Missouri: Lake of the Ozarks State Park|
Posted on Sunday, January 21 @ 00:00:00 MST by iljiana
P.O. Box 170
Kaiser, MO 65047
(573) 348-6670 Stables
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.
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.
For more information: http://www.mostateparks.com/lakeozark.htm