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Trail of Tears State Park - Campgrounds and Campsites

Trail of Tears State Park Camping on Mississippi River, August 6, 2022

Here is a poem that I wrote while at this campground called "A Little More Time." This page focuses on the campgrounds and campsites and the water's edge at the Trail of Tears State Park. To see the trails, view this page. To see the overlook, view this page. The park is located in Cape Girardeau County at 429 Moccasin Springs Rd, Jackson, MO 63755.

Trail of Tears State Park Campgrounds and Campsites

New and Old Camping Gear

Trail of Tears State Park, Mississippi River Ice, January 6, 2018

(see photos below)

Trail of Tears State Park Camping and Trail to Beach on Mississippi River, August 6, 2022

On August 26, 2022, we stayed at the Mississippi River campground at Trail of Tears State Park for one night. We had purchased some new camping equipment, and also rearranged our box organization, so needed to test everything to make sure it worked. The best part of camping here is to get up before the sunrise to walk down to the river and the beach. Here is just before sunrise of the boat launch.

There is a dyke of backwater between the parking lot and the river, so it is difficult to get the full effect of the river.

There are Missouri primrose blooming all along the dyke, which seems so appropriate for it being our state and the classic Mississippi River that borders it, and the orange sunrise reflecting on the water is just beautiful.

There are some steps going down at the edge of the parking lot which tells me that boats used to dock here a long time ago. I can imagine being a guest on a boat and gracefully walking up these steep steps.

I believe most people miss the trail down to the beach. It is located at the end of the parking lot. To the right here you can see the levy that you can also brave to go out to the island separating the river from the dyke.

Wildflowers grow on either side of the trail and it is a thin trail to walk on, but fun it its own way. It is really a short trail.

The is the end of the trail that opens up to the beach. Then you have to walk down an incline.

This is where you walk down to the beach, as well as the levy.

In the morning with the fog and the lapping water on the edge, it felt like I was at the ocean! Of course, the water level rises and lowers and sometimes this beach is too muddy to walk on or the water too high to access well.

At the end of the beach you can see another levy in the distance.

I could hear the trains all the way across past Highway 3 (146) in Illinois. The run on the edge of the bluffs over there and it is quite a distance.

Here is the sun coming up through the fog with the reflection of orange on the water.

The barges come regularly along the river and you can hear them from the campsite as well.

While I was there it was a real treat when two barges passed each other under the sunrise! I could not have planned it better myself.

This is as I am walking on the levy looking south at the dyke with the parking lot to me right.

It is NOT easy to walk on these rocks. Maybe if I were younger.

This is as I am rounding the corner on the island. This is VERY steep and a bit dangerous. I have seen people scoot right across it, but not this old person who had to use her hands a lot.

When I made it to the other side, I looked up north on the river for this shot.

Someone else was out there having gone before me and you can see them sitting on the water's edge in this photo. The barge was beautiful passing right through the sunrise reflection on the water.

I took this as I was walking back. It looks so different with the beautiful blue sky now that the sun is up.

This is what the water looks like from the campsites. It is not as easy to see with just a narrow opening, but you can see it. You also get an idea of how close the trains run to the campsites. A lot of people complain about the noise of the trains, especially in the middle of the night, but I embraced it as something fun to add to the camping experience.

Breakfast. I am using the 1960's toaster that my family used when I was a child.

I am giving cheers with my tea to the train as it goes by.

Trail of Tears State Park, Mississippi River Ice, January 6, 2018

A barge cuts through the ice going up river.

The boat launch, parking lot, and frozen dyke.

The beach on this cold day.

We walked out on the levy to the island.

The buoy is marking where it is safe for the boats to travel.

You can see hubby on top of the island which shows just how tall it is and how large the rocks, making it difficult to get out there. Be safe if you go!

I think this is an amazing shot!


Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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