Best Tent Camping: Missouri and the Ozarks
by Steve Henry (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Steve Henry/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
-UPDATE- The bridge on the north side of the campground is clear to drive over, but the campground is officially closed still. They have a contract for the landslide to be cleared. Should be done in late 2010. - Okay bad news. There was a landslide on the road to the CG, and it is closed now. There is actually another way to get to the CG, but a guy I talked to at one of the many falls along the road said that the Forrest Service blocked it. When he called up asking about the reconstruction they "kind of acted like there were more important things to do". I guess they have more on their plate than money allows. Another note the map shows Richland Creek more toward OK then what it is. It's about halfway from Russellville up Hwy 7 toward Jasper. To get there turn right onto 16 there is a sign on Hwy 7. Lots of little waterfalls easy for kids to get to, and with the proper gear you can just camp on the many spots on the side of the road. 4 out of 5 stars simply because the grounds were closed, but if I had the proper cooking setup I would have camped at some of the places near the side of the road. Still worth checking out the swimming holes.
I have been to Richland Creek numerous times and it never gets old. Plenty of great falls and such to see depending on water levels. Great swimming holes. I once rescued a stray mutt from the depths of Richland Creek Wilderness. I was tripping on acid at the time but I'm pretty sure it was a dog.
This campground is very nice, if you''re the type that likes to get away from it all. There are a few different ways to get here, all of them rough dirt roads. Still, most cars would probably not have a problem with the shortest route, which takes you right past one of the only waterfalls in Newton County visible from the road. There is no running water at the campground, except for the creek, of course! All of the campsites are quite large and spaced apart. There are trails at the back of every site that lead down to the creek, and the creek itself is perfect to walk down during the dry months. In fact, the best part of this campground is the hike out to Richland Falls and Twin Falls. We took to the creek bed for the hike out, which is something that would be impossible in higher waters. The giant boulders scattered thoughout the bed made it quite a challenge to navigate, but the scenery was worth every sore muscle. Richland Creek has some of the clearest water and most rugged, breathtaking scenery I''ve seen, and I''ve seen some beautiful places. If you happen to visit in wet months, be aware that you''ll have to ford a tributary at the beginning of the trip, and Richland Creek at a bend in the river to get to Twin Falls. On the way back from the falls, we found the trail on the right hand side of the creek right past the 90 degree turn and followed that back. We made much better time, although the going was still rough, as this is not a maintained trail, and in several spots where trees have fallen, the trail just goes up, up, and around. I suggest taking your time on this trip. Pack a lunch, or better yet, backpack out there and spend as much time as you can exploring this spectacular creek.
Keep Me Informed
Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.
We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.