June 5, 2014

The Lake of the Ozarks is Great Outdoors

A scenic view from the hills of Ha Ha Tonka State Park.
Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. - When Kansas City businessman Robert McClure Snyder decided to make a home at Lake of the Ozarks, he said, "Here I will spend my leisure, secure from the worries of business and the excitement of city life.  I will fish and loaf and explore the caves of these hills, with no fear of intrusion."  Each year, thousands of visitors to the Lake live the legacy of his words, enjoying the great outdoors at this recreational destination in the heart of Missouri.


In the early 1900s, Snyder hired Scottish stone masons to construct a castle to rival those in Europe.  Fire gutted the castle in 1942, after Snyder's death, but the remains now are the centerpiece of Ha Ha Tonka State Park, near Camdenton.



Hikers can enjoy the hills and scenery Snyder was referring to when they choose to hike or stroll along one of the trails at Ha Ha Tonka State Park.  The park offers trails ranging from less than a mile long to one that is 6.5 miles.  And, four trails, including the Spring Trail, which languidly leads to the twelth largest spring in the state, are paved and wheelchair accessible. All of Ha Ha Tonka's trails showcase the natural beauty of the Niangua Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks and the rock formations along its shores, but also take visitors to the ruins of Snyder's "castle." 


Hiking in the Park
The swinging bridge along Coakley Hollow Trail at Lake of the Ozarks State Park is a favorite among visitors.

The Lake area features a total of 26 trails, sure to satisfy everyone from casual walkers to serious hikers.  Lake of the Ozarks State Park, the state's largest, offers 12 trails ranging in length from .8 of a mile to 13.5 miles.  Visitors can choose a trail offering scenic views of the Lake or winding through protected woodlands that minimize man-made visual and sound disturbances. 


Hiking is not the only way to enjoy the Lake's great outdoors, however.  If your perfect vacation includes fishing, horseback riding, camping or golfing, look no further than the Lake of the Ozarks.



It's no wonder generations of anglers from across America are hooked on fishing at the Lake of the Ozarks.  The Lake offers opportunities to catch many species of fish all year round, from a wide variety of locations


The Lake of the Ozarks is one of the top bass fisheries in the country.

Whenever and wherever you choose to cast a line, you'll have the potential to reel in a big catch.  The Lake is loaded with fish species including largemouth bass, spotted bass, black and white crappie, blue catfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, white bass, hybrid stripers, paddlefish, walleye, and bluegill.  Some of the Lake's record-breakers from the last decade have included a 91-lb. blue catfish and a whopping 134-lb., 12-oz. paddlefish.


With 54,000 surface acres and 1,150 miles of shoreline, the Lake gives anglers their choice of fishing spots, including rock bluffs, gravel or sand bars, coves, creeks or boats.  Another option is fishing from docks, including those at the small, family-owned resorts scattered around the Lake area.  Some offer year-round fishing from docks that are covered and heated.  They offer cozy lodging options and many other amenities, including boat rentals.  Anglers also can choose to launch their own boats from these resorts or from one of the Lake's nine public boat ramps.  In addition to the resorts, bait shops and full-service marinas provide everything needed to fish, from bait to boats.

If you're not an expert, but want to fish like one, call on one of the Lake's independent fishing guides. These pros will take you directly to the "hot spots" and can provide tackle and bait.



Getting out on the water is one of the best ways to experience the Lake.

Visitors are welcome to BYOB - Bring Your Own Boat - to the Lake of the Ozarks.  However, there's no problem if you don't have one; you can rent everything from pontoons to personal watercraft at one of the many rental locations around the Lake.  Sight-seeing from the water helps you realize all there is to see and do at the Lake.  Many of the Lake's businesses offer dock-to-dock convenience.  You can leave your dock and stop at theirs for lakeside dining, music and more. 


For a look at the more natural features of the Lake, boaters should travel to the Lake of the Ozarks State Park and ask for information on the Aquatic Trail.  A booklet describes this self-guided tour, which is accessible by water only, and takes visitors to some of the park's natural communities. The trail shows a diversity of woodlands, glades, streams and geological structures. 



Trail rides on horseback are a popular and unique vacation activity at the Lake.

Visitors to the Lake of the Ozarks can go for a ride for their vacation - whether on horseback or bicycle. Trail rides through the beautiful Ozarks scenery are available at Tan-Tar-A Resort and Lake of the Ozarks State Park, as well as a number of local stables.  Most offer trail rides for older kids and adults and pony rides for smaller kids.  Boarding is available at some of the local stables, so your horse can enjoy a Lake of the Ozarks vacation, too. 


Visitors that prefer two wheels to four hooves can find their fun at the Lake, as well.  Mountain bikers can enjoy 16 miles of sweet single track in the Lake of the Ozarks State Park. The Midwest Fat Tire Series called the Trail of Four Winds the best race course for 2002. It is widely known throughout the Midwest for its beauty and solitude. The trailhead is located just a few miles from the intersection of highways 54 and 42 in the heart of the Lake of the Ozarks area.

Casual riders can enjoy a paved multi-use trail that parallels some of Lake Ozarks' scenic roads, offering nine miles of riding.  The trail begins at the Village of Four Seasons City Hall on Horseshoe Bend Parkway, just a few miles off of Business Hwy. 54.  Bike rental is available at The Cove Golf Course at The Lodge of Four Seasons resort.



The Golf Club at Deer Chase
The Golf Club at Deer Chase is one of 15 beautiful and challenging courses at the Lake.

Many visitors seeking outdoor fun at the Lake of the Ozarks don't want to be "roughing it"; they want to spend their days on manicured fairways and greens.  The Lake area is a true golf destination with 15 courses, many designed by some of golf's great architects. In other words, it's a golfer's paradise. 


The landscape of the Lake of the Ozarks makes for unforgettable courses set amid forested hills, impressive rock bluffs or along the sparkling waters of the Lake.  Designers including Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, Robert Trent Jones, Floyd Farley, Ken Kavanaugh and Jack Nicklaus etched these courses into the beautiful scenery.  In doing so, they created courses that are challenging and fun for players at any level, from beginners to champions.


Whether the plan is for a single day on the links or a golf getaway with the usual foursome, the Lake of the Ozarks can accommodate.  Several of the courses are located at the area's full-service resorts, which offer activities and amenities other than golf.


Thirteen of the courses make up the Lake of the Ozarks Golf Trail, along with a number of lodging partners.  By using the Golf Trail's website ญญญ- www.GolfAtTheLake.com - golfers find it's easy to book a stay-and-play package at a rate less than booking tee times and lodging separately.


Whether plans include hiking, fishing, golfing or boating, visitors find that the outdoors truly is great at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks.


For more information about the Lake of the Ozark's many activities and attractions, as well as lodging and dining options, contact the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau at 800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253) or visit www.FunLake.com.


For media assistance or high-resolution photography, please call The Beenders-Walker Group toll-free at 800-544-8474 or email Marjorie BeendersJo DuncanDeb Hendricks or Kyle Stewart.

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Phone: 800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253) Fax: 573-348-4292 

P.O. Box 1498  Osage Beach, MO 65065

Website: www.FunLake.com  Email: Info@FunLake.com   

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Ha Ha Tonka State Park


Lake of the Ozarks State Park


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The Aquatic Trail at Lake of the Ozarks State Park


Lake of the Ozarks Golf Trail



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