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Missouri: Lake of the Ozarks State Park
Posted on Sunday, January 21 @ 00:00:00 CST by iljiana

Horse Rentals & Day Ride Trails P.O. Box 170
Kaiser, MO 65047 (573) 348-2694
(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.
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.
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.

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