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Old 01-15-2013, 12:19 AM   #1
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Where to go after St Louis, Mo?

We are taking our motorhome to St Louis (Chesterfield) for a conference in June. We are staying in Babler State Park for 5 days. We are using this a the starting point for a two week vacation before we head back home to the Twin Cities in Minnesota.

Any suggestions of where to go from there? We mostly like nature sites and biking trails would be a big plus. References for campgrounds with FHU's would be appreciated as well.

Thanks.

-Joel
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:38 PM   #2
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First of all, you chose the perfect campground in St. Louis. We love Babler! From St. Louis, how about going up the western side of Michigan along the lake, on to the Upper Peninsula and across to Minnesota back home? One recommendation would definitely be the Traverse City area and just to the west is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. That whole area is gorgeous! At Sleeping Bear - IF you can get reservations - stay at Platte River Campground. It's top class for a national park - paved, large sites, Corian counters in the immaculate bathrooms, etc. Across the streey is a canoe livery for a leisurely, safe, gentle trip down the Platte River to the mouth of Lake Michigan. You won't be disappointed.

Once you cross the Mighty Mackinaw Bridge to the Upper Peninsula, take the ferry to Mackinaw Island for a day then head up to Whitefish Point to the Edmund Fitzgearld Museum. Taquamonen Falls State Park is the place to stay. Then heading further west is Pictured Rocks Nat'l Lakeshore and you can stay in Munising which you take the boat cruise along the lakeshore. There are many lovely state parks and nationl forest campground that have large sites. As you near the far west end of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, stop at a visitor center for the "waterfall map". There are many in the area that only require short strolls. Have a great trip!
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:37 PM   #3
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Can't argue witht he previous post. Michigan, especially the UP, is beautiful. We were there last year. I am not sure I would want to go there in the winter, but then again, I would not want to go to St. louis in the winter. We live across the river in Illinois, and look for warmer climes in the winter.
Now about STL. Since you are so close, you might want to check out Pere Marquette St Park, in Grafton (Alton) Il. Many Eagles make Alton (Grafton) their winter home. They live along the Mississippi river where fishing is great (for eagles) in the winter. Lots of Eagle watching. Great bike path along the Missisippi, and many hiking paths. Its cold now but being from Minnesota, you might find it acceptable. It would not be terribly out of your way home. As i said, during winter, we head south. Memphis is 5 hours away. Just a bit warmer, but lots to do. Beale St., great BBQ (check out Rendevous BBQ), gambling in nearby Tunica MS. New Orleans is 10 hours away. Usually much warmer and great if you are into music, food and maybe a little decadence. N.O, has the BEST WWII museum I have ever seen. Have fun.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:41 PM   #4
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Where too go after st. Louis

If you are into Trout Fishing or just want too enjoy another of Missouri's beautiful state parks try BENNETT SPRINGS STATE PARK.
It has 5 loops all of which are great and will hold any rig I've seen.
Campground 1 is 50A full hookup and all sites could qualify as handicap accessible. This loop is easy walking distance too a large part of the stream.
Campgrounds 2-5 are 30A electric with scattered water. These loops are more rustic and would require a ride too the stream.
Campgrounds 1-4 are reservable while campground 5 is first come first served.
Even if you don't fish the park offers raft/canoe floats on the Niangua which is very pretty and peaceful also there is a pool in the park after Memorial Day. The stream is stocked daily and offers fun fishing for all ages and skill levels both wading and from the bank including handicap access.
The park is about 150 Mi. SW of St Louis down I44 at Lebanon MO.
Reserve as early as you can as the park gets lots of use but is still very enjoyable even for an old guy.
Can you tell I like it?
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the ideas so far. We were originally planning to go to the UP of Michigan before the St Louis trip came up, so that info is really useful. We will probably go there next year.

