KNOB NOSTER STATE PARK
Just south of Highway 50, about midway between Sedalia and Warrensburg, lies an often overlooked gem of the Missouri state park system. Knob Noster State Park is an ideal spot for relaxing and forgetting the cares of the world - even if just for a few hours. The park is an interesting mixture of prairie, savanna and forest, with 3,567 acres lying along both sides of a meandering creek. Several small lakes in the park cater to the fisherman, and non-motorized boats may be used. Picnic sites dot the lakeshore and three open picnic shelters make an ideal place for group get-togethers in a tranquil setting.
The outdoor adventurer can enjoy several trails running through the park, including an equestrian and an all-terrain bicycle trail. Budding naturalists will enjoy hiking out to one of the savanna restoration areas and seeking out the many bird species found in the park. Pin Oak Slough Natural Area along Clearfork Creek has been recognized for its unique natural beauty.
For visitors wanting to enjoy more than just a few hours here, there is a wooded campground with modern amenities. Two group camps offer outdoor facilities and fun for larger, organized groups.
Knob Noster State Park offers basic and electric campsites and equestrian, group and special-use camping areas. Services available include reservable campsites, dump station, showers, water and laundry.
For reservations, there is a required two-night minimum stay for weekends and major holidays from May 15 through Sept. 15.
Most state parks have basic campsites, which include a parking pad, table, grill and lantern post; and electric campsites, which have basic facilities plus electricity. Some sites offer basic facilities plus electric, water and sewer hookups. Many camping areas have modern restrooms, hot showers, trailer dump stations, coin-operated laundries and firewood.
In 2006, reservations are accepted in 34 state parks. A portion of campsites in the reservation parks are available for the first-come, first-served user. Also, first-come, first-served users may occupy an available reservable campsite on a day-by-day basis if the site is not reserved. Before occupying a reservable site, check with facility staff or follow the directions on the "Vacant" card.
In 2006, the following park facilities offer only first-come, first-served campsites:
Battle of Athens State Historic SiteLong Branch State ParkPrairie State ParkTaum Sauk Mountain State ParkVan Meter State Park
Nearly all state park campgrounds are open year-round. Electric hookups are available year-round, while water and showers are usually available from April 1 through Oct. 31 in most state parks. Roaring River, Bennett Spring and Montauk state parks are operational Feb. 25. Camping is limited to any 15 days within a 30-consecutive-day period at any one park. Other special management regulations may apply; these regulations are posted in the appropriate state parks and historic sites. To secure a campsite, campers should be prepared to place on the campsite substantial personal property (i.e. dining fly, trailer, tent, licensed vehicle, etc.)
A "no vacancy" sign implies that all first-come, first-served sites are rented for the night, and that all reservable sites are paid in full and reserved for the night. Reservation customers are permitted to arrive any time within the first 24 hours of their stay. This results in some reserved sites remaining empty for the first night when the customer chooses to arrive the next morning. The park or historic site is obligated to hold the reserved site for 24 hours.
Firewood is available for sale at designated times at most state parks, or you may bring your own. Gathering firewood is strictly prohibited. Campers are asked not to bring firewood in from Michigan, Indiana or Ohio, where infestations of the Emerald Ash Borer are prevalent.
Pets as Park Visitors
Pets must be on a secured leash that is no longer than 10 feet, reasonably quiet at all times, under control of the owner and never left unsupervised. Pets are not allowed in any park structures (including restrooms and showerhouses). Also, pets are restricted from swimming areas (including beaches) and waters reserved for fishing.
Senior and Disabled Citizens
Citizens who are 65 years of age or older or persons with disabilities are entitled to a reduced camping fee. An official document such as a driver's license certifying proof of age or disability must be presented when registering.
Individuals or families camping in five state parks or historic sites during one year and not violating any park rules and regulations are awarded a certificate and patch. Camper verification cards are available at all state parks and historic sites and must be verified by staff at each place the individual or family camps.
There are two small lakes (Buteo and Clearfork) and a creek (Clearfork) that offer visitors the opportunity to fish. Catfish, bass, bluegill and crappie are some of the fish anglers may catch while fishing at Knob Noster State Park. Fishing is available sunrise to sunset daily, except during special management activities when the park may be closed.
Adult anglers must have a valid fishing license as described in the Wildlife Code of Missouri. (Depending on age, some anglers may not need a license to fish.)
Bank fishing is the most common way to fish here. There are no boat launches, however, small boats such as canoes can be carried from the parking lot to the water and hand launched. Electric trolling motors may be used.