you can enjoy a guided afternoon excursion on the 48-foot catamaran, Spirit of America.

A place to get a range of boats on rent, including the fun pontoon boats is the Indian Point Marina, which offers a ship storage and gas dock if you are in need of refilling your own boat.

Accommodation

As mentioned earlier, Table Rock Lake has numerous accommodation options in the form of lakefront resorts, hotels, motels and condos. It also has the luxurious Chateau On The Lake Resort Spa and Convention Centre that offers breathtaking views of both – the lake and Branson, along with outdoor and indoor swimming pools, restaurants, a spa and convention areas.

If you are looking for a rustic Ozark Mountain escape, there are many charming cabins available lining the waterfront.

For example, Cabin of Dreams set on a forested hill in Hollister, is a spacious, wood-paneled cottage with a porch, fireplace and all the amenities, a few minutes from the shore.

There are so many other cabins too from comfortable to luxe including Eagle’s View Cottages, Cross Timbers Lodge, the Lakeside Resort, Restaurant & General Stores, Holiday Hideaway Resort and the Wilderness Club at Big Cedar.

Sightseeing

If you love sightseeing, the Table Rock Lake has that too for you. You can get sightseeing from the water for which you can book passage on the Showboat Branson Belle, a two-hour cruise with lunch or dinner and live entertainment, or take a ride on the Spirit of America.

Enjoy a land and water adventure, with Ride the Ducks to enjoy a Branson tour before jumping down in the Table Rock Lake.

Even on land around the lake, you will get numerous sights to see, including the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, an amazing place where as many as 1.1 million trout are produced every year, the Talking Rocks Cavern, a charming place to explore a cave and see how rock and mineral formations grow and the ever fun Silver Dollar City amusement park.

Dining

When it comes to dining, again the Table Rock Lake has numerous options for you. Are you looking for a classy dinner along with a stunning view? Or are you in search of a barbecue? Or would you like to have a meal in a downhome restaurant where they offer a boat-parking facility? The Table Rock Lake has all that.

At the Stonewater Cove Resort and Club, you’ll have a great opportunity to relish a delicious meal of “gourmet comfort food” along with stunning sunset views. Take sweeping views of the Ozark Mountain from Top of the Rock which features a range of dining options such as Arnie’s Barn, Buffalo Bar and Osage Restaurant. Or at the Lakeside Restaurant in Branson West or at Danna’s BBQ and Burgers at the State Park Marina or at Floating Point at Indian Point, you can even enjoy food right on the lake. The Steak Inn in Shell Knob is placed just off the lake and is an all-time favorite of foodies serving the best stuffed shrimp and sirloin in town.

More about the Table Rock Lake

  • Table Rock Dam and Powerhouse were completed in 1959
  • The dam is 252 feet high and 6,423 feet long
  • The lake offers around 43,000 to 52,300 acres of surface area based on the water level
  • 750+ miles of shoreline

So, when are you planning a camping trip to Table Rock Lake?

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Pomme De Terre Lake – A Heaven for Campers and Anglers

Are you looking for a campsite where there might be a serene water body where you can fish and relax with your family on the shore on the lap of nature? We recommend you Pomme De Terre Lake and Pomme De Terre State Park!

Pomme De Terre Lake is located in the beautiful state of Missouri on its southwest side, at the confluence of Pomme De Terre River (after which it is named) and Lindley Creek. The 7,800-acre lake is spread across northern Polk and southern Hickory counties and is around 80 km north of Springfield.

History of Pomme De Terre Lake

The United States Army Corps of Engineers spent $14,946,784 and designed and built a series of lakes in the Osage River Basin for flood control starting from 1957 and completing in 1961. Pomme De Terre Lake is one of these lakes. Its name is French and means “Apple of the earth” or potato.

The dam of Pomme De Terre Lake is close to Pomme De Terre State Park and Route 254 crosses it. The lake has two arms stretched out from the dam site – the Pomme De Terre arm extends for 27 km following the Pomme De Terre River and the Lindley arm extends for 19 km following Lindley Creek.

Camping at Pomme De Terre Lake

Pomme De Terre Lake offers wonderful camping opportunities in the form of its over 650 campsites year around. These are basic, electric and electric/water sites. There are two public swimming beaches too. Plus, there is a full-service marina, shelter house, laundry, trails and picnic area. The lake is especially praiseworthy because it’s not usually over-crowded and campers can enjoy its beauty without excessive boat traffic. Camping reservations can be done online and on phone: 877-422-6766.

Some prominent campsites at Pomme De Terre Lake are:

Pittsburg Campground

This is a serene, well set up campground with cool breezes, nice shade and campsites just along the water where you can take your own tents, RVs, trailers or vans. You can boat, ski or take a pontoon ride. Ample drinks, ice, snacks, showers, kids’ playground and laundry are available.

Hermitage Campground

This is a hidden gem providing ample shade from the huge trees and accesses a newly built nature trail through the forest which is adventurous and pleasant at the same time. Or if you want, you can just laze away on the swimming beach. 

