Sunday ยท June 30, 2024
Dry Fork Recreation Area: A Tranquil Horse Campsite in Missouri
Author: Admin
Dry Fork Recreational Area in Missouri | Top Horse Trails

Dry Fork Recreation Area, located near Fulton in central Missouri, is an idyllic escape for campers and outdoor enthusiasts, with or without horses. This serene campground and picnic area serves as the equestrian trailhead for the expansive 36-mile Cedar Creek Trail, making it a prime destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in nature.

Camping in a Peaceful Forest

Dry Fork Recreation Area is set in a quiet oak and cedar forest, offering a peaceful retreat for visitors. The campground features eight single primitive campsites that can accommodate RVs up to 30 feet in length. Each campsite is equipped with a table, fire ring, and lantern post, ensuring campers have the essentials for a comfortable stay. Additionally, hitching rails are provided at each site for equestrian use. Although the campsites lack electric hookups, amenities such as pressurized drinking water and vault toilets are available, enhancing the camping experience without sacrificing the rustic charm of the forest setting.

Picnicking and Group Activities

Across the road from the campground lies a dedicated picnic area, complete with tables and grills. This space is perfect for small group gatherings and provides a delightful spot to enjoy meals amidst the natural beauty of the area. While camping is not permitted in the picnic area, it offers a scenic venue for day visitors. Fee donations are encouraged to help maintain the facilities and ensure a pleasant experience for all guests.

Equestrian and Multi-Use Trails

The highlight of Dry Fork Recreation Area is its access to the 36-mile Cedar Creek Trail. Open year-round to hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers, the trail winds through diverse landscapes, providing a variety of experiences for outdoor adventurers. The trail is known for its picturesque views and tranquil ambiance, making it a favorite among equestrian enthusiasts. However, visitors should monitor weather conditions, as the trail can become muddy after rains, potentially impacting accessibility.

Plan Your Visit

Dry Fork Recreation Area is an excellent choice for those seeking a tranquil camping experience in Missouri's natural beauty. Whether you are an equestrian looking to explore the extensive Cedar Creek Trail or a camper yearning for a peaceful forest retreat, this area offers a perfect blend of amenities and natural splendor. Pack your gear, prepare your RV or horse, and head to Dry Fork Recreation Area for a rejuvenating escape in the heart of Missouri.



From Fulton, MO, take 54 south to Route H. Make a right to go west on Route H to Route J. Make a right to go turn north on J to County Road 356; turn left to go west on County Road 356 to County Road 361; turn left to go south for 1 mile.


Dry Fork Recreational Area offers the following facilities and amenities:

  • Equestrian trails
  • Pressurized water system available year-round
  • 8 single primitive campsites
  • Tables
  • Fire ring
  • Lantern post
  • Vault toilets
  • Hitching rails
  • Picnic area


Horse Riding

The 36-mile-long Cedar Creek trail is managed for mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking. It consists of:


  • Southern Loop crosses 22 miles of scenic country with about one-third of this section on gravel and paved county roads. It is marked in grey diamonds.
  • Smith Creek Section, between Hwy J and Cedar Creek, about 5 miles from Boydsville to Rutherford Bridge. This scenic route provides glimpses of Cedar Creek from the bluffs above. It is marked in orange diamonds.
  • Pine Ridge Section, which passes through Pine Ridge Recreation Area, is open to foot travel and mountain bikes only. This trail is marked with grey diamonds. No horses, please. An alternative trail to the west is provided for horses.
  • Moon Loop, about 7 miles in length, offers varying landscapes. The name was given because, at one time, the effects of soil erosion that occurred in the 1930s caused hikers to think of the surface of the moon. It is marked with yellow diamonds.


Cost Details:

  • Camping is $15/Night



  • Will have its gates closed for the season on December 1st and services stopped for the winter. The gates and services will start back up next spring on April 15th. If a date falls on a weekend, then the gate will be open the following Monday.
  • Quiet Hours: 10 pm to 6 am
  • NO horses allowed on Pine Ridge Section of Cedar Creek Trail; alternate route available.
  • Fireworks are prohibited.
  • Campsite parking allows for two vehicles per site. Park only in designated parking areas.
  • No more than 8 people are permitted at single sites (16 for double sites).
  • Dogs must be on a 6-foot leash in the campground.
  • Only collect dead and downed wood for campfires.
  • Contact Details: Mark Twain Forest Supervisor's Office 573-364-4621


If you want to discover and explore other campsites and horse trails, here are some of them that you may visit:

MARK TWAIN NATIONAL FOREST - Pine Ridge Recreation Area Campground




Dry Fork Recreational Area does not require reservations for overnight accommodations. Please visit their page here on Top Horse Trails - Dry Fork Recreational Area for more information.