LOCATION: A few miles south of Clinton, MO
KIND: COE (Army Corps of Engineers)
SEASONAL: Open all year with limited amenities after about Oct. 15
FEES: 2014, main season, $18; post season $8. Take 50% off those rates with an interagency pass
PHONE: COE Harry S. Truman Lake, 660-438-7317
GPS: N 38.30081, W 093.73737 This marks the entry road to the campground
ACCESS: Roads to and within the campground are paved and in good condition
SITES: 92 excluding 18 primitive sites which have been closed indefinitely
SURFACING: Sites are gravel
PULL THRU: I don’t recall seeing any pull-thrus
MAXIMUM RIG SIZE: I don’t think there is published information. Sites looked big enough for a 30′ RV plus towed vehicle, perhaps a little larger or smaller depending on the site.
LEVELNESS: I think you’ll find most sites have some degree of slope; Loop B may have more level or close-to-level sites
SPACING: Some sites are closer to neighboring sites than others. Some are right on top of each other. Some have better separation
TENT PADS: No
FIRE GRILLS: Yes
PICNIC TABLES: Yes
PETS: On leash
HOOKUPS: electricity only
DUMP STATION: Yes, but there is no water there during the off season, after about Oct. 15
ELECTRICAL QUALITY: Good
CELLULAR: 4 bars and LTE on my AT&T iPhone 5s; 3 bars and LTE on my Verizon iPad Air
Over-the-air: I got 3 PBS channels
RESTROOMS: Vault toilets in Loop A; I believe there are flush toilets and showers over by Loop B during the main season. That building was locked when I was there in late October.
RESTROOM RATING: Pass. This refers only to the vault toilet in Loop A as i didn’t see any of the others. (I assign a Pass or Fail rating based on many considerations including: cleanliness, usability, hot water availability, hand soap availability, ease or difficulty it is to use the toilet paper, condition of fixtures, if using the restroom is a pleasant or unpleasant experience, etc.)
SHOWERS: During the main season only
SHOWER RATING: None. Showers were closed when I was there. (I evaluate showers in a similar fashion to restrooms. See above.)
TRASH: At the main entrance, some distance from the loops. I’d estimate it’s a half mile. This was during the off season. There may be additional hoppers during the main season at the loops but I don’t know.
WATER: Hydrants around the campground. Threaded spigots so they can be used to fill RV holding tanks
LAUNDRY: During the main season
RECYCLING: Aluminum only
BUGS: None worth noting when I was there in late Oct.
NEAREST FACILITIES: Clinton is maybe 7 miles away and probably has anything you may need. There is a Walmart SuperCenter there and many other businesses
Gas: Clinton has a number of stations but I saw a gas pump right next door to Sparrowfoot at Cozy Corner RV Park. I don’t know if it is operational.
Dump: In the campground except no water at the dump station in the post season. For $10 you can use the dump at Cozy Corner RV park right next door.
Propane: Cozy Corner RV Park next door sells propane. According to AllStays, Higgins Propane in Osceola to the south 22 miles (according to Google Maps); MFA Oil and Propane in Warrensburg to the north, 46 miles (according to Google Maps)
RV Park: Cozy Corner RV Park is right next door to Sparrowfoot. The have a lot of long term residents. The nightly rate with full hookups and 50 amp service was $30 in Oct. 2014 when this report was written. 660-885-8824.
I stopped at Sparrowfoot campground on my way from Kansas City to Branson. At $4 a night for a campsite with electricity during the off season it represents a real value even considering there is no water then at the dump station, the showers and laundry are closed. Since I was heading for a full service campground in Branson after a short stay at Sparrowfoot I could use my own onboard facilities easily enough. A small play area for children is located at the B Loop.
I didn’t explore the surrounding are but the campground hosts told me there is good catfish and crappie fishing in Harry S. Truman lake and in some places bass. The lake is man made and looks more like a neuron might appear under a microscope than a lake. There is a Visitor Center for the lake but I believe it’s about a 30 minute drive to get there… in Warrensburg if I’m not mistaken. The recreation.gov site says there is a boat ramp, and the RV park next door to Sparowfoot says they are 1/2 block from a public boat launch. Harry S. Truman lake is large with many branches and arms so it’s a pretty good bet there are a number of other boat launches.
During my stay I saw birds of prey (I’m not sure what kind but I can tell a bird of prey when I see one), quite a few other kinds of birds including geese. I heard a great horned owl whoo-whooing nearby at night. I said back to it “It’s me” several times, but it kept asking “who-who?” anyway. Maybe I needed to mention my name. I saw what looked like a harmless garter snake in the road, especially harmless since it was roadkill. I felt sorry for the poor creature and said so to it. I also saw some white tailed deer.
Cozy Corner, a private RV campground open year round is immediately adjacent to the entry drive to Sparrowfoot. They have propane there and a fully functioning dump station when, during the off season, the water is turned off at the dump station in Sparrowfoot.
It was quiet as Sparrowfoot when I was there. For two days there were tent campers in the site next to me. For another three days there was nobody within a couple hundred feet. It was late October. The campground host told me, however, that November is the busiest month at Sparrowfoot because hunters roll in.
In my estimation this is campground worth considering especially as a stopover if you’re passing through the area because of its proximity to Clinton, its affordability and because of the environment. Others may find activities such as the nearby boating, fishing and hunting of interest. According to AllStays there are 6 other COE campgrounds on the lake, most of them open all year. There are another 15 COE campgrounds divided between three other lakes not too far away. Down south, closer to the Arkansas/Missouri border there are a lot more COE campgrounds.
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