Family Camping Trip to Eminence, Missouri

Echo Bluff State Park

I have to thank my brother for the inspiration to go to Echo Bluff State Park in Eminence, Missouri. This park is filled with amazing amenities and gorgeous scenery. Our extended family met there for a fun afternoon of playing on the playground, wading in the crystal-clear river, and admiring the beautiful lodge. Unfortunately, the camping spots were booked on our weekend, so we weren’t able to spend the evening.

Playground at Echo Bluff State Park
Splashing in Sinking Creek near Echo Bluff State Park
Echo Bluff

Alley Spring

Our backup plan was camping at Alley Spring. This turned out to be a wonderful place for us. We enjoyed a secluded camping spot within walking distance to a swimming area that the kids loved.

Campsites in Alley Spring Campground

“The rolling, forested landscape around Alley Spring is where two of America’s most beautiful spring-fed rivers combine to make up the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. As the first national park area to protect a wild river system, visitors are able to enjoy various water activities as well as hiking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing.” –

Fishing in the clear stream

This campground has flush toilets and shower facilities available April 15 through October 15. Reservations can be made through

Alley Spring Grist Mill Historic Site

After a night of smore making around the campfire, we packed up camp and went on one last family adventure. We hiked around Alley Spring Grist Mill Historic Site. The short loop was stunning.

Hike around Alley Spring Mill

You can learn more about the historical mill here.

Alley Spring Mill

I remember camping with aunts, uncles, and cousins growing up and I hope my girls will look back on this camping trip with equally happy memories. I highly recommend a camping trip to Eminence, Missouri. We can’t wait to go back!


Hiking Arkansas: Lake Trail at Devil’s Den State Park

devil’s den state park

Devil’s Den State Park is in West Fork, Arkansas which is a 35-minute drive from our home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Devil’s Den State Park’s visitor center, picnic areas, and cabins are open all year. Overnight accommodations include full-service cabins, camper cabins, as well as a variety of camp sites. Visitors can check availability online. Devil’s Den State Park also features unique hiking trails that showcase the caves, bluffs, mountain views, and historic architecture within the state park. (Devil’s Den Map)

lake trail

We wanted to take our puppy on our hike, so we picked a trail that was easy. The Lake Trail in Devil’s Den State Park was the perfect choice. It is a one-mile hike (out and back) on flat terrain.

Lake Trail at Devils Den Ar
Let’s go!
Lake Trail at Devils Den State Park Arkansas
Lake Trail at Devil's Den State Park in Arkansas
Lake Trail in Devil's Den State Park, Arkansas
Crossing over bridges and views of Lee Creek made this hike a fun experience.
Lake Trail in Devil's Den
Lake Trail in Devil's Den State Park
Lake Trail. CCC Dam. Devil's Den State Park

The trail ultimately leads to Area E Campground. We turned around at this point and returned the way we came.

3 great trails at devil’s Den state park

This is our third hike in Devil’s Den State Park. Lake Trail was the easiest and shortest hike we’ve done. I also highly recommend Devil’s Den Self-Guided trail which is 1.5 miles and rated as moderate.

Devil’s Den Self-Guided Trail

We also enjoyed the Yellow Rock trail which features impressive views.

Yellow Rock

If you have an opportunity to visit Devil’s Den State Park, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with all the natural beauty and amenities this park has to offer.