Located along Interstate 70 in the middle region of the state, Columbia, Missouri offers several places to get away and enjoy hiking, bicycling, fishing and boating without spending hours in the car. This area is primarily open for outdoor recreation in the spring, summer and fall months although some camping is available with restricted services throughout the year.
Finger Lakes State Park
Open to camping year-round, Finger Lakes State Park offers 35 shaded camping areas for both recreational vehicles and tent campers. Once the site of a coal-mining extraction facility, this area was transformed in 1973 and now features fishing, swimming, mountain biking and ATV trails. Restrooms and showers are available, although water is shut off during the off-season from November through March. Finger Lakes is about 20 minutes from Columbia. Finger Lakes State Park 1505 E. Peabody Rd. Columbia, MO 65202 573-443-5315 mostateparks.com
Katfish Katy Campground
Located approximately 20 minutes from Columbia, this campsite provides waterfront sites along the Missouri River for both tents and RVs with water and electrical service only. An on-site boat launch is available for guests, along with boat rentals. Aside from fishing and boating, biking and hiking trails along the Katy Trail leave from the camp and nearby Eagle’s Bluff Conservation Area provides additional recreation opportunities. The camp also offers the use of cooking grills, hot showers, flush toilets and picnic tables. Katfish Katy Kampground Route O Huntsdale, MO 65203 573-445-0047 katfishkaty-campground.com
Cooper's Landing Campgrounds and Marina
Individually owned and operated by the Cooper family, this campground offers two camping areas for RVs along the Missouri River. The north side of camp is closest to the on-site general store and deli, shower and laundry facilities. The south location provides more secluded camping. Sites are shaded with mature cottonwoods and sycamores, and come equipped with 20- and 30-amp electrical hookups. Campground amenities include a dump station, camping and boating supplies, high-speed Internet service, boat gas and a bait shop. Cooper’s Landing is a 30-minute drive from Columbia. Cooper’s Landing Campgrounds and Marina 11505 Smith Hatchery Rd. Columbia, MO 65203 573-657-2544 cooperslanding.net
- missouri outline image by Kim Jones from Fotolia.com