Step Outside - Missouri WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 Step Outside - Missouri 144 144 Thu, 25 Apr 2019 21:09:28 -0500 5 Awesome RV Campsites in Missouri Whether you are out for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, an RV allows you the chance to take a road trip without the hotel. However, you still need a place to park for the night with hookups for electricity and water. If you are traveling in Missouri, there are several parks and campsites that cater to RVs and even provide other amenities that can make your stay even better. Here are some awesome places to stay when traveling through the state. 

Located just outside of St. Louis, Pin Oak Creek RV Park has what you are looking for. This site has full hook-up for all your needs, plus premium sites with bigger areas to enjoy picnic tables and larger fire pits. Along with their campsite, this park has a camp store, DVD rentals, an on-site laundry room, and clean restrooms with showers for guests to use. If you are looking for entertainment, you can either travel about 30 minutes from camp and explore St. Louis or you can stay on site and enjoy activities hosted by the park. Whether you are looking for a place to stop and relax for a weekend or a place to sleep while passing through Missouri, check out this site for all your RV needs. For more information on rates and directions to the park, visit their website.

For a quiet and peaceful place to stay, try St. Peters’ 370 Lakeside Park with a 140-acre lake just minutes away from shopping and restaurants. With 50 full-service RV sites, this park has the space you will need for your stay. Plus, you will have access to picnic tables, fire rings, and free Wi-Fi to use. If you are looking for something to do, they have a 4.5-mile pedestrian/bike trail around the lake or you can take a boat out on the water during the day. The park offers watercraft and bicycles for rent to guests for a fee. You can also enjoy the St. Peters Rec-Plex that has an indoor pool, gym, and ice skating rink and only pay what residents do to use the facilities. Check out their website for more information on rates and directions to the park. 

Located right off I-35 in northern Missouri, Eagle Ridge RV Park is a great place to stop on your travels. Along with the needed hookups, the park offers an in-ground swimming pool to enjoy and hiking trails to explore during your stay. If you are looking for a place to fish, they even have a four-acre pond you can fish in, either on their dock or on a paddle boat. They are also pet friendly and have a plenty of open area for them to explore. Check out their website for more information on rates and directions. 

Offering visitors a scenic and tranquil getaway, Big Creek RV Park is a great spot to camp during your travels in Missouri. Located in the southeastern part of the state, this campsite has full hookups, free Wi-Fi, and even cable TV for those looking to keep up with their favorite sports team or TV show. If you want to get out and stretch your legs, the park offers walking trails and a creek for fishing. They also have a volleyball area, free use of outdoor games, and a playground for kids. If you are looking for other activities, you can take a float trip, go horseback riding, or even do some shopping less than an hour from the campsite. Visit their website for more information on their rates and the other attractions close to the park. 

Located just three miles north of St. Joseph, AOK Campground and RV Park provides guests with all the needed amenities and then some, with a pool and recreational areas to use. If you enjoy fishing, they have a fully-stocked lake on the campgrounds that guests can enjoy all throughout the day. For other activities, you can visit St. Joseph and explore the local museums, the Remington Nature Center, or take in a show at the Missouri Theater. The serene atmosphere and beauty of the park will give you the opportunity to relax on your next vacation through Missouri. Be sure to check out their website for more information on rates and directions to the campsite. 

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Best Winter Weekend Getaway at Weldon Spring Conservation Area Just west of St. Louis, along the banks of the Mighty Mo, you’ll find Weldon Spring Conservation Area, as well as Howell Island Conservation Area on the opposite shore. Between them, these gorgeous natural areas are the perfect setting for a winter getaway. Pack up your gear and enjoy a retreat to the stunning Weldon Spring Conservation Area in Missouri. 

Boat-in camping is permitted along the Missouri River at the Weldon Spring Conservation Area, but only between April 1 and September 30. Winter campers can head a couple miles across the river to the year-round campground at Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial Park. Although amenities are limited during the winter months, potable water is available year-round from a frost-free spigot in the campground.

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When you’re staying out in the cold, a belly full of hot food can help to keep you feeling warm and braced for all the activities your weekend holds. Head just a few minutes north of Weldon Spring Conservation Area, in Dardenne Prairie, to His & Hers BBQ. You will be full and satifised. 

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The Hamburg Hiking and Biking Trail cuts across the Weldon Spring Conservation Area. Start at the Osage Creek trailhead and parking lot and head northeast, tracking the edge of the ridge above the Missouri River and Femme Osage Slough. The trail doesn’t loop, so plan accordingly for this out-and-back hike in the snow.

Although not usually thought of as a ski destination, Missouri does offer some in-state options for powder fiends. Just a few minutes southeast of Weldon Springs, in Wildwood, you’ll find Hidden Valley ski area. Two terrain parks and 17 trails spread across 65 scalable acres—with more than 300 feet of vertical—will keep you shredding all weekend long.

