State park opens on former summer camp property in Missouri

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon cut the ribbon on the state’s newest park on Saturday on land that includes the former Camp Zoe property.

Echo Bluff Park as its known occupies 476 acres and will offer overnight accomodations in a new 20-room lodge in addition to traditional camping facilities. The park has eight miles of hiking trails and picnic and event shelters of various sizes.

“Echo Bluff State Park is a new jewel of Missouri’s acclaimed state park system and offers everyone from experienced outdoorsmen to families who appreciate modern amenities a beautiful base from which to explore the eastern Ozarks,” Gov. Nixon said at the dedication, according to a press release.

Camp Zoe was established in 1929 and closed in 1986.

It was used as concert venue for bands like String Cheese Incident, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic and others after Jimmy Tebeau of the Missouri band The Schwag purchased the 370-acre property in 2004.

The campground and festival site ran into trouble with the law when an open-air drug market was discovered on the property and raided by authorities in 2010. The DEA seized the property and Tebeau was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.

While little is left of Camp Zoe from its summer camp years, there are efforts underway to restore the camp’s lodge.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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