Sam A. Baker State Park
Guide

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Introduction

When you visit Sam A. Baker State Park in your RV, you’ll immediately fall in love with the landscape of Missouri. You can completely immerse yourself in nature as you listen to the rushing St. Francis River while being surrounded by the stunning St. Francois mountain peaks. In fact, you might be interested to hear that some parts of the mountains are considered to be some of the oldest exposed rocks in North America. Much of the park has been left in its natural state, giving you a feel for nature at its best and finest. The creation of this state park can be credited to Sam A. Baker, the Governor of Missouri during in the 1920s. The Civilian Conservation Corps also did a lot to help out in the 1930s, building structures in the park for visitors to enjoy for years to come. You can still see and visit these buildings, which include the nature center, Mudlick Mountail Store and Grill, and the cabins. When you come to stay in your camper or trailer, you’ll get to enjoy amenities such as electric hookups, water, showers, a dump station, and access to fun activities like the boat launch ramp and hike and bike trails nearby.

RV Rentals in Sam A. Baker State Park

Transportation in Sam A. Baker State Park

Driving

Getting to Sam A. Baker State Park is pretty much a straight shot, as MO 143 goes right through the park. You will be able to find the park office, visitor center, store, picnic areas, and campground all right off of one road, and you shouldn’t run into any issues such as narrow roads, steep climbs, or low bridges. You should be able to find parking in these areas, especially at the campgrounds. Once you have gotten to your campsite though, you might find it better to explore the park on foot, horseback, or bicycle. Many of the trails are fairly lengthy and do not have vehicle access, so in order to get the full experience, other means of transportation is advisable.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Sam A. Baker State Park

Campsites in Sam A. Baker State Park

Reservations camping

Campground 2

This campground is open all year long, but certain amenities such as showers and restrooms will be unavailable during the off-season when temperatures drop. This campground also offers electric hookups at 69 of 92 total sites, potable water, a dump station, and a laundry facility for washing your clothes. The nature center is also nearby for you to visit if you please. Reservations are available only during the peak season.

Campground 1

This campground features 109 total sites, 60 of which offer electric hookups. Although there are no water or sewer hookups, you will find potable water spigots and a dump station nearby. You will also have access to showers and restrooms. The maximum RV length at each site is 30 feet, but if you brought more vehicles than can fit your campsite, there are areas for extra vehicle parking. Things that you will find at Campground 1 that are not at Campground 2 is a boat launch ramp and a bike trail for you to explore. Keep in mind though that this campground is only open during the peak season, from April to October. Because of this, making reservations is highly recommended, and you can do so by calling the park or going online. If you find yourself bringing the campervan during the off-season, you’ll want to stay at Campground 2.

First-come first-served

Campground 2

During the off-season, the campground sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis only.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Sam A. Baker State Park

In-Season

Eating at Mudlick Mountain Grill

After a long day out enjoying the St. Francis River, you’ve probably worked up an appetite. Sure, you might have some snacks in your campervan, but the Mudlick Mountain Grill has a lot more yummy options for you to choose from. And, it’s a great environment to sit down and enjoy a relaxing meal with the family. They are open from April to October, serving you breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Boating and Floating

Other fun river activities are floating and boating. You can choose to float down the river by renting either a raft, canoe, or kayak from the park store. The raft can seat up to six people, making it perfect if you brought the whole family along for the trip. You can find the boat launch ramp at Campground 1. If you would like something a little more challenging, you can take a kayak out onto Big Creek instead.

Swimming

If you find yourself parking your RV here in the summertime, you’ll want a fun way to cool off. And what better way is there to beat the heat than jumping into a cool river stream? You can choose to swim in the St. Francis River or Big Creek any time during the peak season. Just be sure to keep an eye on the kids at all times and stay safe as there are no lifeguards.

Off-Season

Picnicking

If you find yourself camping out in your big RV here during the off-season, you will find the restaurant closed. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find a lovely spot to sit and enjoy a meal. Around the day use area, you will find lots of picnic tables to choose from, all of them offering you nice shade. You can also reserve the bigger shelters for special events if you’d like.

Fishing

With the river and creek being located in this park, there are ample fishing opportunities here. Some fish that you might be able to catch include bass, sunfish, bluegill, and catfish. Fishing is a great way to relax while on vacation, so don’t forget to pack your fishing gear and license in the rig before heading over to Sam A. Baker State Park for a while. You can fish any time at any of the water access points.

Hiking

There’s so much to see when you visit Sam A. Baker State Park. Hike alongside the St. Francis River, or climb up the trails to find yourself overlooking beautiful and majestic mountain tops. The trails vary in difficulty, with some averaging only about one mile long, and others going on for over 10 miles. Many of the trails are also great for bicyclists and horseback riders. Just make sure you check if they’re allowed on certain trails before heading out.

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