Markham Springs Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Markham Spring Home overlooking pond

Located adjacent to the Black River, Markham Springs Recreation Area gets its name from the former owner, M. J. Markham, who acquired the property in 1901 and operated a lumber mill at the site until the 1930s.  This recreation area consists of a 51 unit campground.  Single and double campsites are available, some of which have electric hook-ups.  Primitive camping is also available in a wooded setting near the Black River.  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.

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

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Operational Hours: Campground is open 5/1 through 10/1. Only campers are allowed in the campground from 10 pm to 6 am. Some sights are reservable. Day use area, including the boat launch, pavilion, trails and picnic area, are open year-round. The pavilion is reservable.  The campground and Day Use area are operated by Elsinore Youth and Community Center under a special use concession permit.
Reservations: Reservations for campsites and the pavilion can be made online at or by calling (877) 444-6777.
Fees Campsites are $10(single), $18(double) for non-electric. Electric sites are $17(single), $34(double). 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. The pavilion is $25.00 per day for 25-50 people.
Usage: Light
Restrictions: 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.
  1. 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.
  2. All firewood brought in the park, must be burn before you leave. Do not leave it for other campers.
  3. View maps of quarantined states at
Closest Towns: Williamsville
Water: Drinking Water and Showers; May 1 through October 1 only.
Restroom: Vault
Operated By: Forest Service

General Information


From Poplar Bluff, MO, go 14 miles north on Hwy 67. Turn west at Hwy 49 for 9 miles and enter the FS 2997 at the entrance sign, the site is located 3 miles west of Williamsville.


Camping & Cabins

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Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity 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.

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

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.

RV Camping

Recreation areas with activity RV Camping:

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


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Nature Viewing

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Water Activities

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Areas & Activities


  Elevation : 
400 feet