Camping at Dr. Edmund Babler State Park
Labor Day often means family adventures, be they a trip to an amusement park, backyard BBQ, Family Reunions, or in our case Camping!
We took our family on the road during Labor Day week 2018, and actually went camping for 6 nights at Dr. Edmund Babler Memorial State Park in Wildwood, MO.
Read about our travels here: TRAVELS
The parks spans 2,441 acres that you get to by passing through a massive stone gateway to enjoy the camping, hiking, biking, equestrian facilities, and more.
We absolutely loved camping at Babler, between the setup, the hosts, the campsites and more, we have already made plans to return.
For those curious, we have a 29″ Wildwood 261 BHXL Superlite. This means that we can tow it behind a Chevy Extended Cab 1500 with an Eco engine. Basically, our truck is not huge, and doesn’t have tons of power but it does get great gas mileage and tows our camper with ease.
Here’s our rig:
We have no slides, but we do have a queen bed, bunk beds, a bathroom, dinette, and kitchen. This setup works well for our family of 3 + a dog, and a new camper like this costs only about $18,000, making it very affordable if you’re on a budget.
Speaking of the budget, one reason we really love staying at state parks while my husband travels around the Missouri Ameren Power Plants is the affordability. Ranging from $19 – $26 nightly for a site with concrete, electric, and access to water and dump station is insanely cheap when compared with the KOA and private campgrounds.
We do stay at KOA’s and private campgrounds occasionally, but the majority of our time is spent at Missouri State Parks.
Campground Details: Dr. Edmund Babler State Park
Located near the lovely town of Wildwood Missouri, and minutes from St. Louis, Dr. Edmund Babler State Park was donated in memorial of one of St. Louis’ most prominent families. The Missouri State Park system was only 20 years old when Dr. Babler’s brothers, Jacob & Henry, presented the state with the donation of 88 acres in memory of their brother. Soon after, 800 acres and a statue of Dr. Babler followed.
Along the way, the Civilian Conservation Corpos developed structures and amenities on the property including:
- scenic viewpoints
- picnic sites
- equestrian trails
- and more
All told, there are 22 Civilians Conversation Corps (CCC) structures across the park, formed from stones quarried in the area. As a result, 22 structures are now on the Missouri Historic Register.
One of the most notable structures, the River Hills Visitors Center was amazing to take our young daughter to, and I’ll explain more about the center under Adventures.
Also worth noting is that if you’re a Nationwide YMCA member, Babler State Park is located on 10 minutes from the YMCA in Wildwood Missouri, so you can snag some free childcare and get a workout in.
Amenities: Dr. Edmund Babler State Park
Dr. Edmund Babler State Park is HUGE and as a result boasts lots of amenities and activities:
- Equestrian Trails and Camping
- Interpretive Programs
- Picnic sites
- Special Use Camping
- Bath Houses
Adventures: Dr. Edmund Babler State Park
We had tons of fun camping at Babler. Here are some of our adventures
River Hills Visitor Center
Staffed by naturalists, we were able to find our Park Stamp (each Missouri Park has a distinct one!) to add to our collection. In addition, we were able to learn about the flora, fauna, and wildlife that populates the park and the surrounding are of Missouri.
Did you know that Black Bears are coming back to Missouri? I didn’t, but we learned all about it.
In addition, the visitor center stocked fun hats, t-shirt, and souveneirs, as well as my favorite park: Food products made in Missouri. It was very fun to buy and try some Missouri-made products.
In the side of the visitor center is a fun, interactive area for the kids to learn about everything from the wildlife with exhibits that can be touched, looked at, and played with. They even have a few live animals that my daughter really enjoyed.
Most interesting to me, at the center, were Russian War Bonds that were part of the Babler purchase. They’re worthless today, but definitely a fun piece of history to learn about and actually be able to see.
Six Flags St. Louis
Six Flags is not located within the park, but since we have season passes and were located so close, it’s definitely worth mentioning.
During the fall season, Six Flags is only open during the weekends, but since Babler is located only 15 minutes from Six Flags St. Louis and is super fun!
Hiking & Biking
We love hiking and biking most of the time. However, with temps in the 90’s+ and heat indexes above 100, we didn’t get a whole lot of hiking and biking in. Myself and our daughter would go on a quick bike ride early in the morning before it got hot, but once 9am rolled around we were spending lots of time in the shade or at the playground.
We are looking forward to camping at Babler later this fall when we can explore some of the really cool hiking trails.
Regional Activities: Dr. Edmund Babler State Park
I’ve already mentioned Six Flags St. Louis, but if that’s not your style, there is plenty more to do in the area around Babler State Park.
Being so close to St. Louis, there are TONS of activities available around the park and further into St. Louis.
Within and 20-30 minute drive you have access to many attractions, including:
- Busch Stadium
- The Science Center
- City Museum
- St. Louis Zoo
- St. Louis Art Museum
- Forest Park
- The Magic House
There are many more activities than I could list here, so if you’re interesting in learning more about regional activities, head over to VisitMO.com
Our Experience at Dr. Edmund Babler State Park
Overall, we had a very peaceful time at Babler.
My husband had to work every day beside Labor Day, so it was just my daughter and myself each day. However, camping cut down his drive by about 60 minutes each day, so it made for some fun family time each day after he got home.
During the days, we homeschool, so we spend about an hour on school, took a bike ride, played at the playground, and went to explore St. Louis.
I am also self-employed, so some of the day was spent working while my daughter played on the playground.
Since it was so hot, instead of getting a workout in by hiking or biking, we traveled the 10 minutes to the Wildwood family YMCA so she could go into childcare and I could get workout in!
We are really looking forward to camping at Babler State park later this fall when the weather gets a bit cooler and we can get out and explore a bit more.
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