Sam A. Baker State Park is a popular camping and swimming area in Missouri. It is located at 5580 MO-143, Patterson, Missouri. It is so popular that we often stay away from it because we prefer the quiet and secluded areas to camp. However, it goes without saying that it is popular for a reason.
We really did enjoy the hiking trail that took us to a more secluded river wallowing spot. I believe it was the 1.1 mile Shut-ins trail to Big Creek that we took, but I am not certain as I write this in 2022. The trail did go out and come back. I believe the next day we hiked another trail. I remember enjoying both hikes.
When we visited on July 29, 2019, as usual, we did not make reservations. It is normal that at most campsites there are a first come spaces available. When we arrived, there were only two available. We decided to camp at the one that had the path down the water next to it because that was what we were there for anyway. It was not so bad and overall the people camping that weekend were quiet which we appreciated. Most of the people that weekend were respectful. There was one incident, however, where I was changing in my tent, naked of course, when I young teenage boy decided to look into the tent. Oh the shocked look on his face when he saw me naked! It did make me wonder why he was peering in as he was above the age of knowing right from wrong. It is possible he was looking for something to steal thinking we were away from the camp. I did see him later that day when his family came into the same restaurant we were eating and sat down nearby. I thought about saying something to his parents, but instead made him suffer through the most embarrassing and agonizing glares. I am fairly certain he has not forgotten the experience either.
There is a short trail to an overlook near the campsites and this is what you see.
This is the secluded spot we found at the end of the trail. Just beautiful!
There were a few other people with us, but while we were there it was fairly low traffic. As we were leaving, however, groups of people were coming in with coolers. We were glad that we were on our way out when they came in.
This is the swimming area that we found that was private after dinner. I believe it was down from our tent.