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RV Adventures in Southeast Missouri

June 2, 2012

Enjoy a stroll through Morris State Park near Campbell.

Missouri is a state worth seeing, both for its beauty and historic sites. There is probably no better way to tour the “Show Me State” than to pack up an RV with all your vacation gear and set out on an adventure.

Three of the greatest rivers in North America intersect with Missouri – the Mississippi, the Missouri and the Ohio. It’s in the southeastern part of the state known as the Bootheel region where the Mississippi flows and creates a low flat area that is mainly agricultural. It is also the region containing fascinating Civil War history and a number of great recreational opportunities.

As you drive through this area, be sure to turn on your radio so you can experience some of the music from the Mississippi Delta culture. This is where the Delta blues originated.

You can start your trip in Campbell, Missouri, famous for its peaches. Stock up on this delicious fruit so you can snack the whole way. Taking Highway 62 will bring you to Clay Country Road 338 where you can access Chalk Bluff. Visiting the St. Francis River at Chalk Bluff gives you an interesting view of the scene of a large Civil War battle. Here you can camp or picnic while imagining the soldiers fighting to win the battle of Chalk Bluff.

This region has a unique soil allowing farmers to raise all kinds of crops. Stop by any roadside stands you see to try some watermelon or those delicious purple hull peas. After all, when traveling in your RV, you have a kitchen right there, so you can cook up some delectable meals for the family.

At the Chalk Bluff Conservation Area, you see a Civil War battlefield and can walk along the river to witness the very trenches used in battle. There is a boat ramp, making it easy to get out on the water and fish.

When Highway 62 changes to Route WW, you see signs for Beachwell Gullies. The unique landscapes here are sure to please. Unusual species took hold in this inland space. You can tell it used to be a vast sea when you lean down and pick up a salt-water shell. Ocean sand also is evident. This is your opportunity to see amazing sights that not many get to see in their lifetime. This is one reason a trip along this route in Missouri is special.

Continue on Route J to come to the Billy DeMint Grave. It is only a short hike to the spot, which provides food for thought. Here is the grave of a 10-year-old boy, a young man who bravely wouldn’t give up his father to a group of guerrillas during Civil War days.

Next, it is time to enjoy the outdoors. At Morris State Park, pull out the bicycle you packed and ride the trails. If no bike, enjoy hiking along the paths. This park is right off Route WW and easy to get to. Enjoy the many species of plants and trees, and don’t forget your camera, as you’ll want to snap some photos to take home with you.

From there, backtrack to Malden, on Route J, to take in a bit more history. This quiet, peaceful town lies in the farmland of Missouri. Take a break and wander the streets of the town to bask in the down-home atmosphere. At the Malden Historical Museum, you find a wealth of area history. Don’t fail to take the kids with you to the Bootheel Youth Museum. There are interactive exhibits and fun hands-on activities. Certainly, any city kid will like to know what it feels like to milk a cow! The children in the family will also enjoy seeing a film about a space adventure.

After exploring Southeast Missouri, head north to St. Louis and the Gateway Arch.

Before calling your RV trip at an end, take State Road 25 south past Clarkton and Holcomb. To see a real cotton gin is a treat, and although you can’t go right up to it, you can see it from the road. Even though it has its original parts, this cotton gin still is functional.

Now is time to head home. No matter what direction you need to go, the best direction is north to St. Louis. A Missouri RV trip could never really be called complete without stopping in this city on the eastern border of the state. There are a wide variety of things to do in and around St. Louis. It will be the perfect conclusion to a fun RV vacation through Missouri.

Written by Joe Laing, marketing director for and El Monte RV Rentals

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