Best Tent Camping: Missouri and the Ozarks
by Steve Henry (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Steve Henry/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
Although I am sure there are hundreds of other great sites in the Ozarks, this will certainly remain at the top of my list, at least as a tie. Bay Creek is a wonderful location off the beating path. It is an area that is the last step from car camping to trail camping. You can drive in to all 8 campsite locations and have plenty of room for a tent or three, campfire and a grill and not feel like you are camping in a parking lot.
Sites 1 - 6 are nice and have easy access to Bay Creek. This is where all the canoe trips launch from to go down creek to Jack's Fork River.
I hate to let this out, but sites 7 and 8 are where to go. ESPECIALLY site 7! With a HUGE area for camping it is separate from all of the other sites. It also is on the creek side (unlike site 8 which is also isolated) and has a small walkway to a nice size river rock beach and swimming access to the creek. I must have spent 10 hours in two days in that very spot. AWESOME.
There are vault bathrooms (no showers) at sites 1-6 and across the path from site 8. The one by 8 is very new so it is very clean.
I highly recommend Bay Creek and hope to go back there in a couple of weeks. Well worth the 4 hour drive from Memphis!
This was a great camp site very far from any main road, the only noises i heard besides the birds and crickets was the running water sound made by the creek, and the occasional airplane during the day. you can park right in camp and the creek is within short walking distance. there was a park ranger there every day to take the trash wich was great. very well kept, and not many people know about it besides the locals.
This campground is absolutely amazing! All the luxury and convenience of car camping, with the seclusion and beauty more commonly associated with backcountry sites. We camped at one of the secluded sites past the main campground and over the creek. Our experience could not have been more perfect. The site we stayed at was large, right next to the water, 1/4 mile from an outhouse, and 1/4 mile from the next cite. One day, we floated the Jack's Fork by canoe. Another day, we mountain biked through the logging roads and ATV trails that pass through the campground. While Bay Creek does not have drinking water or showers, its proximity to the enormous campgrounds like Alley Spring make the absence of these features hardly noticable. Bay Creek is also well maintained--each day, a park ranger collected our garbage.
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