Do you ever fiddle fart? The other day I was sitting around and well, fiddle-farting – which Dan says I do particularly well. Thank you very much. I was thinking about going camping because well, we won’t be going camping again for nearly five months. But even if I can’t go camping, at least I can think about going camping. Now, for those of you who don’t quite understand the concept of “fiddle-farting”, one aspect of it includes thinking about things you won’t be doing any time soon. There’s other aspects of it, too, but I’m trying to be productive here.
Anyway, I happened to be on the Missouri State Park’s website, not that I have it bookmarked or anything, okay, I do, but hey, that’s a good thing, right? In any case, bottom line, I noticed something new. Apparently, back in October they sold some revenue bonds, and somehow those bonds are financing some upgrades to Missouri state parks. This sounds pretty exciting!
Now, there are a number of improvements to be made, including building some cabins (for all you non-RV folks), but for the purpose of this post, I am going to focus on the improvements to the campgrounds. As I’ve mentioned before, Dan and I prefer the full hookups which will be specified as “FHU” throughout the remainder of this post. Otherwise, this post will be far too long and you all are likely to quit reading and probably go camping. Now Dan and I have camped at all but one of the Missouri State Parks that offer FHU. If you don’t know what FHU is, go back and reread this paragraph. The rest of us can move on.
Over the next five years, because of the bond sale and spending millions of dollars, a number of campgrounds at various state parks will be upgraded to include FHU campsites. Some campgrounds with FHU will get additional FHU sites, but there are a number of parks where FHU will be newly added.
Here’s an overview:
2022 Missouri State Parks Campground Projects
- Roaring River State Park – will convert 37 basic site to full hook up sites
- Big Lake State Park – convert 28 sites to full hook up sites
- Lewis and Clark State Park – convert 20 sites to full hook up sites
- Table Rock State Park – convert 22 sites to full hook up (These are additional FHU sites.)
- Wakonda State Park – construct 10 full hook up sites (These are additional FHU sites.)
- Watkins Mill State Park – construct new loop with 50 FHU sites.
- Westin Bend State Park – construct second loop with 15 FHU sites
- Babler State Park – convert 35 sites to FHU sites
- Lake of the Ozarks State Park – convert 29 sites to FHU sites
- St. Francois State Park – create new loop with 63 FHU sites (This park is right near our dealer where we winterize and dewinterize. This will be perfect for our first and/or last trip of the camping season.)
- Long Branch State Park – convert basic sites to 17 FHU sites
- Stockton State Park – convert basic sites to 14 FHU sites
- Cuivre River State Park – construct new loop with 30 FHU sites (These are additional FHU sites.)
- Finger Lakes State Park – construct 20 FHU sites
- Trail of Tears State Park – convert basic sites to 28 FHU sites (These are additional FHU sites, but guess what – these sites are not right next to the train tracks!)
Over the course of the next five years, there will be an additional 418 FHU campsites in Missouri’s State Parks. There will be eleven state parks which will have newly added FHU campsites.
According to the documents on the website, the nightly fee for these FHU sites will be $37. No surprise, that’s an increase in the fee. We’ve paid anywhere from $26 to $35 a night for FHU over the last three years when we’ve camped in our state parks. That was the fee after our $2 senior discount. The highest fee ($35) was for a weekend night at Echo Bluff State Park.
But honestly, do I care about the increase? No, I don’t. Our state parks are treasures offering a chance to enjoy nature, learn history and recreate in so many ways – walk, hike, bike ride, kayak, go in a cave, swim, fish, whatever suits your fancy – even fiddle-farting. The cost to camp in Missouri State Parks is worth it to me, but even so, I do have a few tricks to lower the cost.
There’s one other point I’d like to make. Several months back I read Missouri State Parks Conceptual Plan. Okay. I admit it. I didn’t read it word for word, just enough to get a flavor of what the future plans might include. The Conceptual plan said things like – (Disclaimer: This is my interpretation, so please do not take this literally.), anyway, it said things like we want to deliver the mission and serve those in our state by reaching our goals which we will do with the implementation of our objectives and action items. We’ll serve the residents of Missouri and the visitors to our state park system by delivering our mission with the highest efficacy and quality of productive work based on research which will include both qualitative and quantitative data gathering methods. Get the idea?
After my perusal of the plan, I emailed the state parks, expressed my appreciation for the parks and all who work in the state park system. It’s always best to try to get on someone’s good side before asking for something. Next I mentioned I had reviewed the conceptual plan. That should get me some points, right? Finally, I asked what I really wanted to know – does the conceptual plan include adding any more FHU campsites to our state parks?
The response back said there was a proposal before the legislature which would allow the creation of additional FHU campsites. So, the wheels were already in motion. If you look at the “Revenue Bonds” page on the website, you’ll see “visitor demand for … campsites with increased amenities” explains the reasoning for the Revenue Bond projects. This same verbiage appears on multiple documents related to these projects.
I already love Missouri State Parks, and now I love them even more. They have listened to their constituents, and they have responded. It makes yet another case for citizens to express our opinions in a kind and respectful way.
If you would like to read more details about the coming improvements, including info about full-service cabins, you can find the info here.
What about your state parks? Do you know of any plans to increase the amenities? Do you have a favorite state park? If so, let me know in the comments below. Let’s share the wealth of knowledge. Even if it won’t be for a couple of years or so, it’s not too soon for us fiddle-farters to start thinking about it!
Thank you to Missouri State Parks for all you do and will do!