Roaring River State Park in Cassville, Missouri was home to many settlers in the early 1800s who were drawn to its beauty and the power of the streams that powered their mills. However, during the Civil War, outlaws and guerrillas found it a great place to hideout and troops moved through the area regularly at that time. After the war, the area became a resort community that wealthy businessmen used as a retreat. A doctor from St. Louis, Dr. Thomas Sayman, bought 2,400 acres of the area surrounding the river and gave it to the Missouri game and fish commission so the public could also use the park.
Today, the park is 4,293 acres and has 10.8 miles of trails, 171 campsites with many of them big enough for the largest RVs, picnic areas, and swimming. This park is one of only three in Missouri that is stocked with Rainbow Trout and this makes it one of the more popular spots to vacation even during the winter when trout fishing is bountiful. They also have a swimming pool, cabins, and a full-service restaurant. There are several picnic areas as well as two picnic shelters you can reserve that hold up to 60 people. The playground is nearby and there is also a nature center with interpretive displays, park history, and programs or field trips during the summer.
RV Rentals in Roaring River State Park
Transportation in Roaring River State Park
Just five hours from St. Louis or four hours from Kansas City, Roaring River State Park is an easy ride down interstate 44 in the extreme southwestern corner of Missouri. Nestled in the Ozark Mountains in Cassville, the roads from the highway to the park can be curvy and hilly but you should not have any trouble no matter how large your RV or trailer is as long as you take it slow and easy. Highway 112 has a few narrow spots along the way so be aware of other vehicles and wild critters that may wander onto the road.
Once you get into the park, it is best to leave the camper or RV at the campsite and drive a different vehicle, bike, or just walk wherever you want to go. Everything is pretty close if you stay in one of the campgrounds so you should not need to walk too far to get to the beach, fishing area, nature center, or restaurant. If you do want to drive the motorhome in the park, just watch out for low-hanging branches and potholes and you will be okay. There are spacious parking lots by the pool, nature center, conference center, and by the river access areas so you can park your rig there.
Campgrounds and parking in Roaring River State Park
Campsites in Roaring River State Park
Eureka Springs KOA
Discover the rugged beauty of the Ozark Mountains and the scuba diving opportunities at Beaver Lake at Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Stay at Eureka Springs KOA and you'll be 10 minutes away from the city’s historic downtown, local attractions, dining options and shopping spots. Big rigs of up to 85 feet will easily fit in the deluxe patio or shaded sites complete with full hookups, up to 50-amp service, tables and chairs, propane grills and fire pits. Stay connected with cable TV and Wi-Fi, lounge by the pool, and restock your firewood and propane right on-site. Pets are welcome.
Campground 3 has 40 campsites; 38 that are basic, one electric, and one with electric, water, and sewer. The driveway lengths range from 37 to 64 feet in length so you will have enough room for your RV or camper. There are six family campsites and four that are ADA-accessible. The nature center is right in the middle of the campsite as is the shower house, restrooms, laundry facilities, and frost-free water. There is an RV dump and dumpster by campsites 155 and 156 and you are just feet from the river as well as the Fire Tower Trail trailhead. Your pets are welcome as long as they are leashed.
Campground 2 is open from March until November and has 48 campsites with driveways from 44 to 64 feet in length so your RV should fit with no problem. These sites all have electric, picnic tables, fire rings, and a tent pad. In addition, there is a shower house with hot water and restrooms with running water at the entrance to the campground. There are two family campsites and two sites that are ADA-accessible. You are just feet from the river and the River Trail trailhead. Pets are welcome as long as they are on a leash.
Campground 1 has 78 campsites that are open year-round with electric and have driveways ranging from 43 to 68 feet. Eight of these are family campsites and three are ADA-accessible. You can find several water spigots in the campground as well as vault toilets. A shower with hot water, laundry facilities, restrooms with running water, and frost-free water are all available by campsites 58 and 60. There is also a swimming pool and park store by the park entrance at the intersection of 112 and Route F. You can also find several large parking lots that have enough room for your campervan or trailer as well as room for overflow parking. The RV dump site and dumpsters are in the loop by the showers and restroom. Pets are allowed as long as they are kept on a leash at all times.
First Come, First Served
There are first-come, first-served sites available but have to be approved by the camp host or park employee. Before choosing a site, check with the staff or follow the directions on the post at the site.
Seasonal activities in Roaring River State Park
Whether you want to take a dip in the Roaring River or swim some laps in the Olympic-sized swimming pool, you will find it at Roaring River State Park. You can just leave the motorhome at the campsite and walk to the pool, which is centrally located by the park office at the Roaring River Inn and Conference Center. The pool is open to the public for a small fee from Memorial Day until mid-August. The river is also a fun place to wade or swim but there is no lifeguard so be careful.
As a child, we all wanted to find a hidden treasure but many of us are still searching even as adults. Rather than trying to find a pirate’s map, pack your metal detector in the camper before heading out to Roaring River State Park and you may just get lucky. You can find old coins, jewelry, and all kinds of other cool treasures at the park. Try searching around the picnic areas, hiking trails, near the ball field and riverbank, or empty campsites. However, make sure to check for any rules and regulations at the park office and don’t go digging up holes all over the place without filling them back in.
Leave the RV parked and take a hike. The Eagles Nest Trail is a 2.6-mile loop trail of moderate difficulty. There are a lot of rocks, roots, and vegetation as it is a rugged trail that meanders along the Roaring River. The one-mile Pibern Trail is an easy hike that takes you through a variety of habitats including moist and dry limestone, bluffs, slopes, and a small stream. The Fire Tower Loop Trail is the longest one at 4.2 miles and is rated as difficult with some seriously rugged terrain. You will go through some dolomite glades, hollows, woodlands, and see many meadows full of vibrant wildflowers.
Whether you are camping in your RV or just enjoying a day at the park, you will be amazed at the delicious food you can get at the park’s Roaring River Restaurant. It may be hard to believe that you can get such a great meal at a campground, but this full-service restaurant is known for its trout almondine, relaxed atmosphere, and amazing scenery. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a snack while watching the stunning view of the Roaring River.
While many people enjoy fishing for bass and catfish during the warm months, trout fishing is a unique type of fishing that has people flocking to Roaring River State Park during the winter. Make sure you don’t forget to pack your trout fishing gear in the rig before heading to the park so you can take advantage of the plethora of rainbow and brown trout in Roaring River. They even have a cleaning and fillet station so you can enjoy your fish for dinner at the campsite later.
Unlike most parks, Roaring Rivers State Park hosts interpretive programs all year long with different types of programs for each season. During the fall season, park the RV at a campsite and take a wild area hike with a tour guide in the Roaring River Hills Wild Area. You will visit the lookout tower, the hardwood natural area, and see the serviceberry tree that won the state championship. During the winter, you can view bald eagles with a park host that includes a short informational video on eagles in the area.