Excellent Camping, Hunting and Fishing


Article Tags:

outdoors , Outdoor Adventure , State Parks and State Historic Sites , biking / walking trails , backpacking trail , nature trails , walking trails , Trails , camping , fishing , hunting , turkey hunting
Sportsmanlike Behavior
Author: Hoffman Lewis

The Show-Me State offers countless ways to enjoy your time in the great outdoors. In fact, the popular website About.com (owned by the New York Times) named Missouri the best place for camping in the United States. No matter your sport or hobby of choice, you’re sure to find it here. (Missouri’s trout season opens March 1, thru October.)

Pack up your rod and reel and head to beautiful Bennett Spring State Park. This park, located 12 miles west of Lebanon, boasts the third-largest spring in the state – and plenty of excellent trout fishing. At the height of the season, it’s very possible to catch a five-pound rainbow trout. (In 2008, one lucky visitor snagged an 18-pounder!) Having too much fun to leave? Pitch your tent at one of the park’s campsites.

Fabulous fishing can be found at Montauk State Park, 21 miles southwest of Salem. Rainbow trout are abundant in the stream created by the park’s seven springs. In addition to being an angler’s paradise, Montauk offers biking, camping and picnicking.

As the lake with the longest shoreline in Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks provides a variety of big fishing opportunities, including (among others): walleye; bluegill; catfish; crappie; and several types of bass. Lake of theOzarks State Park is a great destination for anglers and non-anglers. Other activities within the park consist of horseback riding, camping, hiking and mountain-biking. 

Six miles southwest of Lawson, Watkins Mill State Park attracts fishing enthusiasts to its bright blue, 100-acre lake. Cast your line for catfish, sunfish, bass and crappie. Visitors may camp, swim, hike and picnic in the park. While there, take time to explore Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site. This three-story woolen mill is the only American 19th-century textile mill with its original machinery intact. 

Spend the night amid fascinating, ancient history when you camp at Graham Cave State Park. Located about 15 minutes southwest of Montgomery City, the park is an opportunity to step into the past; in Graham Cave, archaeologists discovered artifacts left by people who lived there more than 10,000 years ago. Take a walk through the pristine 386 acres – dotted by trees and streams – and you’ll be following much the same path as ancient hunter-gatherers.

Immerse yourself in natural beauty when you set up camp at Hawn State Park. Located about 20 miles southwest of Ste. Genevieve, Hawn enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the state’s prettiest camping spots. Find the perfect site among the towering pine trees and wild azaleas. The park holds many hiking trails, as well as a 10-mile backpacking trail.

Ready to talk turkey? It’s time for spring turkey hunting at Crowleys Ridge Conservation Area, 10 miles east of Puxico. Located in the scenic Missouri Bootheel, the gently rolling hills provide the perfect backdrop for an exciting hunt. Be sure to read and follow the Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations. (Youth season: April 6-7; Regular season: April 15-May 5)

Rebel’s Cove Conservation Area, about six miles north of Livonia, also offers spring turkey hunting. Additionally, Rebel’s Cove is an ideal place for wildlife-watching, thanks to the unique habitat of the oxbow lakes and natural marshes.

NOTE: Do Not Carry Your Own Firewood. Many insects and diseases that kill trees and destroy forests travel in firewood. Buy or gather firewood where you camp and burn it all or leave it there.

  Bennett Spring State Park
Bennett Spring is the state's third-largest spring. The park features; among other activities: trout ...

  Montauk State Park
The seven springs within Montauk State Park form the headwaters of the Current River. Regular stocking ...

  Lake of the Ozarks State Park
Missouri's largest state park has 89 miles of shoreline, two swimming beaches, boat-launching areas, ...

  Watkins Mill State Park
Watkins Mill State Park offers opportunities for camping, hiking, picnicking, fishing and swimming. ...

  Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site
Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site is part of Watkins Mill State Park. Tours of the 19th century ...

  Graham Cave State Park
Radiocarbon dating indicates the park's shelter cave was inhabited more than 10,000 years ago. The park, ...

  Hawn State Park
Set in eastern Ozark sandstone country, this park is located between Ste. Genevieve and Farmington on ...

  Rebel's Cove Conservation Area
This area is 4,225 acres of primarily forest habitat, with nearly five miles of the un-channelized Chariton ...