Make a Splash in the Show-Me State

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Article Tags:

lakes , rivers and streams , fishing , swimming , boating , water / boating facilities
Lakes, rivers and streams are ideal for summer fun in Missouri
Author: Stephen Foutes
There are a lot of great places to make a splash in Missouri. Water is everywhere.

Boating and beaches are plentiful at Lake of the Ozarks, which in 2015 was voted the Best Recreational Lake in the U.S. by readers of USA Today/10 Best.


Offering more than 55,000 acres of water-based fun, you find great fishing spots, swimming beaches and quiet coves along the Lake’s more than 1,100 miles of shoreline. The wide open main channel is well suited for boats and personal watercraft, one of the reasons the lake is among the most popular waterways in the country.


Across Missouri, lakes of all sizes, along with dozens of rivers and streams, mean you’re never far from the water and outdoor fun.


In northwest Missouri, folks enjoy recreational opportunities at Mozingo Lake near Maryville and on Smithville Lake outside of Kansas City.


Northeast Missouri boasts Mark Twain Lake – a renowned fishing spot – and the tranquil lakes of Thousand Hills State Park in Kirksville and Long Branch State Park in Macon.


In addition to Lake of the Ozarks, central Missouri is home to Pomme de Terre Lake and the Harry S Truman Reservoir (better known as Truman Lake), two popular fishing spots.


Southwest Missouri has several recreational lakes, including Table Rock Lake, a great bass-fishing destination and one of the most scenic spots in the state. Also in southwest Missouri are Stockton Lake, where sail boating is popular, and Lake Taneycomo, noted for trout fishing.


What southeast Missouri lacks in large lakes, it makes up for in rivers and streams.


Places like the Eleven Point River, Black River and Castor River are ideal recreational locales. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways are beautiful, thanks to the Current and Jacks Fork rivers and natural springs, such as Blue Spring.


Outfitters in these areas help prepare you for a day on the water and rent everything from canoes and kayaks to large rafts and inner tubes. A day spent floating Missouri’s streams is a day you won’t soon forget.


You’re never far from water-based fun in Missouri. Make a trip to the water part of your next Missouri vacation and keep exploring VisitMO to learn more about what’s waiting for you in the Show-Me State.




Photo of Long Branch State Park courtesy of Missouri State Parks





  The Lake of the Ozarks
Missouri's most popular lake destination features more than 1,100 miles of shoreline – that’s ...

  Mozingo Lake Recreation Park
Mozingo Lake Recreation Park is located beside a 1,000-acre recreational lake. The campground features ...

  Smithville Lake
A 7,190-acre recreational lake for boating, fishing, sailing, and swimming. Facilities include, among ...

  The Mark Twain Lake
This 18,600-acre lake is ideal for a day on the water. Also, enjoy equestrian trails, walking trails, ...

  Thousand Hills State Park
Thousand Hills State Park includes American Indian rock carvings (petroglyphs) more than 1,500 years ...

  Long Branch State Park
This park features water recreation on the 2,430-acre Long Branch Lake, which has an excellent reputation ...

  Pomme de Terre State Park
Located along the 7,800-acre Pomme de Terre Lake, this park offers lots of solitude and sunshine. The ...

  Harry S. Truman Reservoir
This 55,600-plus acre lake offers 958 miles of coast line and has created a diverse wildlife area rich ...

  Table Rock State Park
Visitors to Branson can make their headquarters at this park, located along Table Rock Lake. The park ...

  Lake Taneycomo - Branson
Lake Taneycomo is one of the great trout-fishing destinations in the country. The lake originally was ...

  Stockton State Park
Stockton State Park overlooks Stockton Lake. A steady breeze across the Springfield plateau makes this ...