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There are several fishing options within Weldon Spring Conservation Area, including the Missouri River, itself, as well as several ponds and creeks. You can expect to catch catfish, black bass, white bass, sunfish and/or crappie in the conservation area’s waters. All state fishing regulations apply in the area. Head over to All In Bait and Tackle ( in St. Charles if you need bait, gear or a little advice.

Both Weldon Spring and Howell Island Conservation Areas are open to hunting during the posted seasons. The game species available are deer, turkey, dove, rabbit, and squirrel. Check with the Department of Conservation for the most up-to-date regulations on species, seasons or bag limits. Appropriate tags and licenses are required.

In winter, when snow covers the Katy Trail, it’s the perfect path for cross-country skiers to get out and stretch their legs. The trail, which extends across most of the state, follows the Missouri River Valley into and through the Weldon Spring Conservation Area, so you can ski ‘til your heart’s content.

Located within the larger conservation area is the Weldon Spring Hollow Natural Area—almost 400 acres of pristine upland and bottomland forests, along with limestone bluffs and escarpments. The Lewis Hiking Trail system is the best way to explore Weldon Spring Hollow. The trail system forms several loops, so you can hike as much or as little as you choose. 

Weldon Spring Conservation Area’s Lost Valley Hiking and Biking Trail is an awesome place to get your fat tires snowy (or muddy, as the case may be) while you’re in the area. Like other trails at Weldon Spring, there are several interconnected loops that allow you to explore the natural areas at your own pace and for as much time as you like. 

After all that outdoor activity, you’re bound to be hungry. Haul yourself into the Brass Rail in O’Fallon, just a few minutes from Weldon Spring Conservation Area. This casual steakhouse offers delicious, scratch-made food in comfortable, low-key atmosphere—just what you need after all that fresh air.

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10 Best Ice Skating Rinks in Missouri When winter arrives in the Midwest, we don’t hunker down—we get out and enjoy all that the season has to offer, with ice skating being among the best activities to enjoy. But in many places in Missouri, you don’t have to wait for winter to speed across the ice! Indoor or out, these are our favorite ice skating rinks in the state. 

Steinberg Skating Rink in St. Louis is the biggest outdoor skating rink in the Midwest. They are open daily throughout skating season, even on holidays, and are always open to the public. Warm up or fill up at the Snowflake Café, which offers snacks, hot cocoa, wine, and beer.

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You can hit the ice year-round in Springfield. Mediacom Ice Park is an indoor facility where you can join a hockey league, take lessons, figure skate, or simply enjoy skating around the ice during public skate times. It’s also available to rent for parties or events.

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In Clayton, Shaw Park Ice Rink offers skating in a lovely outdoor setting. The rink opens the day after Thanksgiving, if the weather cooperates. In addition to public skating, there are also dedicated “Stick and Puck” times when you can practice your hockey skills. 

Lindenwood University Ice Arena in Wentzville is a hockey-centric indoor arena. Home to the Lindenwood Lions men’s and women’s hockey teams, the arena also offers open public skating, as well as “Learn to Play” sessions if you’re interested in learning the finer points of ice hockey.


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Ice Zone is the official practice ice of the St. Louis Blues NHL franchise. But you can skate there, too. This NHL-size indoor arena offers public skating, broomball, ice hockey, and figure skating. You can also rent the ice and/or one of their party rooms for an event.

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The Ice Arena at the Kirkwood Recreation Station is a year-round, indoor ice facility. The arena is open to the public for skating, skating lessons, and other public activities, like organized youth hockey, “Stick and Puck” sessions, and even speed skating. Skate rentals are available, too.

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*meet up to go ice skating* *wears the same thing* ~it’s fine~

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Whether you’re going for a public skating session, pond hockey, or the annual youth Christmas Winter Classic hockey tournament, you’ll be happy on the outdoor ice at the Rink at Burlington Creek. Skating lessons and rentals for private or group events are also available at the Rink.

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An indoor public rink in St. Louis County, the Greensfelder Recreation Complex is open from October through the end of February. The rink hosts public skating, ice skating lessons, and a variety of special events like skate camps and other youth programs.


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Folks in the Independence area are fortunate to live near Centerpoint Medical Center Community Ice, a top-tier indoor ice facility. From public skating and skating lessons to figure skating and hockey for all ages, the arena has something to offer just about any ice skater. 

For almost half a century, Crown Center Ice Terrace has kept skaters happy during the dark winter months. The Ice Terrace is the only public outdoor skating rink in Kansas City. In addition to public skating and special events, lessons are available at the rink.

Guess what happened next?!!?! #ChompKC

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7 Best Cross-Country Skiing Spots in Missouri Winter doesn’t mean that you can’t get out and enjoy Missouri’s many awesome trails. In fact, in the places that get regular snowfall, you can do it entirely differently: Slap on some boots and skis and hit the trails Nordic style! These are our favorite places for cross country skiing in Missouri.

All but two of the St. Louis County parks are open to cross-country skiing, and some even have occasional programs, lessons, and equipment rentals. Greensfelder County Park is a great place for Nordic skiers of any level. The park’s 1,700 acres is home to miles and miles of trails of varying lengths and difficulty.

