The easiest way to follow the tour is to read each section and then find the
area on the camp map.
Bear River Ranch is a 240 acre modern camp facility nestled in the beautiful Missouri
Ozarks, just 9 miles north of Rolla, Missouri. The Ranch was once home to WoHeLo Woods Camp and was run
by the Camp Fire Girls. In 1999 Scott and Lori
Martin purchased the property, which appeared to have been abandoned nearly 15
years earlier. Construction and renovations began almost immediately as
days off and weekends were consumed by turning this facility into a modern,
comfortable, barrier free escape for nature and animal lovers from around the
world. Scott and
Lori with their two daughters (Mikayla and Jamie) live and work
full time at Bear River Ranch. Nearly everything at the Ranch is either
new or newly renovated and is fully wheelchair accessible.
When you turn off State Route E into Bear River Ranch you will drive down a
1/2 mile drive to our parking lot. Located in the northwest corner of the
lot is our welcome pavilion. Most groups will meet here and unload luggage
onto trailers. These trailer will be taken to your assigned cabins.
As you drive in, keep an eye out in the woods and you may see some white tail
deer or turkey.
As you arrive in the parking lot, you can't miss the main office. We
welcome you to pop in and explore the warm lodge decor as you sip on a cup of
hot chocolate or cappuccino. Most days you will find two large white
Pyrenees dogs (Frog and Angel) waiting to greet you. Keep your eyes peeled
and you may see a peacock or two roaming nearby as well.
Tucked in the trees near our welcome pavilion is Bears Den. This large
multipurpose building is perfect for many types of group
gatherings. The beautiful knotty pine walls and
ceramic floors lend to both formal and informal events.
The Martin Home
Across from the parking lot is the home of Scott, Lori, Mikayla and Jamie
Martin the owners of Bear River Ranch. All of our cabins, the health lodge and the dining hall have
with the owners home phone number posted, so that you are just a phone call
away from getting any question answered.
Bear River ranch is home to several beautiful ponds.
Whether you are looking for a serene place to relax and read
a book, watch goldfish swim, catch frogs, study the ecology,
or take in a little catch and release fishing, there is a
place here for you.
Our fishing pond is located beside the animal pasture. In fact is not
uncommon to watch emus, llama or goats drinking from the opposite bank while you
fish. While blue gill is the most common fish caught
in our pond, we have had campers catch 3 and 4 pound catfish as well.
Right in the center of the action you will find a
friendly door to knock on. Our Director Ashley Nanney
and her family live in this quaint home and are always
wiling to help you find a solution to your needs at the
Behind the Director's cottage is our dining hall. The dining hall is a
common meeting place for groups and offers a fully equipped kitchen and seating
for up to 110 people. With air-conditioning, a big screen TV, two bathrooms
drinking fountain it is popular gathering spot. Delicious meals
are served buffet style with fresh fruit and vegetables
available for lunch and dinner.
If you forget your toothbrush, need a cold soda and candy
bar, stamps, toys, a flashlight or want to bring home a
souvenir from your adventure here, the camp store is the
place to go. The store is open in the off season by
request and in the summer season at designated times.
This small cottage once operated as our health lodge.
Today it acts as a residence for students working with us
through our exchange program.
The Pottery Studio
Pottery lovers will enjoy this air conditioned
opportunity to play. With several wheels, creation
stations, and a kiln your imagination is the limit!
The studio is open during the summer session and is
available for user groups in the off season as a rental
Our health lodge is a large building with several sections.
Section one contains a lobby area with couches a bathroom
and a water fountain. Behind the front counter sits a
roomy nurses office with a locking room to store
medications. The four private rooms, full bath, and TV
room provide comfortable lodging for up to 12 people.
Section two of the health lodge is a large three bedroom
home with a beautiful kitchen and cable television used for
our health lodge staff during the summer camp season.
The third section has a cabin area for small groups, a small
workout room, and full laundry facility.
Camp Fire Ring
Directly behind the health lodge is a favorite spot, the
camp fire ring. This is the perfect location for group songs, skits and simply
roasting marshmallows around an open campfire.
Comfy couches, a game table and big screen cable TV make
this the prime spot to hang out at the end of a long day.
Sorry kids, this area is for adults only.
The Computer Cafe
Open during the summer camp season only, this is the
place to send emails home! Email cards are kept for
each camper so we can help kids stay in touch.
Outgoing emails are batched and sent out via our server at
the end of each day. Incoming mail is printed and
delivered to your camper during lunch time.
We house two pavilions of cabins (currently 12 total)
each named after a different State.
You won't find more comfortable
cabins anywhere! Cabins are 1600 square feet, have air-conditioned or
semi-private rooms, private bathrooms and showers, chilled drinking fountain, Serta twin mattress, a large central meeting room and a covered front porch.
We understand how important a good nights sleep is to ensuring an overall
fantastic camp experience and we built these cabin with this in mind.
Dig into an exciting adventure in our fossil quarry.
