Mark Twain National Forest
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  • Markham Springs

    Markham Springs Recreation Area provides opportunities for camping and day use. This area gets its name from former owner, M. J. Markham, who acquired the property in 1901 and operated a lumber mill at the site until the 1930s. The Fuchs House, a five-bedroom concrete and native stone home, also sits on the property, along with a neighboring mill.


    From Poplar Bluff, take Highway 67 north for 14 miles, then drive west on Highway 49 for 9 miles (about 3 miles past the town of Williamsville). Take the first right after crossing the Black River to enter Markham Springs Recreation Area.

    The small town of Williamsville is just 3 miles from the campground, offering a general store and fuel station.

    General Description:

    Located adjacent to the Black River, the recreation area contains a small pond that dates back to the 1800s. The area is covered by a dense forest of colorful trees, including ash, elm, maple and poplar. River and stream fishing are popular activities near the campground. The Black River boasts bass, sunfish, walleye and catfish. Many anglers fish from boats, but others fish from the riverbanks. Canoeing and kayaking is also possible on the river. 

    Various day hikes within the Markham Springs Trail System are accessible from the campground. Eagle Bluff Trail is a 1.5-mile loop along the river, where birding and wildlife viewing are favorite pastimes.

    Markham Springs Campground is set on the Black River in a scenic and historic recreation area in the southwestern corner of Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest. The area provides access to multiple trails and recreational opportunities. The campground offers single and double sites for tent and RV camping. Some rather primitive sites are located in a wooded setting near the river. Electric hookups are provided, as well as tables and campfire rings with grills. Lantern posts are also available. Accessible vault toilets, drinking water, showers and trash collection are provided.

    Visit Markham Springs Trail System to learn more.

    Campground Camping:

    The modern campground loop features 5 single campsites and 6 double campsites, each with electric hook-up and accessible table, firering, and lantern post. This loop has a concrete vault toilet, water hydrant, and hot showers.

    Most campsites can accommodate tents or camping trailers or RVs up to 34 feet in length. Maximum of 2 vehicles and/or 8 persons at a single site, and 16 persons at a double site.

    Primitive camping:

    Primitive camping loops feature individual sites with few amenities in a wooded setting along the Black River.

    RV Camping:

    Several sites can accommodated up to 34' RVs. Electrical hookups available at this location. No water or sewer hookups available.

    The day use area has a 2-acre, 20 foot deep mill pond that dates back to the 1800s, several picnic sites, open fields; river access for boating, fishing and float tubes and canoes; and short hiking trails that provide views of the river, the pond, the springs and the uplands. Six springs pour almost 5 million gallons of water a day into the pond, and the bubble spring, a smaller outlet of Markham Spring outside of the pond area that has air with it, rises in soft sand forming the unique “air bubbles”.

    In the late 1930’s, Rudolph Fuchs built a 5-bedroom concrete and native stone house for his family, and also built the present wheel house to produce electricity for his needs. Power was obtained by building a dam in a semi-circle below a large spring forming a small pond. The water was to pour through a chute on the wheel to produce electricity; however electricity arrived to the site before the wheel ever needed to do its job. The area had an undershot wheel providing power to a grist mill in the late 19th century.


    Campsites: Standard Non-Electric $10-20 depending on site; RV Electric $17-34 depending on site. Day use fee is $2 per vehicle, (Free with Golden Age/Senior or Golden Access/Access or Golden Eagle/America the Beautiful annual passes) or $20 for season day use pass year round. Group picnic pavilion is $25.00 per day for 25-50 people.


    Reservations for this site can be made on All reservations must be made at least 4 days in advance of arrival. Group picnic shelter can be reserved up to 12 months in advance. Standard and RV electric sites can be reserved up to 6 months in advance.

    Cabin Rental:

    The historic Fuchs house was restored by a group of craftsmen under permit from the National Forest. Used primarily by these individuals and their families, it is also available for rent by the day, weekend, or week. For additional Information on Home Resort Rental visit


    The Black River has bass, sunfish, walleye and catfish. Many anglers fish with boats, but some fish successfully from the bank.


    Individual picnic sites are available near the mill pond, or under a shade tree at the edge of the grassy field. Spring and fall are popular times for picnicking. Many sites include a pedestal grill, as well as a picnic table.

    The day use area has a pavilion that may be reserved. The pavilion can serve 25 -50 people. Electric is available.

    Nature viewing:

    The site of a former resort, the Markham Springs Recreation Area features beautiful views of the mill pond, the historic house, a wide variety of trees including flowering dogwoods and redbuds and an abundance of wildflowers, as well as views of the springs and the Black River. Eagle Bluff has been known as a natural vantage point since Civil War Days.

    Markham Springs Recreation Area features a wide variety of trees including flowering dogwoods and redbuds and an abundance of wildflowers. These are especially spectacular in the spring.

    Firewood Advisory:

    The emerald ash borer, an exotic beetle, has already killed more than 50 million ash trees in the northern United States. It has now been detected in forests in Missouri. Federal and state quarantines have been issued for Wayne County to restrict movement of any ash wood product. This includes all hardwood firewood, the most common way emerald ash borer is spread. This quarantine for Wayne County includes Markham Springs Recreation Area.If you purchase or bring firewood into Markham Springs Recreation Area , do not take it out of the park. Once it is brought into Wayne County, it is quarantined and must not leave the county.

    View maps of quarantined states at