The same things that make Cuivre River State Park a hiking and equestrian paradise also make it awesome for cross-country skiing when there’s sufficient snow cover. A good mix of trails, from long and easy grassland paths to trails that skier should just outright avoid, you should find one that you like at Cuivre River.

In Northwest Missouri, Nordic skiers will enjoy the Urban Trail System in St. Joseph. Skiers may have to share this 13-mile multi-use, paved trail with bikers, but they’ll definitely enjoy the ups and downs. Some parts of the trail can be rather steep, but you’ll get your payoff on the downhill side.

Crowder State Park contains more than 1,900 acres of rolling hills, as well as rugged forest. Over 17 miles of trails criss-cross the park, offering cross country skiers plenty of terrain to explore. The North Loop, particularly, offers level, forested bottomland that’s perfect for skiing when there’s snow cover.

Intrepid skiers looking to break their own trails should head over to Rebel’s Cove Conservation area. While the area has no designated trails, about 1,500 acres of the area is grassland, crop land, or field, meaning that you can ski until your heart’s content—or your legs give out.

If you’d like a chance for some awesome wildlife viewing while cross country skiing, Lone Elk Park may be the place for you. The trail is a loop that circles a small lake. A resident herd of elk, along with deer, wild turkeys, and other creatures make this park home. Be careful around the elk—park visitors who’ve approached too closely have been gored.

Bilby Lake Conservation Area is another spot that affords skiers the opportunity to schuss across broad, open territory. There are no designated trails here, but more than 4,500 acres of field and grassland means that you will have plenty of room to ski. Just remember where you parked! 

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5 Cool Spots for ATV Off-Roading in Missouri Missouri’s diverse landscape allows for some seriously fun off-roading experiences. Whether you’re rushing through lush forests and ripping across open expanses of land, you’ll find something to suit your taste in the Show-Me State. Here are five great areas for ATV off-roading in Missouri! 

Come take a ride in this national forest filled with different types of landscapes, offering both desert and forest terrain. Watch out for a variety of wildlife that includes bald eagles and white-tailed deer. With steep slopes and secluded pastures, you get a feeling of solitude and tranquility. There are nearly 80 miles of multi-use trails that will keep you busy riding all weekend long. If you need a place to rest, there are three areas close to the trails to park your RV or pitch a tent.  

Located in Lewis County, this park is filled with wild trails and the unique scenery of Northeast Missouri. With 20 miles of ATV trails, there is plenty of mud and dirt to get messy all day long. Through the 680 acres of land, you can drive through timber, fields, and mud bogs. The owner, Don Grimwood, is best known for using his construction background to create multiple bridges to make the trails better for riders. If you need a place to stay, he has also built cabins and added RV hookups to the park. After a hard day’s ride, you can enjoy a beach with a hammock on the property as well. 

Located in Southwest Missouri, this ranch is home to 55 miles of trails for you and your ATV to explore. Whether you want to go fast or want a vertical challenge, there is terrain for every rider. If you aren’t ready for the trails or just want some practice, try out the park’s gravel pit and play area. With multiple cabins and a bathroom/shower house, you can enjoy the weekend here with your friends or family.

Located less than 15 miles away from Columbia, Missouri, this park provides an open riding area with wooden landscape, a number of lakes, and mounds created by coal mining back in the 1960s. The 5.25-mile trail runs through dirt, mud, rocks, and steep inclines that riders will want to be careful of as Mother Nature can cause some hazardous conditions as times. If you are looking for a place to camp for the night, the park has several basic and electrical campsites for guests to reserve.

About an hour south of St. Louis, St. Joe State Park is home to the second off-road trail in the state park system. With 54 miles of premium trails, this park is well-known for the sandflats and challenging trails in the woods. Enjoy driving through mud, dirt, and gravel as you take your ATV through the lush woodlands. If you are planning on staying the weekend or longer, make a reservation for a spot at their campground for either basic or electric access areas. They also have family sites for those who need some extra room for everyone.

Throwback to this accident πŸ˜‚πŸ‘Œ

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*Note: Age restrictions, special licenses, and other requirements for off highway vehicles vary from state to state. Before heading out on your OHV, please consult your local regulations.

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5 Stunning Foliage Hikes in Missouri If you’re in search of a hike with canopies of color so magnificent they’ll take your breath away, look no further. Missouri’s many state parks and winding trails are home to hikes with fall foliage so stunning it is comparable to a work of art. Here are our favorites. 

Ha Ha Tonka is where nature and history come together to create one state park that should not be missed. Ha Ha Tonka State Park features a series of trails and boardwalks that make it easy for visitors to experience this historic and geologic wonderland. In addition to the wooded areas and open rocky glades, you’re sure to enjoy the ruins of the turn-of-the-century stone castle, the huge natural bridge, and Missouri’s 12th largest spring.

The upland forest area of Meramec State Park features mature and old second growth trees that cover the hills above the Meramec River. Hikers are treated to stunning foliage from the canopies of a variety of oak and hickory trees as well as flowering dogwood and serviceberry. As you hike over these breathtaking hills, be aware that a network of underground passageways and caves is right under your feet.