Since this a part of the country we probably wouldn't have gone to otherwise, I would like to see what's there. The area in southern Illinois looks interesting. How much time could we spend in that area? Would two weeks be too long?

Thanks.

-Joel
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:55 AM   #6
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Try the Shawnee National Forest area in southern Illinois. Favorite places there are Little Grand Canyon, LaRue Pine Hills, Cache River basin (start at their visitor center), and Garden of the Gods National Recreation area.

If you can do without hookups, the nearby Trail of Tears State Forest has a rather unusual campground. It is on a long ridge that is so narrow, that only where it widens out is there room for a camp site. That keeps the sites spread out at 1/4 to 1/2 mile intervals. Several of the sites have three sided stone and log shelters with fireplaces.

The photos are Trail of Tears camp site, Cache River, and Garden of the Gods.

Joel
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:08 PM   #7
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Lake of the Ozarks, about 3 1/2 hours Southwest from St Louis is a wonderful destination in the Spring-Fall. Plenty of Campgrounds, boat rental, fishing, shopping, golf, and about anything you care to do. If you are interested in this area let me know as I have a home on the lake, you can provide more details of what you are interested in and I could provide campground information based on the additional information. East side of lake is more upscale but you can still find laid back areas and the West Side is way laid back.

Branson, MO, about 4 1/2 hours Southwest of St Louis has a lot of shows, lakes, canoeing, fishing, and Silver Dollar City. 1 hour from Branson is one of my favorite places, Eureka Springs, AR (Wanderlust RV Park on Passion Play Road). Fantastic restuarants, great site seeing, lakes, rivers for canoeing, hiking, and shopping.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:38 PM   #8
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Anybody know anything about the South Marcum Campground near Rend Lake?

-Joel
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:10 PM   #9
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All the c.o.e. campgrounds at Rend Lake are real nice. Also the ones at Lake Carlyle. We stay at Dam West in Carlyle, and Gun Club at Rend Lake. We have stayed at the state park too. The drive around is scenic. Both easy access from I64, I70 & I 57..
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:35 AM   #10
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We like the Indian Creek campground near Monroe City MO. It is located on Mark Twain Lake and it is a Corps of Engineers campground. Plenty of places for biking and the campsites are mostly full hook ups with 50 amp service. It is about a two hour trip from St. Louis and is near Hannibal. You can make reservations at recreation.gov.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:17 PM   #11
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We just made reservations at South Marcum.

The suggestion for Indian Creek campground on Mark Twain lake looks interesting, and it's on our way back home. It appears they are already booked for the week we want. Any other suggestions for that area?

-Joel
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #12
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Again, ALL the C O E campgrounds along the Mississippi are well worth it.
If the one by Hannabil is full, try Thompsons, near Savana Il.. and those further up the river.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:46 AM   #13
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We like the Indian Creek campground near Monroe City MO. It is located on Mark Twain Lake and it is a Corps of Engineers campground. Plenty of places for biking and the campsites are mostly full hook ups with 50 amp service. It is about a two hour trip from St. Louis and is near Hannibal. You can make reservations at recreation.gov.
If you liked the idea of the Indian Creek Campground and that was all full then try the Ray Behrens Campgrounds also located on Mark Twain Lake. They have two camping areas that are reservable. The better of the two is Cedar Ridge. Cedar Ridge has a number of sites that are full hook up and all are 50 amp. This campground is just across the lake from the Indian Creek site, and is near Perry, MO. That is about a two hour trip from the western side of St. Louis County. Our favorite sites are - 116, 48, 49 50, and 51. These are level and have full hook ups. Not sure of the dated, but all of these sites are booked in advance of major holidays. There is also a first come section that is world class. It's name is Deer Run, but no advance bookings there.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:42 PM   #14
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The last week of our trip runs through the 4th of July, and we are finding that most places are already booked. I did find a couple still open. Anyone know about Redmon Creek, or Peoples Creek in Missouri?

Thanks.

-Joel
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