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Lake of the Ozarks State Park


Lake of the Ozarks State Park is located in central Missouri, along the Grand Glaize Arm of the Lake. This 17,441-acre playground, Missouri's largest state park, lies south of Osage Beach. It features oak and hickory forests, numerous trails, two swimming beaches, and show caves. In fact, Ozark Caverns Visitor Center opened in 1987 to interpret the region's cave environment; guided cave tours are available at Ozark Caverns, best known for a formation of stalactites and waterfalls known as Angels' Showers. Additionally, boaters to the region can enjoy self-guided exploration along the Ozark Aquatic Trail where the history and geology of the lake's shoreline features are brought to life.

Originally inhabited by the "Children of the Middle Waters," now referred to as the Osage Indians, this land has morphed considerably over many hundreds of years. The valley that once provided sustenance for the Osage along the Osage River was permanently altered with the creation of Truman Lake and Lake of the Ozarks. Now a recreation haven for fun seekers from Kansas City and St. Louis, MO—who frequent the Lake with a hallowed fervor—the lake area invites shoppers, diners and vacationers to its year-round activities and attractions.

The idea to dam the Osage River dates back to 1912 when building the first hydroelectric dam in Missouri was initiated by Ralph Street, a Kansas City business man. Because of financial difficulties, Street was unable to sustain this ambitious project; his efforts came to an end in 1926. The project was resurrected within the year, however, by Union Electric and Stone & Weber Engineering Company (Boston)—the dam's engineer and builder. On August 26, 1929, construction of Bagnell Dam was initiated and proceeded relatively quickly. Lake of the Ozarks began to fill February 2, 1931. Thirty-million dollars later, by spring of 1932, the reservoir would reach its full capacity.

Lake of the Ozarks State Park is open year round. Popular activities include camping, houseboating, horseback riding, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, swimming, fishing, and water skiing. The Park is just a three-hour drive from St. Louis and three and a half hours from Kansas City. Also, just two and half hours southwest is famous Branson, Missouri, the self proclaimed Live-Music-Show Capital of the World.

P.O. Box 170
Kaiser, MO 65047
(573) 348-2694



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