Cottonwoods RV Park is located in Columbia, Missouri, near I-70. Columbia is home to the University of Missouri. The historical center of the campus is the Francis Quadrangle. The columns that once supported Academic Hall, which burned in 1892, now stand in the middle of the quad. The columns are the second-most photographed landmarks in the state of Missouri, next to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
1. Facility: 4.5/5
This is a twenty-something-year-old campground with 97 full hookup sites, sixty-three of which are pull thru sites. The roads are paved, but damaged in several areas, no doubt due to the influx of large motorhomes entering and leaving the park. All of the sites are gravel, but most of them were level, although some RVers were forced to use leveling blocks. Our site slopped slightly downhill, but Harry backed up a little and was able to level our motorhome. The sites were fairly close together, but the beauty and charm of the park as a whole far outweighed that one negative. There is no designated area for unhooking a toad, but you can easily unhook on the one-way road in front of your site.
2. Restrooms: 4/5
There is only one set of male/female bathhouses in the campground, with each unit containing one larger shower designated for campers with disabilities, and three smaller showers, each with a small dressing area. Even though Cottonwoods is an older campground, the restrooms and shower areas were immaculate. Because of the park’s layout, it is a short walk to the respective bathhouses from any of the sites.
The park has numerous amenities, including a pool, a basketball court, a covered pavilion with a large stone fire pit, a playground for the kiddies, a recreation room with exercise equipment, as well as a DVD library, game library, and a book exchange, and an intimate sitting area with a chiminea earthenware fireplace. The pool was still closed for the season, but is scheduled to open on May 15th. Cottonwoods also has a meeting room with a small kitchenette and tables and chairs. The laundry room was very clean, and despite the park’s age, the washers and dryers appeared to be relatively new. The linoleum flooring was worn in several places, but it did not detract from the cleanliness of the space. The park sponsors a full compliment of social events, beginning in February and running through December 1st. The activities include a Cinco De Mayo taco bar and celebration, movies on the lawn, a chili cook off, a Mother’s Day breakfast, and a Silent Night Murder Mystery Weekend, to name a few.
Cottonwoods is conveniently located minutes from I-70 and US Highway 63. Bass Pro Shops, Lowes, Menards, Walmart, and Sam’s Club, are all within easy driving distance from the park. There are also numerous restaurants in the area as well .
Pet Friendly: 5/5
Cottonwoods is a pet friendly RV park, with two grassy privies for the pooches. Complimentary Doggie Clean Up Bags and trash receptacles are located on either end of the park.
Overall Rating: 4.9
Summary: Cottonwoods is one of the prettiest RV parks we have ever stayed in. The landscaping is gorgeous, and there is a large grassy area at both the front and rear of the park. The entrance to the park is lined with Bradford Pear trees on one side, and the trees were just beginning to bloom when we arrived. The ornamental trees also bordered both sides of each row of sites. There are flowers scattered around the park, a winding sidewalk connecting the main entrance to the first row of sites, and several touches of whimsy, including a metal wind spinner and lanterns hanging from some of the trees.
All sites at Cottonwoods offer full hookups. The rates are $42.00 per night for 30 Amp service and $44.00 per night for 50 Amp service. There are also prime sites on the front row, but daily rates for those are not published on the park’s website. Cottonwoods offers a 10% Good Sam and AAA discount. They have free cable and WIFI, but the WIFI was slow at times.
Cell Phone Signal: We were able to get three bars with Verizon, and four bars with AT&T.
Conclusion: Would we stay at Cottonwoods again? Absolutely. In fact, we plan to stay there on our way home.
Note: After getting drenched in Nashville on Monday, Harry came down with a chest cold, so we did not do any sightseeing in Columbia. The rain finally moved out on Thursday, which coincided with my 65thbirthday. Up until about ten years ago, I expected a nice dinner out for my birthday. But as I’ve gotten older, I am happy to simply spend the day with my husband doing something we both enjoy. It’s funny how much your priorities change as you age. So instead of being wined and dined on my big six-five, Harry and I rode our bikes. He still wasn’t feeling well, but we managed to get in four miles before he threw in the towel.
On our return trip, we hope to ride our bikes on the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail, which connects the Katy Trail to the heart of Columbia. The Katy Trail is a recreational rail trail that runs 240 miles in the rail right-of-way of the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. Most of the trail borders the northern bank of the Missouri River. The Katy Trail is the longest Rails-to-Trails trail in the United States. The nickname Katy stems from the phonetic pronunciation of the KT in the railroad’s abbreviated name, MKT..