Berryland RV Park and Storage

(Missouri 64, Pittsburg MO 65724 Ph.:(417) 852-4253)

Are you planning to go camping in a travel trailer? Pomme De Terre Lake area has plenty of RV parks one of which is Berryland RV Park where you can enjoy the quiet away from the crowds. It’s located a couple of minutes away from the 4 boat ramps and two swimming beaches, to let you enjoy the action on the water.

Harbor Campground and Marina

(Rt 2, Box 2178, Hermitage MO 65668 Ph.: 417-745-6865)

Located at the west end of the dam, Harbor Campground has everything you want to enjoy and make your camping trip a wonderful experience. Overnight and long term camping are available here.

Whiteside Hidden Acres RV Park

(HC 77, Box 899C, Highway 64B, Pittsburg MO 65724 Ph.:(417) 852-4939)

This is another amazing RV park with all its sites equipped with park mowing, water, sewer, electric service and trash service. Catch muskies, sunfish, crappie and bass on the lovely Pomme De Terre Lake or enjoy swimming at the beaches. There are marinas, picnic areas and trails available.

Camp Pomme De Terre

(HC 77, Box 3350, Pittsburg MO 65724 Ph.: 417-852-4455)

Located in Ozarks, one mile east of Pittsburg, Camp Pomme De Terre is a lovely campsite across secluded 91 acres accommodating so many venues and activities, like a boat dock into one of the lake’s coves, canoes, and so much more.

Fishing

As such, Pomme De Terre Lake is full of various fish species. But it’s especially famous for catching Muskie. The lake has pretty clear water, rocky bottom and vast vegetation (although the original vegetation is reduced now) – ideal conditions for muskies to thrive.That’s why this lake was chosen to stock muskies since 1966.

Catching muskies in Pomme De Terre Lake is a great fun because this long, slender, green/yellow-green fish is renowned for its strength and aggressiveness.

Other fish in the lake are crappie, catfish, walleye, largemouth bass and white bass.

Marina and Boat Ramps

The marina at Pomme De Terre Lake offers daily, monthly and annual slip rentals. Their website is http://www.mofunparks.com/ and phone number is 417-852-1031.

Plus, there are four paved boat launch ramps in the Pomme De Terre Lake. Daily and yearly slip rentals and fuel are available.

Refreshments and Recreation

Pomme De Terre Lake has so many amazing restaurants such as Mr. Ed’s Drive In (one of the most famous), Jack & Virginia’s, Crappie Hole Bar & Grill, Lake Side BBQ, L.J’s Café and more.

Plus, there are so many trails, yurts, picnicking, a lake house and many such amenities.

So, when are you planning a camping trip to Pomme De Terre Lake?

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How will You Prepare for a Buffalo Camping Trip – Amazing Tips to Help You Out

Camping season is around the corner and you’ve found your destination – Buffalo! Indeed, River Buffalo and its surrounding area is an awesome area for camping. But are you feeling a little daunted regarding how to prepare for your trip? Don’t worry! We are here to help you out. Following are our tips for you.

 

Find a Site

Buffalo is a quite vast area and you’ll have to decide where exactly you want to go. Here are some prominent ones:

Upper Buffalo National River Wilderness

This area is situated at a higher altitude than most other areas of Arkansas; so, tree leaves change colors sooner than in the less mountainous areas of the state and this is the very beauty of this area. If you want to get lost in the amazing fall colors here, reach there in late September to see black gums and sumacs with their hot-red, fiery leaves, and anytimebetween September end and early November to see maples and other hardwood trees. Fortunately in Ponca, mostly you can enjoy a prolonged season of colors because different trees change to their prime color for several weeks.

Thanks to the changing colors of the trees, you can also enjoy a great hiking on miles and miles of trails(mostly family friendly) in the hardwood forests of upper Buffalo National River country.

Ponca is also the area where you can enjoy elk watching, horseback riding, fall zip line adventure, driving on scenic paths and fine dining.You can bring your camper trailer, erect a tent or reserve a cabin.

 

Image Source:https://www.nps.gov/gumo/planyourvisit/fall-colors.htm

Lake of the Ozarks State Park

Lake of the Ozarks State Park is the biggest state park in Missouri, but it’s unknown to many visitors to the lake area that there is a 17,441 acre playground lying just to the south of the Osage Beach. There is an amazing 85-mile shoreline and two picnic beaches and boat launching areas here. You can also enjoy horseback riding, hiking trails and four organized youth camps.

The park is dissected by the lake’s Grand Glaize Arm and there are so many facilities along this water corridor at the Grand Glaize Beach.

Enjoy swimming at the free sand beaches. For large groups, you can reserve picnic shelter or take a chance for first-come-first-served basis if you cannot reserve.

 

An open air program is offered by naturalists in an open air amphitheater from May till mid-October and you can also get lost in the natural features along the lake shore of the park on the Ozarks Aquatic Trail.

