LAKE OF THE OZARKS STATE PARK
Enjoy the solitude of an undeveloped cove, hidden along the shorelines of one of Missouri's largest lakes, Lake of the Ozarks. The 17,441-acre Lake of the Ozarks State Park offers this opportunity, along with a variety of recreational activities on the lake or on shore.
On shore, hikers, backpackers, equestrians and bicyclists can use one of 12 trails that wind through oak-hickory forests and sunny glades and offer bluff-top views of the lake. Or visitors can take a guided tour of Ozark Caverns, best known for a formation of stalactites and waterfalls known as "Angels' Showers."
Water enthusiasts can make use of the park's two swimming beaches or rent a boat at one of the park's marinas. Necessary supplies for a day of fishing or fun on the water can be found in the park stores.
Year-round accommodations for overnight guests include more than 230 shaded campsites, ranging from primitive to those with electric hookups. Campground amenities include modern restrooms and laundry facilities. Eight camper cabins offer a rustic lodging experience.
Lake of the Ozarks State Park's natural beauty remains untouched, yet visitors are just minutes away from shopping, restaurants and a variety of entertainment options.
The Outpost Cabins
Experience a new kind of camping adventure at the Outpost. Nestled in the heart of Lake of the Ozarks State Park, the Outpost offers eight rustic log cabins for campers who want to experience the outdoors without pitching a tent.
Developed in 1993, each cabin features tables and chairs, a wood-burning stove and sleeping accommodations for six people. Infants and children count as occupants. These accommodations include two three-quarter size beds (sized in between a twin and a full) in the loft and one double futon bed downstairs. Tents or other alternate lodging accommodations are not allowed in the rental area.
To prepare for your experience, bring your camping gear such as sleeping bags, pillows, lanterns, cooking and eating utensils, and water containers. The rustic cabins do not have electricity or running water, so plan accordingly. Pets and smoking are not allowed inside the cabins.
Photo of an Outpost Camper Cabin in Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Outside, each cabin has tables and benches, and a fire grill for barbecuing or campfires. A modern central restroom and showerhouse, along with a central parking area, are located within walking distance of the cabins. Drinking water and a pay phone are available there also. Two bundles of firewood are included with rental. Clean up and trash removal is the responsibility of the lodging guest and should be completed before check out.
These rustic cabins, surrounded by an oak-hickory forest, offer visitors a chance to watch wildlife from their front porch. The Lake of the Ozarks, where you can enjoy fishing and swimming, is within walking distance along a hiking trail. Boat rentals are available from the park concessionaire.
Cabins in the Outpost can be rented year-round. The 2006 rate for the cabins is $35 for 1-6 occupants. Full payment for your stay is due at the time you make the reservation.
Please visit the Lodging Reservation System page for other important policy information before making your reservation.
Reservations for stays beginning March 1, 2006, or later will be accepted starting Jan. 10, 2006!
Lake of the Ozarks State Park offers a one-of-a-kind experience in 2006 with its new yurt. A yurt is a circular structure with a fabric cover, much like a tent, and a wooden frame making it strong and weathertight. It sits on a wooden platform with decking and has a locking door. There are three large windows to enjoy the view and a dome skylight that can be opened for ventilation.
The yurt will be available for rent year-round and is accessible for persons with disabilities. The 2006 rate is $30 plus tax for 1-6 occupants (4 adults and 2 youth). Full payment for your stay will be due at the time you make the reservation.
Please visit the Lodging Reservation System page for other important policy information before making your reservation.
Lake of the Ozarks State Park features marinas at both public beaches.
The marina at Public Beach #1 rents fishing boats and has six open dock slips available for rent on a nightly basis. The marina at Grand Glaize Beach rents pontoon boats and has 38 covered slips and 12 open slips for rent.
Both marinas include a general supplies store with a variety of items including fishing and boating supplies. For additional information, please contact the concession operator at (573) 348-1233.
Hours for the marina at Grand Glaize Beach are as follows.March 1 through April : 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday
May 1 to the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend : 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Friday of Memorial Day Weekend through the Monday of Labor Day Weekend : 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
Tuesday after Labor Day Weekend through October : 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday
November through February : closed
Water enthusiasts can make use of the park's two sandy beaches, which are open to the public year-round. Swimming in the state park is limited to the beach areas which also offer restroom and changehouse facilities. Shady picnic areas, reservable shelters and children's playground equipment are all located nearby.
The park has three paved boat ramps; a four-lane ramp at each of the Grand Glaize Beach and Pa He Tsi locations; and a two-lane ramp at Public Beach #1. Daily launch fees are $5 for vessels up to 30 feet in length and $7 for vessels over 30 feet in length. Campground users can launch free at any ramp with a current, valid camping permit. There are no motor restrictions, and the boat launches are open year-round.
Lake of the Ozarks State Park is located near Camdenton, Eldon
There are two main picnic areas located at both public beaches within the park. Picnic areas include tables, outdoor grills, restroom facilities and playground equipment located nearby.
Two open picnic shelters can be reserved for a variety of large outings and family gatherings accommodating as many as 50-100 guests. The shelters, one at each beach, can be reserved at a rate of $40 per day. If not reserved, the shelters are available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis. The shelter at Public Beach #1 (near the campground) is equipped with electricity.
