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Travel & Outdoors

Winter Camping Guide For St. Louis

December 22, 2012 7:00 AM

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Photo: Thinkstock

Photo: Thinkstock

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Though the weather in St. Louis can be unpredictable in the winter, locals know to forge ahead with their plans regardless and prepare for whatever Mother Nature has in store. Despite cold temperatures or perhaps even snow, camping is still a great way to spend a weekend with the family during the colder months. With awesome area campgrounds open and seasonal camping activities available, the great outdoors can be extremely enjoyable. Missouri has phenomenal year-round state parks as well as some terrific stores to obtain all the appropriate gear. Here’s a list of top winter camping spots and shops within the St. Louis area.

(credit: Huzzah Valley Resort Facebook)

(credit: Huzzah Valley Resort Facebook)

Huzzah Valley Resort
970 E. Highway 8
Steelville, MO 65565
(800) 367-4516
www.huzzahvalley.com

Though St. Louisans tend to go camping when it’s warm out so they can float, canoe or fish along our many beautiful rivers, winter camping in some of those same sites can be a fabulous experience too. At Huzzah Valley, guests can enjoy a different side of the outdoors and have several different lodging options to choose from. These include spacious campgrounds for tents and RV hook-ups, charming a-frame cabins or, for larger groups of friends and families, a huge bunk house. Guests can enjoy the tranquility, views, trails and quality time with loved ones away from modern-day distractions. Huzzah even offers moonlit hayrides and s’mores by the campfire!

(credit: mostateparks.com)

(credit: mostateparks.com)

Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park
800 Guy Park Drive
Wildwood, MO 63005
(636) 458-3813
www.mostateparks.com<

One of the closest winter camping options to St. Louis is Babler State Park. Located in Wildwood, this sprawling, scenic park offers camping for families of all ages. Basic campgrounds are offered year round giving visitors the chance to truly experience all nature has to offer without electricity of any kind. Unplug for an entire weekend and hit the lovely wooded trails for some winter hiking, make fires to stay warm, cook meals over the open flames and cuddle up in sleeping bags to keep cozy. Teach the kids important survival skills, explore nature during the beauty of winter and have some fun all within minutes of home.

Related: Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip To Steelville, MO

(credit: rei.com)

(credit: rei.com)

REI
1703 S. Brentwood Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63144
(314) 918-1004
www.rei.com

Outdoor enthusiasts know that one of the best places in town to acquire the proper gear for all of their adventuresome needs is at REI. The only REI store in St. Louis is centrally located in Brentwood and has an unbelievable collection of quality camping clothes, shoes and equipment to suit all weather scenarios. Additionally, the friendly staff is extremely knowledgeable regarding a wide variety of local outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, paddling, climbing and more. This is definitely the place to get winter gear and expert advice.

(credit: mostateparks.com)

(credit: mostateparks.com)


Castlewood State Park
1401 Keifer Creek Road
Ballwin, MO 63021
(636) 227-4433
www.mostateparks.com

Another great local park that offers daytime camping activities such as cookouts and hiking is Castlewood State Park. For those families who might not be ready to camp overnight during the winter but would still like an authentic camping experience, the grounds at Castlewood are perfect. With eight different hiking trails of varying lengths and elevations, families can come spend the day here and feel completely removed and unplugged from their daily lives and routines. Castlewood offers stunning views of seasonal foliage and local wildlife, as well as the priceless opportunity for families to bond with each other and nature. So dress warm, pack up the camping gear and head out into the wilderness to create some wonderful wintertime memories.

Related: Top Places To Go Ice Skating In St. Louis

Meredith Johns is a freelance writer covering all things St. Louis. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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