Are you looking for a unique way to celebrate a wedding, wedding reception, family reunion, company retreat, birthday, father’s day or anniversary? Need a quiet outdoor campground centrally located in the U.S. for any type of get together? Want to go some place different for your anniversary or holiday weekend? Murphy Lakes is a safe place for bachelor-bachelorette parties where a group can get loud & crazy without bothering the neighbors or driving home afterwards and placing the public at risk. Perhaps you are a sportsman, seeking that ideal, out of the way fishing spot in Mid-Missouri? Maybe you just need a break, someplace to “get away from it all?” Murphy Lakes hosts school picnics, graduation parties, church retreats, scouts, company picnics, and friends for get togethers. Murphy Lakes is the perfect place for quality time with friends and family without the interruptions.

Purchased in different parcels, Murphy Lakes was established approximately 1875. The original barn now includes four old stalls for livestock and creative rooms for guests to stay. Mark Murphy Sr., the original telegraph operator in Higbee, MO embarked into farming, ranching, timber and oil industry along with a hardware store in Higbee where Casey’s store now stands. In 1905 coal mining on the property led to the construction of lakes for fishing, a railroad spur for hauling coal and timber, and a log cabin built for small parties. Mark Charles Murphy, a pilot, a Flying Tiger, and congressional medal of honor recipient, continued some, but not all of the original businesses at Murphy Lakes. When the livestock disappeared and the final two lakes were formed around 1975, Murphy Lakes became more oriented towards nature experiences, primarily hunting and fishing. In 1996 the Alongi family, from Columbia, MO, purchased the property from Mark Murphy’s widow and began uniquely restoring the existing buildings, main roads, bridges, and timber trails on the property. The forming of M.O.R.E. Club allows members to leave their personal trailers, boats, and sporting equiptment on the property to be shared by others. Currently, the club operates the remaining parcel of Murphy Lakes under the guidance and consultation with the Missouri Dept. of Conservation and Howard County FSA and USDA office.

Anyone coming to Murphy Lakes for the first time will discover a fully functioning ranch and farm with crops, CRP, timber, livestock, lakes, ponds, and a creek that divides the property diagonally. Do not expect to find hedges trimmed like dinosaurs, or camels and monkeys. There are no bill-boards or signs directing you there.   Three roads, one mile long bring you into the area where most of the buildings are located.  The ever-improving roads and re-enforced bridge will guide one in depending on the size of the vehicle and creek conditions during high rains. Do not expect edged concrete lawns and paved roads.  The unique visit and stay is worth all the trouble to get there. The property tour(when available, approx. 2 1/2 hours) of the main facilities will only touch on the attractions. Along the way to our tour stops at three uniwue lodges, the Wedding Barn and recreation center, and primitive island facilities. The combination of old and new facilities keeps the original rustic charm, yet allows one free long-distance, high-speed internet, and premier DIRECTV package. The outdoor experience and uniqueness of this club operated property can’t be found elsewhere. Limited residences add to the unique serenity and wildlife experiences.

Bring your horse, mountain bike, or hiking shoes and enjoy ten miles +/- of trails. Our horse trails are natural, not chad covered. There are several creek crossings and bluff rides along our eight lakes and several ponds. Trails are closed during hunting seasons. Additionally, tractor-pulled scenic hay-rides are available. The unique barn/rec. center/dance floor is available for guests, Weddings, or private rentals.

Historic Murphy Lakes is located near Higbee, Missouri. Higbee is between Moberly, Columbia, Fayette and Clark. Murphy Lakes is located between two State Parks- Rudolph Bennett and Hungry Mother Wildlife Areas.


With only three creative motels, one island shelter, and limited RV hook-ups, we try to offer privacy for our clients instead of the typical noisy and overcrowded campgrounds. Viewing the premises must be done on an appointment basis only or it could be considered trespass. If parties intend to be staying up late in the evening we must be able to inform the other guests in advance.

Need an inexpensive hall to have a group catered, or just to be used as a dance floor? We have a hayloft-dancefloor converted for just such events. Unique single dwellings to stay at, few RV hookups or a drive on an island are perfect for a fun private getaway.