The spirit of the 1890s lives on in this small mid-Missouri town.
Located between Kansas City and Columbia, Blackwater is a tiny Missouri town, with a population of fewer than 200 residents. Time seems to have stood still in the historic downtown area, where you’ll even find an 1890s jail, train depot, and one-room schoolhouse. Ramble around and browse the antique stores or grab dinner at the historic hotel that dates to the town’s founding. The Missouri Conservation Department provides public campgrounds at two locations near town, including Harriman Hill and Roberts Bluff Access, both of which offer dry camping for tents or RVs.
Learn about the Missouria tribes at Annie and Abel Van Meter State Park, which preserves a Native American hand-dug earthwork, burial mounds, and remnants of a village. A museum and cultural center shares artifacts and history of the nine tribes that called Missouri home in the 1800s. A fishing pond and hiking trails offer outdoor recreation amid the marsh lands and hardwood forest. Basic and electric campsites are available for tents and RVs. This park is approximately 40 minutes north of Blackwater.
Just 10 minutes north of Blackwater, Arrow Rock State Historic Site and Park showcases more of the 1800s history of the region in the form of an open-air museum featuring preserved architecture of the time period. Outdoor recreation can also be enjoyed at the fishing pond and hiking trails. Tent and RV campsites offer basic, electric, and full hookups.
Set on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River, Boonville is 20 miles east of Blackwater. Museums, attractions, and a bustling downtown welcome visitors to this historic railroad and river town. Hop on the Katy Trail and bike to Rocheport, which offers some of the best scenery along this former railroad route that’s been converted to a hiking and biking trail. This linear state park stretches 240 miles across mid-Missouri. Boonville, Columbia, and nearby towns offer private RV parks and glamping rentals, as well as campgrounds catering to cyclists.
For the best camping weather, visit Blackwater during spring or fall, when daytime temperatures are good for outdoor recreation and nighttime temperatures are best for campfires. Summertime is generally hot and humid, but many visitors enjoy waterside fun to beat the heat.