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As Weather Warms, Campgrounds Prepare for Campers

BLUE EYE, Mo. -- Campers on Table Rock Lake have a little "spring" in their step as they try and beat the crowds to open recreation areas.
BLUE EYE, Mo. -- Campers on Table Rock Lake have a little "spring" in their step as they try and beat the crowds to open recreation areas. Roughly half the Corps of Engineers campgrounds have been open since the beginning of April, with another 6 set to open at the beginning of May.

One of the campgrounds currently open is Old Highway 86, which is where Kansas native, Bob Weeks, found a prime spot, before the weekend crowds. "This is the nicest park i've ever been to," Weeks says. "You've got a 300-degree view that is out of this world."

In addition to Old Highway 86, the other parks already open include:

  • Campbell Point
  • Cape Fair
  • Cricket Creek
  • Mill Creek
  • Indian Point

The campgrounds set to open on May 1:

  • Aunts Creek
  • Baxter
  • Big M
  • Eagle Rock
  • Viola
  • Moonshine Beach, daily use only (May 15th)

"Boy this is really nice down here, says Pony (a nickname) Schmolke referring to Old Highway 86. "The old Branson Bell will be coming by and blowing it's horn, it’s really cool."

The Branson resident says even though the weather is bringing in visitors, he believes the cool weather is far from over.

"I'm sorry but it ain't over yet," says Schmolke. "You don’t put out your garden until the 15th (of April)."

Even with the sever winter weather in the Ozarks, the Corps of Engineers was able to install some new features. "Last year we went into cricket creek," says Chief Ranger Rodney Raley, "lengthen some of the areas, upgraded some of the water and electric."

Raley says the campgrounds and the Corps other recreation areas helps to draw in 4 to 5 million people to Table Rock each year. He says they spend roughly $200,000 throughout the season to keep the 12 parks looking their best. 

"We like to see the families come out and enjoy the beautiful lake," says Raley. "We hope they have a good time and keep coming back."

Reservations for and nightly rate for the campgrounds can be made at recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777.

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