Mark Twain National Forest Closes Big Bay Campground

Mark Twain National Forest has announced it is permanently closing the Big Bay Campground on Table Rock Lake, near Shell Knob, Missouri.

The near-by Big Bay boat launch and picnic area remains open.

The press release states that “The campground closing is part of Mark Twain National Forest’s long term recreation site management plan.”

Caption: Closed.

Ava-Cassville-Willow Springs Ranger Jenny Farenbaugh is quoted as saying:

“The facilities are not accessible; are not compatible with modern camping equipment, and have been deteriorating for a number of years,”
To say that we are deeply disappointed to hear this news is an understatement.

The state and federal agencies seem to be intent on corralling us into areas with manicured lawns, densely populated RV parking lots and noisy ‘tent cities’.

At the same time they are sanitizing the ‘outdoor experience’ and removing people further from nature. It’s all done with the hidden and not so hidden agenda of reducing operating costs.

Unless we can make a case and generate the demand for quiet, natural primitive camping facilities I fear we are going to be seeing a lot more excellent campgrounds without all of the modern trimmings closing down.

Here’s a small sample of what we’ll be missing out on with the closure of Big Bay Campground and its fantastic views and access to Table Rock Lake:

Read the full Press Release from the Mark Twain National Forest.

7 thoughts on “Mark Twain National Forest Closes Big Bay Campground

  1. Mark hostetter

    What a shame. They truely are sucking all the fun and enjoyment out of camping. Big Bay is a great place to go and get away from all of todays distractions and just enjoy the fun of camping , fishing , camp fires , and being around nature family and friends. This is very disapointing.

    1. Gary Post author

      I agree. We really enjoyed camping at Big Bay. The installation of a couple of new style vault toilets, a honor payment system and the co-operation of the local police for a drive through once in a while could have seen it kept open – especially as the day use area facilities will still need to be serviced.

    2. michael

      couldnt agree with you more. woukd like to know what needs to happen to get big bay reopened. i’m willing work.. clean up brush.. paint. etc.

  2. Sandy

    We have been camping at Big Bay for about 23 years. We loved the campground. We love the nature and don’t need electricity or running water to enjoy camping, just nature. I don’t know where we will go now. We are very sad.

    1. Gary Post author

      We like Buckshaw and Berry Bend on Lake Truman. I must create an entry for Bucksaw. We also like Hawker Point and Masters on Stockton.

      If Campgrounds like Marble Creek can be kept open unattended I don’t see why they couldn’t do something similar at Big Bay. It is a great shame.

  3. zach

    This is Very Disapointing to me! As a Child in the 80’s I remember my Grandfather bringing me to Big Bay and teaching me about the Great Missouri Outdoors! I was only able to take my young boys; who are 7 and 6 now, to Big Bay two seasons untill this bad news. I will never forget my memories there
    Zach age 32.

  4. Pingback: Two nights camping at Big Bay Campground, Table Rock Lake, Missouri - Ozarks Walkabout

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.