State Park Highlight: Lake of the Ozarks

June 12, 2014IMG_0583

Being the largest state park in Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks state park is a national treasure. Though most of the Ozarks shoreline is privately owned, this stretch is set aside just for the benefit of the public. With their mission of conservation, these state and national parks deserve our patronage.

This lake, though massive, is manmade, with its heritage going back to the 1930s. It was created by the construction of the Bagnell Dam and named after the area that it lived: the Ozarks.

The amount of activities Lake of the Ozarks provides is almost unbelievable. Send your boat off on one of the three available boat ramps and sink your line right in. Pitch a tent; get your hiking boots muddy on twelve gorgeous trails, all surrounded by the lush of forestry. And then there are the caves (nearly 5,500 hundred of them).

They offer both traditional and children’s tours (shorter and more basic). Tour guides cover not only the formation of the caves, but also the creatures that call those caverns home. That is what excites me most about this and other state parks in general, the educational aspect. How are people expected to make conservation friendly choices if they don’t know who are what needs to be protected? Along with the stellar education, these caves also feature “angel showers”, an unusual cave phenomenon, that creates a never-ending shower of water out of seemingly solid rock.

If you’re planning on taking a trip to this or any park this summer, be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife. Visiting the Lake of the Ozarks you can expect to see, blind grotto salamander, cardinals, blue catfish, deer, wild turkey, armadillos, and so much more.

Interested more in the conservation efforts going on at the Lake of the Ozarks? Check out their monthly newsletter, The Pine Needle. Keep checking Eco News Network for more Park Highlights.

-Malissa Stark

Photo Credit: Eco News Network