Markham Springs Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Markham Spring Home overlooking pond

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.

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.

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

Markham Spring House overlooking pond Markham Spring Pond Markham Spring Picnic Area Markham Spring Boat Launch on the Black River Markham Spring Wheel House

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Pavilion - Temporarily Closed until Further Notice, Fuchs House - Open Use limited to 10 persons or fewer.
Operational Hours: Operational Hours: Campground is open 5/1 through 9/30. 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.
Reservations: 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.
Fees 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.
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
Information Center: The small town of Williamsville is just 3 miles from the campground, offering a general store and fuel station.

General Information


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.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Nature Viewing

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Water Activities

Show detail SHOW
Areas & Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
400 feet


Promo: Make a Reservation

Make a Reservation! Visit Link opens in a new window

Promo: Maps and Brochures

Find a Map or Brochure

Promo: Interactive Visitor Map

Visit the Interactive Visitor Map! Link opens in a new window

Promo: Safety and Ethics

Forest Safety Link opens in a new window