Want to heat up your summer itinerary while cooling down on a lake or river? Set sail for Missouri, where water sports are synonymous with warm-weather fun.
As the state’s most popular lake, the Lake of the Ozarks boasts countless adventures for the family. Skip through the waves on a personal watercraft. Rent a pontoon boat for an afternoon of fun. Make that big catch from the deck of a fishing boat. Enjoy a myriad of activities ranging from golf to shopping, dining to theme parks. With more than 1,100 miles of shoreline, the Lake of the Ozarks offers plenty of room – and plenty of fun – for everyone.
Enjoy the tranquil beauty of Meramec State Park, located six miles outside of Sullivan. Gather a group of friends for a memorable canoe trip on the clear waters of the Meramec River. The park is a perfect home-base for any aquatic adventure, thanks to plentiful campsites, an on-site general store, barbecue grill, cabins, and even a motel with a conference center. Anglers, take note: The Meramec River offers great fishing opportunities. If you’d like to explore the land as well as the water, spend some time on the park’s hiking and backpacking trails.
Get your water-sports fix at lovely Smithville Lake. Located about a half-hour north of downtown Kansas City, this 7,190-acre lake is an ideal destination for swimming, boating, fishing and sailing. No boat? No problem – two, full-service marinas offer plenty of watercraft rentals. After a great time on the lake, check out the wide range of shoreline activities, including horseback riding, bicycling and golf.
Embark on a floating adventure down the Black River. Passing through more than 1,700 square miles, this river boasts many opportunities for floating, swimming, fishing, camping and maybe a glimpse an American eagle. Depart from Franklin Floats in Lesterville, and explore the Upper Black River. They will shuttle you to a launch point and back from your take-out point. Franklin Float facilities include a large campground, so make a weekend of it.
Fantastic float-trips are in store at Huzzah Valley Resort in Steelville. You can arrange to go floating on the Huzzah River, the Courtois River or the Meramec River. Embark on your journey in a canoe, a kayak or on an inner tube – Huzzah Valley Resort will customize your floating adventure. Make a weekend of it by camping on the 2.5 miles of riverfront along the Huzzah, and enjoy breakfast and supper at the resort’s dining lodge.
Spend a leisurely day on the water, courtesy of a fun float-trip at Washington State Park, 15 minutes south of De Soto. Departing from the park at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m., adventurers can choose between a three-mile and seven-mile trip. Float your way down the Big River in a kayak, inner tube, canoe or multi-person raft.
Admire the extraordinary beauty of the Current River, part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways National Park – the first congressionally designated national park for the preservation of a wild river system. Begin your adventure in Van Buren, where Landing River Store Canoe Outfitters offers trips ranging from one-hour to three days. Choose from tubes, canoes, rafts and kayaks. Camping, lodging and an on-site restaurant help turn your trip into a full-fledged getaway.
Spend a peaceful at Crane Lake, 15 miles south of Arcadia. Cast your line from the shore or boat at this 100-acre lake. (A boat ramp is available. Electric motors only.) Fishing enthusiasts like Crane Lake for its abundant population of bass, sunfish and catfish. Complement your time on the lake with a leisurely hike along the five-mile, double-loop trail (horseback riding and mountain biking are allowed).