You’ll love the stunning canopies provided by the upland and bottomland forests as this trail passes through Spring Hollow. Located near Windyville, Missouri, this 7.5-mile round trip trail takes hikers through creek beds, meadows, and wooded hills to a unique natural tunnel that is about 15-feet wide and 300-feet long. Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel Trail, lightly trafficked and rated as moderate, is best used from October to December.

This stunning spot is part of Missouri’s only National Scenic Byway. The 23-mile Glade Top Trail travels through narrow ridge tops above the beautiful rolling countryside that surrounds it. This area is characterized by wild fruit trees, as well as oak trees, red cedar, dogwood, redbud, and serviceberry.

The Grindstone Nature Area near Columbia, Missouri, features multiple informal trails that allow visitors to hike over most of its 230 acres. In addition to the stunning foliage, hikers also enjoy native prairie grasses, sheer limestone cliffs, wildlife, and magnificent landforms.  

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5 Best Fishing Spots in Missouri Whether you’re looking to hook walleye and bass or reel in a big catfish, Missouri has a wealth of opportunities for anglers. The state’s vast lakes, reservoirs, and ponds provide the fisherman with a place to relax and wait for that big catch. Local anglers may not want to share where their treasured fishing spots are, but you can take our word for it. Here are the best fishing spots in the state. 

If you have your tackle and line ready to go, then visit this state park for the best fishing around. With bass, crappie, catfish, walleye, and muskie, the lake is filled with something for everyone. Fishing is allowed anywhere along the waterway or you can enjoy yourself at the fishing pier located in the Pittsburg area of the park. If you need some more bait or just a cool drink, stop by the park store. For extended stays, the park offers around 240 campsites that offer both basic and electrical with water sites.

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For those who enjoy nature, this spot allows for just that. With some bait and a chair, you can try your skills at catching a variety of fish including, bluegill, channel catfish, and largemouth bass. If one spot is not working for you, then there are several ponds and lakes to try in the area. When you are done for the day, there are several places to stay in Lee’s Summit or you can head up to Kansas City for more options.  

Forest Lake, located in Thousand Hills State Park, provides for a great spot for anglers of all ages. Here you have the chance to catch largemouth bass, walleye, channel catfish, and crappie. Don’t forget to bring plenty of bait as you enjoy hanging out with your best fishing buddy on the shore or out on the lake. If you are planning on staying the night, there are both basic and electric campsites to reserve. However, if you don’t want to camp, you can stay in one of the three hotels located just seven miles away in Kirksville, Missouri.  

Catfish Catcher!

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Fleming Park covers over 7,800 acres of recreational area and is home to Blue Springs Lake, Lake Jacomo and several different fishing ponds. With several different types of fish from flathead catfish to hybrid striped bass in this area, you have the chance to catch something during the day. Also, there is a fishing dock dedicated to those with disabilities, which allows everyone to enjoy this sport. Now, if you want to fish on the water, then you can launch from the boat dock. With the location of this park, there are no campsites available but there are many hotels and motels off site to accommodate everyone. 

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With a fish cleaning station, Lake Showme is set to let you come and try to catch some bass, sunfish, or even catfish. Located in Northeast Missouri, this lake has a boat ramp, restrooms, fishing docks and basic camp grounds for everyone to enjoy. Bring lunch and try to catch your dinner, while relaxing in the great outdoors. If you need a place to stay, besides the lake area, then you can find a hotel or motel in Memphis, Missouri located just four miles away. 

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5 Perfect Fall Camping Spots in Missouri Fall camping in the Show Me State provides great opportunity for leaf peeping, cozy fires, and the fresh crisp air in your lungs as you hike through the foliage. Does it get any better than that? No matter your camping needs, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for right here in beautiful Missouri. Here are five perfect fall camping spots. 

Located in the St. Francois Mountains, this park is a beautiful and solitary spot to experience the Missouri outdoors. Although the campground here is smaller than some other spots in Missouri, it is great for fall camping due to the picture-perfect views of the surrounding countryside. Taum Sauk Mountain State Park offers 12 basic, walk-in campsites that allow for tent camping only. Pop-up and other trailers are not allowed.

Washington State Park near De Soto, Missouri, is well-known for its incredible views of the Ozarks and prehistoric rock carvings, making it a perfect place for fall camping. Washington State Park offers basic and electric campsites as well as a family campsite for those who need a little extra room. With two playgrounds and an amphitheater located in the campground area, this park also provides campers with a little fun.

This great park is located not too far from Kansas City. Featuring incredible views of the Missouri River, Weston Bend State Park is a perfect spot to camp during the fall season. Weston Bend offers basic and electric campsites, as well as larger campsites for families needing more space. No matter the size of the group, campers can also enjoy the many picnic sites that are scattered throughout Weston Bend State Park.