Discover an amazing new world of underground splendor of the Ozark Caverns for which you can get lanterns for a small fee. Enjoy the spectacular Angel’s Shower, an endless flow of water which seems to fall from the compact rock ceiling into two great bowl-shaped rock basins.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Ha Ha Tonka State Park is spread over 3,600 acres of the Niangua Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks, 5 miles southwest of Camdenton. This amazing park contains 12 hiking trails which take you to places like Turkey Pen Hollowand and Devil’s Kitchen. There are 8 caves here and several picnic areas (2 with picnic shelters) and a playground.

Kyle’s Landing Campground

Located around halfway between Ponca and Jasper, Arkansas, Kyle’s Landing Campground has an entry road of gravel and is very rough, so, it’s recommended to take a 4 wheel drive, high clearance vehicle. This campground has 33 sites, available on first come-first served basis. Each of them has a fire ring, picnic table, lantern hook, trash pick-up, water system and flush restroom (closed from 15th November to 14th March).

Carver Campground

Situated close to the bridge that crosses the Buffalo River, Carver Campground has 8 campsites, each having a fire ring, picnic table, lantern hook, vault restroom and drinking water. But trash service is not available.

Tyler Bend

Tyler Bend is the middle area of River Buffalo and has a developed campground open year round. There are 1-13 drive-in sites and A-E walk-in sites.

 

Woolum Camping Area

Located 7 miles southwest of St. Joe on gravel and paved roads, Woolum Camping area provides a vault toilet. It also permits horse camping, but no trash service is available.

Ozark Campground

Located 3 miles down a graded gravel road, north of Jasper, Ozark Campground has 31 campsites, each having a fire ring, picnic table, trash pickup and lantern hook. But there is no hookups and dump stations. Flush restroom is closed from 15th November to 14th March, though a vault toilet will be provided all through the winter.

Erbie Campground

Located 7 miles down a gravel road, north of Jasper, Arkansas, Erbie Campground has 14 drive-in campsites and 2 walk-in campsites, each with a fire ring, picnic table and lantern hook. The drive-in sites are good for RV or tent camping but there are no hookups, running water and dump stations. A vault toile is provided at the boat launch. There is no trash service too.

Spring Creek

The lower section of the river provides camping at Spring Creek, Rush Campgrounds and Buffalo Point. The Spring Creek has 12 sites, Rush Campground has 12 sites and Buffalo Point Campground has over 100 designated sites.

These are only a few – there are so many. Research about each campsite and check the amenities provided so that you won’t find any difficulty and can enjoy the trip to the fullest.

Preparation Tips

Arrive Sooner

Most of the Buffalo campsites are available on a first-come-first-served basis and fill soon on Fridays; so, it’s better to arrive as early as possible. However, inclement weather can reduce the demand of sites and can work in your favor if you can enjoy camping in such weather.

Water and Toilets

As such the area offers drinking water and flushable toilets throughout the camping season. But you on your own can prepare for emergency situations in case there are no toilets provided, e.g. on hiking trails or in the forests. Carry zip-lock bags and toilet paper for such situations. The best solution is a camper trailer with a built-in toilet. If you don’t like the idea much, carry a shovel; but be prepared to use it. You’ll have to dig a deep hole, bury it all and use toilet paper only.

 

Be Prepared for Bugs

Ticks and chiggers occur commonly in the camping area; so, essentially carry bug spray.

Prepare to Be Away from the World

Buffalo area, particularly Upper Buffalo River and Ponca, is remote and usually rugged. Hence rescue assistance and medical help can take a while to reach you. There are emergency phones in places like the restroom building at Kyle’s Landing and Steel Creek horse camp. They ring to the regional emergency response center, MROCC. But you should be prepare for emergency situations; so, carry plenty of water, matches, rain jackets and snacks. Dress in quick-dry layers to minimize the risk posed by changing climatic conditions during extended outings. A first-aid kit is a must, whether at camp or on the trail.

Pets

You don’t want to leave your beloved pets at home with your friends or a pet-sitter. You want to them to participate in the camping fun with you. In that situation, check whether the site you are planning to visit is pet-friendly. Although most of them allow pets, if there is an occasional one which doesn’t, you should not have to face disappointment or go on searching for another pet-friendly site. So, checking beforehand is advisable.

Navigation

In the wilderness, you may need to find your own way, as mostly there will be no signs to guide you. Neither there would be the internet nor may your vehicle’s satnav work. So, it’s a good idea to have a bunch of detailed off-road topographic maps.

So, are you feeling clearer and more relaxed? Make the best preparations with these tips and they will make your camping trip unforgettable.

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How to Make Camping Enjoyable in the HOT DAYS of Summer!

As such, camping is a fun activity to do in any season. Still, there are limitations to the fun in every season. However, if you prepare properly, you can enjoy camping in any season. Today we’ll take a look at how to make camping enjoyable in the HOT DAYS of summer!