Missouri?s largest state park at 17,442 acres, Lake of the Ozarks State Park, exemplifies many of the natural features associated with the northwestern Ozarks where it is located. Though the man-made lake stands out prominently with more than 80 miles of lake frontage within the park, observant hikers will detect more subtle influences of water on the landscape. Lake of the Ozarks State Park has much to offer in the way of natural diversity and its trails can guide you to arid glades, lush fens, beautiful wildflowers and blufftop vistas.
Over thousands of years, the cutting action of the Grand Glaize Creek (now the Grand Glaize Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks) has exposed sheer picturesque bluffs along its course. Rocky, highly eroded hilltops form scenic glades with few trees. An unusual array of drought-adapted plant and animal life can be found here, including yellow coneflowers that are found in the Missouri Ozarks, but, according to the most recent records, nowhere else in the world.
Surface waters slowly filtering through the underground cracks and joints are responsible for creating large, water-filled chambers. As these chambers were later drained by the downcutting streams, more than 15 known caves were exposed.
The natural wonders of the park can be found in the Patterson Hollow Wild Area and Coakley Hollow Fen Natural Area.
PATTERSON HOLLOW WILD AREA
Part of the Lake of the Ozarks State Park south of Highway 42 and west of Highway 134 has been designated as Patterson Hollow Wild Area. This 1,275-acre area possesses nice stands of oak-hickory forest that provide warm blazes of color during the autumn months. A patchwork of old fields and pastures in various stages of succession also can be found. The spring dogwood display is particularly impressive.
Drainage from the Patterson Hollow bisects the wild area, but flows only after heavy rains. Small springs and seeps along its course form clear perennial pools in the streambed that are great for wading on a hot summer day. Small fish such as the southern redbelly dace and stippled and orange throat darters (males of all three species are quite colorful in the spring), creek chub and stone rollers can be found in these pools. Hikers occasionally will startle green herons that feed on these fish.
Other wildlife in the wild area includes deer, wild turkey, pileated woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks and American woodcocks.
This quiet wild area can provide a wonderful experience for those interested in observing nature or in seeking the peacefulness of a few hours of solitude.
COAKLEY HOLLOW FEN NATURAL AREA
This four-acre natural area features a swampy, spring-fed meadow, seeps and a spring branch along Coakley Hollow. The natural area also features a fen, which is an area with a constant supply of cool, mineralized water seeping to the surface. Because of the seepage, plants and animals living here must be adapted to saturated soils. The fen community is made up of shrubs and herbaceous plants, many of which are normally found growing several hundred miles north. A trail and boardwalk provide access to the fen.
All trails in Lake of the Ozarks State Park open for public use are identified with entrance signs and marked at intersections with colored directional arrows. Occasional colored markers are used to identify trails where the route is not clear. Trail users are advised to watch closely for trail markers, especially where trails intersect only roads.
Ozark Homestead Stables are open daily year-round from 9 a.m. to one hour before sunset. The stables have horses for the experienced rider as well as the beginner and offer one and two-and-one-half hour rides, all-day rides and pony rides for small children.
All rides are staff-guided. Although reservations are not required, they are highly recommended particularly during the summer months. No double riding is allowed. Along with guided horseback and pony rides, the stables at Lake of the Ozarks State Park offer lessons, hayrides/parties, scout badges, overnights and meal rides.
Located just minutes from Osage Beach, take Hwy. 42 east for 3.5 miles and turn into the park entrance on Hwy. 134. The stables are four miles beyond the park entrance. For additional information regarding tours, please call (573) 348-6670, fax (573) 348-6672 or visit the stables' Web site.
Visit Ozark Caverns in Lake of the Ozarks State Park and discover what lies beneath the surface!
Caves are common geologic features in areas like the Ozarks, which is underlain by thick layers of soluble carbonate rocks such as limestone and dolomite. Water, seeping through subterranean cracks in these rock formations, begins to enlarge some of the fractures. As the dissolving action of the water continues, the cracks eventually become large, water-filled conduits that form parts of extensive underground drainage systems.
As these water-filled systems gradually are drained by deepening surface valleys, they become the air-filled passageways we know as caves.
A walk through Ozark Caverns is a journey through one of these large, drained conduits. It is a walk into an environment where geologic processes can proceed unhindered by many of the erratic, erosive forces that shape the surface landscape. In the protected cave environment, dripping and seeping water can redeposit carbonate materials in the form of soda straws, helictites, stalagmites and a host of other geologic wonders that can be seen in Ozark Caverns.
Angel Showers, an unusual cave phenomenon, is a featured part of the Ozark Caverns tour. The never-ending shower of water seems to come out of the solid ceiling of rock.
The protected cave environment also allows visitors to contemplate the claw marks left in the sediment fills by animals that sought shelter here thousand of years ago.
Four species of salamanders, four species of bats, and 16 species of invertebrates live in Ozark Caverns. Four of the invertebrate species live exclusively in caves, never venturing out of the protected environment. Ozark Caverns is home to many small, secretive cave animals, such as the blind grotto salamander, which sometimes can be seen on cave tours.
There is also much to see on the surface. Coakley Hollow Trail, which is a one-mile, self-guiding interpretive trail, begins and ends at the caverns parking lot. This trail crosses a variety of habitats including a glade, fen and an Ozark spring branch. It is also a good place to see spring wildflowers. Trail booklets are available at the visitor center. There are ample picnic sites on the grounds.