Thousand Hills State Park features two campgrounds that offer basic and electric sites. At the center of this state park is Forest Lake, which offers boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities. Campers young and old enjoy the interpretive petroglyph shelter here, as well as the wildlife and hiking trails. If camping in a cabin is more your style, check out one of the seven duplex cabins featured here at Thousand Hills State Park.

Situated an hour outside of Kansas City, Wallace State Park features a six-acre lake and four beautiful, scenic trails. The campsites here are family-oriented with walk-in sites, electric, and basic sites. During the fall, the lake is surrounded by stunning foliage. 

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10 Best Archery Outfitters in Missouri From densely-forested preserves to indoor ranges with 3D targets, the sport of archery flourishes in Missouri. And every good archer knows that having the correct equipment is imperative. So, whether you need quivers and broadheads or a new bow and targets, these 10 excellent archery outfitters will give you exactly what you need. 

Folks in the Kansas City area can find bows, arrows, tips, strings, sights, and all the other archery gear they need at BB Archery Sales. With more than 30 years in the business, BB Archery excels in helping archers get the right equipment and making sure it’s sized right. They also offer service and repairs.

Oak Grove Archery is a family-run shop that carries just about anything archery. As one customer puts it, “Best bow shop in Missouri. No matter what you need to make an arrow fly, these guys have it.” The shop can also provide top-notch repair and service for your gear.

The shop is called Bowfreaks—need we say more? A dealer for many top brands, including Hoyt and Mathews, Bowfreaks Archery is a full-service shop that carries all the gear you’ll need, and can fix or tune it, to boot. They also have a range on premises. 

The Bow Shop will not only sell you a bow and all the equipment you need to get started, they’ll teach you how to use it. The shop has an indoor range, as well as a video range. In addition to sales, they also service all compound bows and crossbows. The Bow Shop can even help you out with taxidermy.


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Outback Archery of Joplin is a dealer for Bowtech, along with many other top archery brands. They sell bows and all the accessories you’ll need to get out into the field or onto one of their ranges. They have an eight-lane indoor range, as well as a TechnoHunt system, that you can even rent out for events. 

Archery Excellence has 40 lanes of archery range available for shooting. They also offer archery lessons for all levels, camps, and programs, as well as gear sales and rental. The Archery Excellence pro shop is fully-stocked with supplies and accessories and can help you with bow tuning, as well.

Doing what we love ! #bowtech #teamextra #πŸ’™πŸ’š

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Hideaway Archery has come a long way. What began as the founder’s hobby has turned into a full-service archery shop that carries multiple top brands. The shop also has both indoor and outdoor ranges, can offer bow tuning and gear repair, and even help you with custom bow set ups.

Balance game strong. πŸ‘πŸΌ

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With more than a quarter century in the business, Lucas Archery knows what they’re doing. They carry top archery brands and offer individual lessons to archers of all skill levels. The shop also has one of the area’s largest indoor ranges, where they host fall and winter leagues.

Traditional archers in Missouri will appreciate the selection of bows, shafts, and broadheads at Braveheart Archery. In addition, the shop sells strings and accessories, including quivers arrow-making supplies for those who take the “traditional” part of traditional archery quite seriously.

James River Archery, located in Springfield, is a full-service archery shop that carries a complete line of bows, arrows, sights, strings, and other accessories. The shop also has an indoor archery practice range and offers repair and tuning for bows and other gear.

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10 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in Missouri Between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and all the awesome angling in the Ozarks, the Show Me State is fishing paradise. But those fish aren’t going to catch themselves—you need the right gear and enticements. These are our favorites spots to get bait, tackle, and fish stories in Missouri.

The bait shop at Ozark Thunder Marine, OTM Bait & Tackle, is no afterthought. It’s a full-line shop with all you need to hit the lakes and rivers of southwest Missouri. They have an extensive selection of live and frozen baits, as well as rods, reels, lures, and tackle.

Whether you drop a line in Timber Line Lake or head over to the Harry S Truman Reservoir, you’ll find all the bait and supplies you’ll need at Bakers Bait & Tackle in Lincoln. The shop has a great inventory of gear, and the staff is extremely knowledgeable. They’ll get you what you need and put you on the fish.

CB Stoney’s Bait & Tackle carries an awesome selection of live and frozen bait. Whether you’re looking for minnows or chicken livers, this shop is sure to have them. More than live bait, CB Stoney’s also has a good selection of tackle, including hooks, soft baits, and lures.

If you fish the Meramec or the Missouri, or maybe head east to the Mississippi, be sure to stop by Eddy Boys Bait & Tackle in St. Clair to get the gear you’re going to need. Deep knowledge and excellent customer service keep anglers coming back to this bait shop.

Not matter what they’re angling for—bass or walleye, crappie or catfish—anglers have relied on Bud and Gloria’s Bait and Tackle to hook them up with bait and gear since 1962. They have a super selection of everything from live bait to lures, rods, reels, and all things in between.

Folks fixin’ to fish Bull Shoals Lake have to stop in to Mom & Pop’s Bait & Beverage in Ava for, well… bait, some beverages, and whole lot of local fishing knowledge. They carry a wide array of live and artificial bait, along with just about any other tackle you may need.

