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Big Elk Floats and Camping

Pineville, MO, USA
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About Big Elk Floats and Camping
Big Elk Floats and Camping offers RV Camping, with Full Hookup Sites. We float Canoes, Kayaks and Rafts on the Elk River and Big Sugar Creek. We strive for the Family Friendliest, Customer Service'iest Campground Around!
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Hours Today: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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Big Elk Floats and Camping
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Twerkin and Werkin wrote a review Jun 2021
20 contributions19 helpful votes
My wife and I floated the big elk. It was beautiful and the water was so clear. The staff is very friendly and makes sure you are having a great time. They keep the campground and shower houses clean. We will be back.
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Date of experience: June 2021
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Gary Youree wrote a review Jul 2020
Houston, Texas3 contributions
My name is Gary Youree and my wife's name is Cindy. Big Elk has been a yearly venture most of my life; we have introduced canoe trips on this river to many, many, people - most of them had never been in a canoe before. It is a relaxed atmosphere when you are there virtually alone but it gets pretty crazy on holidays; if you are an experienced canoer you might pass over 100 canoes on the trip and it is a lot of fun watching all those inexperienced, and often drunk - somewhere where that river ends are millions of beer cans, many still full. My wife and I have lived and worked in NW Arkansas since 1983; we started a pallet recycling business in 1984 with no employees and one pickup truck - by 2000 we had nearly 150 employees, 40 trucks and tractors, and 200 trailers. We sold the business property in 2008 and retired. I had been coming from Kansas City to Big Elk since 1970 when I was 13; after we had moved to NW Arkansas and had our business going we would rent canoes for all our employees who wanted to go, sometimes on July 4. The guys who worked for us were refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala. Most had never been in a canoe before and over 100 of us trying to make it down the river was hilarious. One time around 1995 my wife, Cindy,her brother, Mike, and myself were driving back to 71 from Shadow Lake; we had dinner that late afternoon and a lot of drinks - the car kept veering onto the shoulder and each of us thought it was the other's driving so we kept changing drivers. It turned out the right front tire was flat. We had planned on going directly home but by the time was came to Big Elk Camp it was getting dark and we didn't have a spare. We pulled into the drive of a house that had a large barn across the yard. The barn was filled with some canoes but mostly large floats. We could not drive any farther (I cannot believe we made it that far) because the tire had gone completely flat and come off the rim. Mike and I asked at the house if they happened to have a jack and a spare; it was a lot to ask - we were all pretty wasted and no one should be driving - we really didn't have a choice on the road back because there was no where to stop. It was off season, maybe November, but it didn't seem too cold; maybe it was the drinks - we figured we were stuck there for the night but we had no camping gear. Cindy, who has no shy parts, told me what she was going to do and knocked on the door again. She asked them if we could sleep in one of their floats; the barn door was open and we could see them stacked up. The man decide "yes" and walked us to the barn and pulled a large float off a stack of two or three. He just pulled it down onto the floor and walked back to his house; I know now he thought we would be sleeping in the float in the barn - we were feeling too adventurous for that so we all dragged it down to the river and put it in the water. We did not have any paddles but planned on going nowhere; we just thought it would be nicer to sleep in if it was floating on the water. Cindy and I got into one end and Mike in the other. We passed out pretty quickly but Cindy and I woke up sometime later (when I don't know - it was completely dark. I started shifting around in the boat and found I was wet, and cold. Cindy was wet too. Mike was snoring. I got out of the puddle in the middle of the float and was looking up at the stars. The night sky started to slowly turn; **** we were in the middle of the river somewhere downstream - I could make out the hwy 71 bridge to the east which meant we had floated under and passed it. The bridge had been maybe a city block or two to the west from where we put the boat in the river; we were now down to the main campsites maybe 4-5 city blocks from where we put in - in the middle of the river. I was going to get wet and the was probably 50 degrees out side. I was already wet so it was me who would get in the water and pull the float to shore; from there we would drag it back east on the bank to the barn - Mike was still sleeping. I hopped out expecting the water to be waist deep; I went all the way under - it was about 8' deep. The float had a rope so I swam and them walked to the bank; Mike had woke up after all the noise i made getting in the water. We got back to the barn and put up the boat. The lights were out in the house so we didn't bother them; it was cold. We gathered firewood in the dark and built a big fire to dry out and get warm. There was nothing to do but sit up all night and feed the fire. The next morning we found a canoe with a 80-hp motor. We headed downstream for Shadow Lake to get breakfast and drinks, lots of drinks; it took us about 20 minutes, maybe 15 - the prop was shot so we dunked and filled the canoe with water, sinking it. The bar and restaurant was closed (it was Sunday!) so we broke it and started making drinks; we were able to get the grill turned on and made some cheeseburgers. Suddenly there was a SWAT team outside ..... just shucking. The last paragraph was, of course, a fib - it was a little more exciting to end this story with this than just building a fire to keep warm. Some on these company canoe trips would stay and camp at the Low Water Bridge or further down; Ace Pallet Company, Inc. was in business 1984 - 2008 - by the time we had two employees we probably made Big Elk a company vacation every year. That is 24 years of trips... maybe 23 - I think one year we had reservations and the water was too high. We all went to the lake. The river is better. We have not been to the Big Elk since 2008. We are planning to go to Pineville Sunday or Monday.
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Date of experience: July 2020
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Momommaj wrote a review Jul 2020
Pineville, Missouri33 contributions4 helpful votes
This is a great place to enjoy floating, camping and watching fireworks! The owners and employees are very friendly and accomodating. Fair prices and very generous to assist with any problems. Fantastic firework show they gave last year! Definitely the place to go in McDonald County.
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Date of experience: June 2020
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scrmonster wrote a review Sep 2019
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma53 contributions48 helpful votes
I meet up with a group of friends yearly to float the river. They keep the camp grounds neat and are very friendly. It’s always a good time!
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Date of experience: September 2019
2 Helpful votes
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JM9117 wrote a review Jul 2019
Kansas City, Missouri19 contributions4 helpful votes
Great place, friendly staff. We rented two canoes and had a wonderful time. Will rent from Big Elk again.
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Date of experience: July 2019
1 Helpful vote
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