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Camping at Wappapello Lake State Park (Missouri)

This camping trip marks the end of an era for my husband and me as it was our last trip in our teardrop camper. Our daughter and son-in-law had our first grandchild almost a year ago and since his birth, we knew we'd want to take him camping with us. That meant we'd need a camper that was a bit bigger so he could stay with us. We sold the trailer four days after listing it. We are truly going to miss our NuCamp T@G.  Some of the replacement campers we considered were a travel trailer, a campervan, and a Class B motorhome.

Wappapello Lake is located south of Saint Louis about 150 miles. The part of the Lake we camped at is called Ridge Campground and is part of the Missouri State Park system. It is located in the Mark Twain National Forest. Ridge Campground offers all hook-up camping plus rustic camper cabins. There are miles of trails, many boat ramps, beaches, and fishing.

We stayed on sites 15 and 16. We camped with our good friend, Steve, and we like to get sites either side-by-side or across the street from one another.  The sites were clean with large areas for setting up a tent or camper. Our sites had a small view of the lake. It was very shady. 

Historically, American Indians and pioneers farmed this land before it was made into a recreation area.  Shawnee, Cherokee, Osage, and Delaware American Indian tribes settled in this area. Legend says that the town of Wappapello was named for a friend Shawnee Chief. The first pioneer came to the area in 1802 and cut timber and farmed. In 1938 the Corps of Engineers began to construct a dam to control flooding of the St. Francis River which created Wappapello Lake. 

After setting up camp on Friday night, we relaxed and enjoyed our traditional charcuterie followed by Campfire Chili. We started the charcuterie tradition when we purchased our camper and followed it on every camping trip. We have tried some good wines over the years!

Saturday was our day to explore. The Annual 25-mile Community Yard Sale was the same weekend and it was fun to see all the sales set up.  We explored the Visitors Center which had much history surrounding the flooding that has happened around the St. Francis River, even after the construction of the dam. We visited the other campgrounds around the lake. We had lunch in Wappapello at a restaurant called Crabb and Co which was excellent. 

Sunday was another day to explore, but this time we looked at beaches, boat ramps, the dam, and more campsites. I love getting to know an area well while we are there. We will definitely be back to camp again.  Our plan is to stay at Peoples Creek, Redman Creek or Rockwood Point. Just think, we will be in a new to us camper the next time you see us camping!

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