Between the nearby Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and Lake St. Louis, there’s a lot of fishing to be done in the O’Fallon area. You can get everything you need to do it right at Bullseye Bait & Tackle. Whether you need a tough rod that can take a flathead or something with light action for scrappy crappies, you’ll find it at Bullseye.

Before grabbing your rod and heading for the Mighty Mo, stop by 224 Bait Shop to gear up. They’ve got all sorts of live bait on the menu, from shad to shiners, skipjack to crickets. The shop also carries rods, reels, line, lures, and good assortment of other tackle.

For nearly 40 years, Forty Woods has kept Blue Springs anglers in bait and tackle. If you’re fishing Lake Jacoma or heading up to the Missouri River, Forty Woods Bait and Tackle can get you the live bait, lures, or line that you’re looking for. How serious about bait are they? Email them at “” and find out.

(a)Lure(ing) earrings?

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Anglers hitting the water on Smithville Lake can find all the supplies, gear, and bait that they’ll need at Burton’s Bait & Tackle. Not only will you find the tackle you need, they’ll happily offer you a fishing report and tell you what the bass are eating. You can get “fishing lies and tall tales” there, too.

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7 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in Missouri Missouri is a state that’s blessed with big rivers, many lakes and scenic mountain beauty. Add to this several fantastic cities and you get a recipe for all sorts of autumn adventure. When the days get a little shorter and the leaves change their colors, you can find plenty of things to do in the Show Me State. These are our favorite fall activities in Missouri.

Some of the largest brown trout ever caught—in the world—have come out of the White River in the Ozarks region of Missouri. And fall, when the water is cooling and the browns are spawning, is one of the best times to chase them. As fun is it is to hook a big brown in anyway, there’s nothing quite like catching one on the fly. Fly Fishing the Ozarks can help put you on your trophy fish.

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Folks in the Kansas City area can soak in the full flavor of fall with one of the many fantastic hikes at the Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area. Take the Bethany Falls trail for a winding walk through the forests and among limestone outcrops. The area’s other five trails include one that is accessible for everyone. Don’t leave Blue Springs without grabbing some barbecue at Zarda

The Katy Trail is a former railroad bed that has been converted into one of the country’s premier long-distance biking trails. Start in Boonville and enjoy all that the awesomeness of autumn along the bluffs above the Missouri River valley. You can bike all the way to St. Charles, if you’re so inclined. Inn-to-inn biking is another popular way enjoy the trail. Look up Champion Bikes in Boonville to get you set up with gear and a rental.

Hop aboard the Showboat Branson Belle for a gorgeous cruise on Table Rock Lake. You’ll see all the splendor of autumn in the Ozarks from the decks of an authentic 1800s river boat. While on board, you’ll also be treated to dinner, as well as one of the showboat’s renowned performances.

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You will find more than 20 miles of single-track with climbs, downhills, and challenges for all levels of riders at Truman Lake Mountain Bike Park. Fall is an awesome time to hit the most tree-lined sections of the trail and enjoy riding beneath the autumn canopy. Champion Bicycles in Sedalia is the nearest dedicated bike shop, with gear, repairs and rentals. 

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In late October, you can hit the road for a good cause at the annual Harvest Hootenanny. You can choose to run the 5K route, or you can bring a bike and cycle an extra 15 miles to make it a duathlon. The course runs near Lake Lou Yeager, across from the Shoal Creek Nature Conservation Area, so the colors are always stunning. After your run (and bike), refuel at the Ariston Café, on the former Route 66 in Litchfield.

The treelined James River Water Trail is a gorgeous way to explore fall in Missouri’s Ozarks. Grab a boat and float or fish the placid flat water of the James River, soaking in the fall colors and the wildlife along the river banks. Hootontown Canoe Rental and Store offers late-season rentals of canoes and kayaks.

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Paddling Pickle Rick... Back from Tuva, Russia... Taking on the Ozarks. Lol

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Best Places to Fish in the Midwest This Fall Walleyes and a variety of salmon are on the autumn menu in the Midwest as anglers have a last chance to fish open water before the winter freeze starts to set in. Fishing for either species can be excellent; how the weather and the water temperatures line up are more critical where salmon are concerned, but the fall run extends well into November.

Walleyes aren’t so picky, and all the traditional waters such as the Mississippi River, Big Saint Germain Lake in Wisconsin, Otter Tail Lake in Minnesota and Great Lakes feeder streams give up tons of  ’eyes in the fall.

One Last Salmon Fling

The big attraction nowadays is king (chinook) salmon that make their fall spawning runs up rivers and creeks. Whether fishing from a small boat or a Great Lakes charter boat, latching on to a 20- or 30-pound king can quickly warm up an otherwise chilly fall day.

