This Midwest State Park Is A Riverside Paradise With Great Camping Spots

America's spectacular state park system is wonderful. Vast areas of this beautiful country are preserved and set aside for our use. According to Outside, there are 6,972 state parks in the country, and over 50 exist in Missouri (via America's State Parks). While it's fantastic that there are so many options, many of Missouri's more popular state parks can get a bit crowded. Campsite reservations fill up quickly, and you and your family may be out of luck. 

However, there is one in particular that is a lovely place to visit, with camping, fishing, swimming, hiking, and biking opportunities. This wonderful place is Cuivre River State Park in northern Missouri, near the city of Troy. It's also about an hour's drive from St. Louis, which has many fun and budget-friendly things to do. This park is one of the largest in the state, complete with a lake and even a small museum in the park office.

The site for the park was purchased for public use in 1934 and became an official state park in 1946. While the main Cuivre River touches the southwestern side of the park for a mile, the water that flows through it is a tributary of the Cuivre River called Big Sugar Creek. Plus, there is Lincoln Lake to fish in. Let's look at what you need to know about visiting this wonderful park and all the options you have for camping. 

Things to do in Cuivre River State Park

If you visit in the spring, you'll be greeted by gorgeous flowering dogwood trees. In the fall, the changing colors of the leaves on the hardwoods are incredible. You'll find six picnic areas in the park and two picnic shelters. Plenty of stores are in nearby Troy where you can grab picnic supplies for the day. If hiking is your thing, there are nine trails to take, some of which are also used by equestrians. If you love biking, there are 38 miles of bike and multi-use trails, including the moderate 6-mile loop called Lone Spring Trail and the more challenging Sugar Creek Trail, which is 9 miles long. Bikes are not rented in the park, so bring your own.

If you love to fish, the 55-acre Lake Lincoln is your spot. You can fish here from several zones with a license, and the lake is home to largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegill. Boats must have electric trolling motors, but there are no launch fees. If you'd prefer to swim, an area is set aside for it, complete with a changing house. Dogs can't swim with you, unfortunately. 

If you're a birder, the park has 150 confirmed species. These include the Bald Eagle, Eastern Screech-Owl, Great Horned Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flicker, Tennessee Warbler, Green-winged Teal, and more. The entire list can be found on the Missouri Birding Society.

Camping at Cuivre River State Park

Camping is where Cuivre River State Park shines, and we've got all the information to help you determine which campsite is best for you. There are certainly a lot of types to choose from. Three organized group campsites are available if you're going with many people or looking to bring a scouting troop. There are also family campsites with two camping pads, two tables, two grills, and two lantern posts for those coming with loved ones. The family sites with utilities have two hookups. 

One cool type of site is the platform campsite. They're 11 x 5, and #48 is accessible to those with disabilities. The canvas tents are on a raised platform, sleeping four to six people. However, there is no electricity, water, or sewer. Tents are also unavailable during the off-season (November 1 through April 14), but you can bring your own. Pets are not permitted at these sites, but there are equestrian zones, though you must have a horse with you. 

Some campsites have electric hookups, and others have electric, sewer, and water hookups. During the season, you can grab ice and firewood during station hours, and in the off-season, you can buy firewood at the campground host or park office. There is also a water spigot (frost-free) near site #69, so you won't have to lug it all in. You can make reservations up to a year in advance here