We started out our weekend in the Arcadia Valley with dinner at Thee Abbey Restaurant inside The Arcadia Academy. The Academy was built in 1847 as a Methodist co-ed school. During the Civil War, the Academy served the Union Army as a hospital. After the war it was as Arcadia College, and later a Catholic boarding school. In 1968 it became a convalescent home. The Arcadia Academy is still being restored but is currently home to a creamery, a bed and breakfast, a chapel, and Thee Abbey Restaurant. We stopped late on Friday night and enjoyed salads from the salad bar and steaks.
Later Friday night, we arrived at Big Creek RV Park. This location was recommended to us by campers from Missouri that we met at Catherine’s Landing near Hot Springs. They discovered it on the Good Sam Club website, noting the 10/10/10 rating. This is the gold standard of private campground ratings and something we had to see in person. Big Creek RV park is run by a husband and wife team. They are very involved in the overall experience and are nice people. Saturday night they hosted rubber duck races in the creek, a hay ride around the property, and a bonfire with roasted marshmallows. What else can you possibly expect a campground owner to offer you? We also enjoyed the walking trails and in-ground pool, which was thankfully still open. There is also a community room where you can catch a Cardinals game, a game room, gem mining, and honor-system firewood. The guests are a mix of seasonal campers and weekenders that are mostly visiting for a float trip. They are currently adding on to the campground and building a fishing lake. The bathrooms are great - they are four individual bathrooms with a toilet, sink, and shower. We never had to wait as the campground was fairly quiet the weekend we were there, but wondered if there would be wait times to use these facilities on busier weekends.
On prior visits to this area, we've enjoyed Johnson's Shut In State Park and Elephant Rocks State Park. You can also explore Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, Silver Mines and Sutton Bluff Recreation Areas, Council Bluff Lake, the Ozark Trail, Sam A. Baker State Park, Millstream Gardens Conservation Area, Marble Creek, and the Black River are also nearby. Floating Missouri Rivers, like the Black River or the Current River are great ways to stay cool on a really hot summer day. Johnson's Shut In State Park is mother nature’s water park as the Black River flows over the "shut ins” rock formations.
The Arcadia Valley is home to Ozark mountains, clear and clean rivers and streams, and dense forest. We enjoyed our recent visit and would put Arcadia Valley and Big Creek RV Park both on our “go again” list. Stay tuned to see where Cricket Camping goes next!
Shane and Jessica
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