Castor River Ranch in Missouri
Camp Missouri: I’m talking with John Huenink today. He’s the owner at Castor River Ranch Campground in Missouri. How’s it going today, John?
John Huenink: Good.
Camp Missouri: So, let’s start with how you guys got your start out there. How did you get into this business?
John Huenink: Well, I was going to retire. I bought 140 acres on the Castor River here, in the Ozarks. And a lot of folks were actually just coming on the property and leaving a lot of trash, so I put a stop to it and cleaned it, and decided I better do something with it, so I created an RV campground.
Camp Missouri: Okay, and what specific types of camping do you offer there?
John Huenink: Well, we have full hook-up RV. That’s septic, electric, and really good spring water. We have tent camping and we have people that just come in on a daily rate to swim and fish, and canoe and kayak.
Camp Missouri: Okay, and what are the most popular activities for the guests there, at Castor River Ranch Campground?
John Huenink: Probably smallmouth bass fishing. The river has been stocked. It’s probably stocked about every two years by the Missouri Department of Conservation, and we’ve got some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the Ozarks. And it’s a very private natural stream. We’ve got a lot of beaver and otter. A lot of wildlife. You’d be sitting there, and it’s nothing to see a deer waving through the river to the other side. So, it’s very pristine. It’s very natural, and that’s the way we intend to keep it. But our float trips are really big. Kayak and canoe. And we put in, at the VIllage of Marquand, near the winery, on the river, and there’s about a four-hour float. You might come down and float to the campgrounds.
Camp Missouri: It sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon.
John Huenink: So, we have service for that.
Camp Missouri: Okay. All right, and what are some of the popular attractions in the area around there? If I was staying there for the weekend and I wanted to venture out for an afternoon, what would you recommend that I check out?
John Huenink: Durso Hills Winery and Bistro.
Camp Missouri: Okay.
John Huenink: That’s by Victoria and Jay Hansmann. That’s in the Village of Marquand, and that’s a wonderful winery.
Camp Missouri: Okay, two more questions for you. If you were going to spend just one hour on your property there, how do you like to spend your time there?
John Huenink: Well, we have quite a few hiking trails too that follow the river. We’ve got 140 acres in the back with hiking trails and horseback riding trails. So, I, personally, like to hike along the river.
Camp Missouri: Okay. And if you were going to spend just one night at Castor River Ranch Campground, which particular campsite do you like, John, and why?
John Huenink: Well, if I was going to spend one night, when I was younger I used to do a lot of tent camping, but not anymore. I just do RVs. And all our sites are riverfront.
Camp Missouri: Oh, great.
John Huenink: One night, I would build a campfire, look at the river, listen to the beaver and the otter splashing around out there, and probably just drink a bottle of wine to tell you the truth.
Camp Missouri: That never gets old, does it?
John Huenink: No.
Camp Missouri: Well, hey, it sounds like a really relaxing place. I have never been to that part of the country, but I’d love to visit some time.
John Huenink: You need to come down. It’s different.
Camp Missouri: All right. Well, thank you so much, John, for taking some time out of your day to talk to us about Castor River Ranch Campground in Missouri.
John Huenink: Okay. And if you’ve got any questions, you give me a call and we look forward to hearing from you.
Camp Missouri: All right, will do. You take care.
John Huenink: You have a great day.
Camp Missouri: All right, bye-bye.
John Huenink: Bye-bye.