Hot Spots To Fish: Michigan’s Grand River, which empties into the eastern side of Michigan, is a prime destination for salmon. Getting Bit Guide Service (616-570-2946, in Grand Rapids is a good starting point. In fact, any port of call along Lake Michigan on either the east or west sides is likely to have plenty of knowledgeable salmon guides or charters. Fishing from jetties or piers – such as the famed McKinley Pier in Milwaukee – is also productive during the fall salmon runs.

In northwestern New York, the Salmon River lives up to its name through mid-October, but the run might linger into November in the Lake Ontario feeder, depending on the weather. Coho and steelheads also are in the mix too.

The Yankee Angler (315-963-2065, in Pulaski, N.Y. keeps tabs on the fishing. In the big waters of Lake Ontario’s southern shore at Rochester, N.Y., give Reel Em In Sportfishing Charters (585-317-5325, a call.

Farther to the northwest, the waters and feeders of Lake Superior near Sault Ste. Marie are teeming with big salmon. One of the benefits here is that you can always slip in to the St. Mary’s River System to get away from those rough autumn nor’ westers. Live To Fish Charters (906-440-7797) can help make it happen.

New York rivers and inshore waters are teeming with big salmon in the fall.

Tackle You’ll Need: Salmon tackle and striped bass tackle (see above) are practically interchangeable. Fish might range from a few pounds to well over 20 pounds, and rods and reels should be in the medium- to-heavy range. A light- to-medium spinning outfit capable of holding a couple of hundred yards of 10- to 14-pound-test monofilament or 30- to 50-pound-test braid should do for most applications, especially when casting lures. Try the Okuma Epixor XT-20 with a matching rod.

Quick Tip: Just to hedge your bets, tie a foot-long section of 2x mono to your streamer hook and add a beadhead Prince nymph or similar pattern to the other end. When salmon are finicky, they might flash at a streamer, but not take it. Sometimes, a smaller mouthful such as a nymph trailer will seal the deal.


Best Lures/Bait: For the most part, spawn-run salmon hit spoons, crankbaits or roe bags out of reaction rather than hunger. Shiny lures, such as the Luhr-Jensen Twinky Rig behind a flasher, the Acme Kastmaster Spoon and a variety of soft-plastic swimbaits or hard crankbaits, will elicit strikes. Fly fishermen favor Dahlberg Divers, Wooly Buggers, Hex Nymphs and Glo Bugs.

Find the best fishing spots near you:

Find the best bait and tackle shops near you:

Walleyes Are Hungry and Willing

In similar fashion to bass, walleyes follow baitfish from the bigger lakes to feeder creeks and rivers with current.

Hot Spots To Fish: The Van Hook Arm of Lake Sakakawea (701-421-0360, in North Dakota is a prime walleye destination, as is Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago (920-598-0586,

Tackle You’ll Need: Power fishing it’s not. Though walleyes might fatten up to well over 10 pounds, 2- to 4-pound fish are more the rule. Depending on the average size of the fish, 4- to 10-pound-test monofilament or fluorocarbon will do.

For spinning enthusiasts, the Quantum Vapor PT with matching rod will work. If you prefer trolling to casting, or bouncing a weight and natural bait on the bottom, try a baitcasting outfit such as a Fenwick/Pflueger Night Hawk or Iron Hawk combo.

Quick tip: Trolling at night with diving jerkbaits, such as the Storm Original ThunderStick or Lucky Craft Pointer 110, is a great way to catch walleyes. Troll in patterns from deep to shallow and back again, as the fish tend to relocate up and down drop-offs and channel runs depending on bait movement.


Best Lures/Bait: Leeches, nightcrawlers, minnows and everything from crankbaits to spinners will find favor with hungry fall walleyes. Top picks include: Rapala’s Shad Rap, Berkley’s Flicker Shad, Mepps’ Black Fury, Rapala’s Husky Jerk and Northland Fishing Tackle’s Forage Minnow Jigging Spoon.

Photograph Courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources Walleyes weighing more than 10 pounds apiece are routinely caught in the fall, but most fish are "good eating size," averaging about 3 pounds. Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Gorgeous Beach Campsites in Missouri If you’re going camping, why not enhance the experience by doing it on a lakefront spot? Camping by the water not only provides awe-inspiring views, but ample opportunity for water recreation such as swimming, kayaking, and boating. Make your reservations at these five excellent beach campsites in Missouri. 

Pomme de Terre Lake is located where Lindley Creek and the Pomme de Terre River merge in southwest Missouri. Pomme de Terre State Park offers campgrounds in both the Pittsburg and Hermitage areas of the park. Both campgrounds feature a variety of amenities and family campsites for campers who need a little extra space. The Pittsburg campground area features a full-service marina, beach, picnic area, and trails. The Hermitage area features amenities that include a large beach, picnic area, and trails.

Part of the Mark Twain National Forest, Loggers Lake Campground was constructed in 1942. For people who love to fish, this is your spot. The spring-fed lake is maintained as a fishery and boats with electric motors are the only ones permitted—so it will be a quiet, relaxing experience. Other amenities include great hiking areas, kayak rentals, and prime star gazing. 