Become an archeologist as you find and identify many
interesting shells, fossils, and sharks teeth! If you
dig Geology, you will love our gemstone quarry where you can
find many beautiful stones. Both quarry's are open
during the summer season and offered as an optional activity
for rental groups upon request.
Ursa is the Latin name for Bear.
Ursa's Landing is the name given to our large covered pavilion in the heart of
base camp. This pavilion is equipped with a large BBQ grill and outdoor
sound system. This is the perfect location for large family or group picnics or
even an outdoor dance. Ursa's Landing even has lighting to allow you to enjoy
this beautiful location well into the evening. It is large enough for
groups of 100 or more to gather.
Landing is our outdoor swimming pool. A great place to cool off or have a
swim party. Our concrete ramp makes wheel chair
accessibility a breeze. Guests who use wheel chairs will usually transfer
into our "pool" wheel chair and take the pool chair directly into the pool.
There is no better way to cool off on a hot summer day then to take a dip in the
If you take the road between the swimming pool and dining hall and turn off before you reach the
animal area, you will find the trail to our archery
range. Archery is a popular activity during our summer
season where certified instructors help you perfect your
technique while ensuring everyone's safety. During the
off season, Our ranch is available as an activity option
with or without personal instruction.
Activity pavilions are scattered along the fire break which surrounds our
cabins We have a total of 6 covered pavilions to use as
activity locations. All have concrete floors and picnic tables. Three of
pavilions have electrical outlets and running water. Each Pavilion can easily
accommodate 16+ people around two picnic tables.
The view is breathtaking from this scenic hill top. Astronomy Hill is the ideal
location for star gazing. No light pollution, just the beautiful night sky
viewed from a private, secluded Missouri glade.
The Animal Learning Center Areas:
This open air pavilion is home a playground to a variety
of animals. At night, it is fun to enjoy watching the
sugar gliders and degus jump and climb from the ropes of
their jungle gym. During the day, watching the soft
chinchillas playfully chase one another through the maze of
cylinders on the floor is also fun. During the summer,
frisky kittens also love this playful spot.
This area is home to a variety of animals. The
number and type of animals making the bird barn their home
changes with the season. The most common residents of
the Bird Barn include parakeets, parrots, love birds, a
macaw, conures, cockatiels, and other birds from our free
flight aviaries. You may even see a few sloth's,
bunnies or tortoises!
Across from the Bird Barn is a 1/2 acre fenced
in enclosure. Because of its five sides it has earned the name "The
Pentagon". The Pentagon is home to our Patagonian Cavy's, turkeys,
giant African spurred tortoises and more. Guinea and Peafowl also call The Pentagon home. A
popular summer time activity is to go on an egg and tortoise hunt inside The
Pentagon. (This is harder than you may think.)
Our Animal Room is home to many small pet shop type animals. The Animal
Room favorites are usually our playful ferrets, chinchillas,
rabbits, guinea pigs, and sugar gliders.
You can also hold a four eyed opossum! How many eyes
do you think they really have?
We have a variety of lizards, snakes, tortoises, amphibians and
invertebrates in this room. From a pair of 8 foot red tail boas, to
giant hissing cockroaches, bearded dragons and Giant monitor
lizards we have something for every lover of cold blooded
outdoor enclosures are home to some really fascinating
friends! Watching spike the African crested porcupine
smile as you rub behind his ears is enough to make your
heart melt. Having Sarah the sloth eat a banana from
your hand with a pallet of only four teeth is just
fascinating. The habitats also commonly house our
nursery animals so it is not uncommon to find a baby
wallaby, sheep, or even an emu baby ready to play.
Don't miss seeing Old Ned our six banded armadillo
Watching our six
miniature kangaroo's (or wallaby's) hop and play will keep
any animal lover enchanted! Watch closely and you just
may see a baby joey peeking out at you.
Follow the road past wallaby country and you will come to a large barn,
barnyard and pasture. This is the home of our goats, emus, miniature
donkeys , miniature horses, alpacas and llamas.
No matter what time of year you visit, you are sure to enjoy the antics of these
unusual animals. Have you ever heard an emu drum? Have you watched a goat climb up a rock
tower or fed a llama from your hand? Well after visiting Bear River Ranch you may add these
and many other memories to your collection. (Don't forget your camera)
During the summer, campers bottle feed baby goats and milk mother goats at the
This area is worth cackling about! Imagine gathering a rainbow of
different egg colors. We have a wide variety of roosters and hens from
brahma's (One of the largest varieties) to cochens (one of the smallest).
If you like chickens, this area will surely shake your tail feathers!
Our Turtle Pond is an enclosed shallow pond used for the study of amphibians, box
turtles and a variety of other pond life. If you visit the Ranch in the spring
you will be amazed at how deafening the courtship calls of the frogs at the
can be. Your group may enjoy being a part of our "Turtle Patrol" project which
is an ongoing study of the territory and growth rates of Missouri's three toed
and ornate box turtles.