Nothing says “summer” like a blissful day on the water. Whether you want to fish from the shoreline, make waves riding a personal watercraft, of float gently along in a canoe or kayak, your ideal getaway could be all wet.
At Thousand Hills State Park, west of Kirksville, Forest Lake offers plenty of aquatic activities. Go boating, cast your line for fish, and take your swimsuit to enjoy the refreshing waters. On land, learn about the park’s fascinating American Indian rock carvings, which were left by the area’s inhabitants more than 1,500 years ago.
Fans of kayaking and canoeing love spending the day at Lake Springfield Park. The lovely 4,260-acre lake, located in the city of Springfield (which means plenty of dining and hotel options), makes a great destination for water-sport enthusiasts. Take your own canoe or kayak, or rent one there. Other activities include hiking and bird-watching.
Admire lots of natural beauty – and get in some quality boating time – when you visit Little Dixie Lake Conservation Area. Just west of Fulton, Little Dixie Lake welcomes boaters, anglers, and picnickers. Bass, catfish, and sunfish are plentifully. Photographers, take note: This conservation area is a perfect place for stunning wildlife photography.
In Washington State Park, partake in one of Missouri’s most beloved traditions: the float trip. Pack a picnic lunch, and spend a leisurely day floating down Big River. Enjoy majestic views of the Ozarks when you visit this park, located near De Soto. A number of hiking trails add to the adventure, and the on-site swimming pool provides the perfect place to cool down. Petroglyphs (rock carvings) left by prehistoric Indians are preserved in this park.
Missouri’s most popular lake, The Lake of the Ozarks, boasts nearly limitless opportunities for fun. Catch some rays on one of the sandy beaches, explore the vast blue waters via boat, or cast your line to make that big catch. In addition to all of the water activities, the Lake of the Ozarks area offers golf, horseback riding, aircraft tours, hiking, and plenty of dining and entertainment destinations.
Paddle a canoe and cast a line at Meramec State Park, a favorite destination for water enthusiasts. Rent a raft or canoe, and spend the day on the beautiful Meramec River. Additional adventures are found onshore, including the opportunity to explore several hiking trails and more than 40 caves. The park, just south of Sullivan, makes a fantastic camping destination.