With a campground, camper cabins, day-use area, and access to Big Lake, this 407-acre state park offers endless amenities for an unforgettable getaway. Big Lake, popular for boating and fishing, is the largest remaining oxbow lake in Missouri. While camping here, you’ll enjoy the wetland bird species and migratory waterfowl that are supported by the shallow waters of Big Lake.

Stockton State Park offers a range of lodging options from campsites to cabins and the clear waters of Stockton Lake are great for recreational water activities. Campers who are interested in sailing will be happy to know that a nationally-recognized sailing school is housed at the marina here. The area is perfect for sailing due to a perpetual southwest breeze. Campers also enjoy the interesting wildlife, picnicking with the family, or just taking in the beauty of southern Missouri.

Lake Wappapello State Park offers campsites that range from basic to electric to sewer/electric/water. Family campsites at Lake Wappapello feature two camping pads as well as two tables, grills, and lantern posts. At Lake Wappapello, visitors can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, and fishing for crappie, catfish, and bass. 

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5 Best Backpack Camping Spots in Missouri With Missouri’s magnificent natural features and range of topographies, the state makes for a wonderful place to camp. One of the best ways to connect with nature is through backpacking. So stuff everything you’ll need into your pack and get ready for a truly rustic adventure. Here are the best backpack camping spots in the state. 

You will experience one of the oldest mountains regions in North America, the St. Francois Mountains, on this beautiful trail in Sam A. Baker State Park. The Mudlick Trail is a rugged hike that is nearly 17 miles in length and winds mostly through the Mudlick Mountain Wild Area, one of Missouri’s most significant landscapes. Hikers will find this park’s first backpack camp area at Mudlick Hollow, which is about three miles down Mudlick Trail.

The challenging, nine-mile Peewah Trail at Trail of Tears State Park in Jackson, Missouri, is broken up into an east loop and a west loop. This popular trail explores the 1,300-acre Indian Creek Wild Area, one of the most rugged areas of the Mississippi River hills. While visitors to Peewah Trail enjoy sightings of eagles, snakes, turkey, and white-tailed deer, they need to be aware of possible downed trees, briars, poison ivy, and ticks.

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Only hikers and backpackers are allowed on this popular trail at Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Camdenton, Missouri. Turkey and deer are often spotted on the rugged 6.5-mile Turkey Pen Hollow Trail as it takes visitors past a variety of landscapes, a large sinkhole, and a primitive backpack camping area.

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Missouri rocks. #alltherocks #newseries #connielookingatstuff #backpacking #missouri #stateparks #milesandmiles

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Lake Wappapello Trail is a moderate, almost 13-mile-long trail at Lake Wappapello State Park in Williamsville, Missouri. Counterclockwise travel is recommended on Lake Wappapello Trail and certain parts are closed to overnight camping. Visitors to this beautiful area are treat to scenic views of wildlife and landscapes.

This 12.6-mile trail is located in Park Hills, Missouri, and is rated as moderate. From natural surface of dirt to really rocky sections, visitors will experience a variety of beautiful terrain on the Pine Ridge Trail at St. Joe State Park. Sections of this trail wind through pine trees while others take hikers through typical woodlands on their way to the trails designated backpack camp.

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5 Awesome Campgrounds for Families in Missouri Missouri is famous for its dramatic and awe-inspiring nature, including mountains, caves, rivers, lakes, and wildlife. Because of this natural bounty, there’s no shortage of families who want to spend time outdoors camping, and no shortage of great places to take them. Here are five awesome Missouri campgrounds for your family to enjoy.  

Missouri is known as the Cave State, and that’s nowhere more in evidence than in Onondaga Cave State Park. The caves themselves, especially Onondaga Cave and Cathedral Cave, are worth the trip, with their stunning geological formations, but camping at the park also offers fishing, boating, hiking trails, and towering bluffs overlooking the Meramec River. Access to local attractions from the campgrounds make this an ideal Missouri vacation.

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The Endangered Wolf Center was founded by naturalist Marlin Perkins to protect a species that was quickly going extinct. Located right outside St. Louis, the Wolf Center allows camping with one particular attraction—campers can walk to the wolf habitat area and howl at the wolves, and the wolves almost always howl back. 

Set in the clean, well-kept areas outside of St. Louis, Babler State Park features walking trails, fire circles, a paved bicycle trail, riding trails, and playgrounds. With easy-to-use parking slabs, clean toilets and showers, plenty of shade, and quick access to the city, it’s an ideal place for a family vacation. 

Perfect summer night for camping!! #justanotherdayinparadise

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Open year-round, Ozark Trails is one of the best destinations for family camping in the state. Situated in Linn Creek, Ozark Trails is an RV campground with big pull-thru sites, full hook-ups, and 30 or 50 amp service. Amenities include a pool, children's playground, campground store, and gorgeous nearby hiking trails.  

St. Joe is one of the few parks in the system that has absolutely everything—including ATV trails, horseback riding trails, hiking trails, biking trails, swimming, and playgrounds. It’s near local attractions, including local wineries, but there’s enough to do at the park to make it a destination all on its own. 

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