Plan your Trip to Table Rock Lake for Outdoor Adventure

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The Missouri Ozarks offer an abundance of spectacular outdoor destinations worthy of visiting. Few, however, compare to Table Rock Lake. With 43,100 acres of surface water and approximately 750 miles of natural shoreline, Table Rock has both the size and scenery to make this special lake one of the premier outdoors destinations in America. With so much water surrounded by public land, Table Rock offers recreational opportunities for everyone who enjoys spending time outdoors.

Table Rock Lake is special because the shoreline surrounding this beautiful body of water is public property protected from expansive development. So no matter where you are on the lake, you’re surrounded by natural scenery. There are countless coves and deep pockets for boaters to explore. It’s easy to find your own perfect secluded place to anchor and swim, or pull over on the shore and set up a picnic in a relaxing spot under a shade tree or stretch a hammock for a nap. At any time, a white-tailed deer, wild turkey or bald eagle may make an appearance, as wildlife is very abundant.

Watersports are the main draw to Table Rock Lake. Pleasure boating, fishing and paddle sports are all very popular. If you plan to bring your own boat, wonderful. There are excellent public launch facilities around the lake. But there’s nothing to worry about if you don’t own a boat. Rentals are plentiful. Ski boats, pontoon boats and fishing boats are all available. So are waverunners, which are a fun and exciting way to experience the lake. If you’re more into quiet sports, then canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are all excellent for gliding silently along the surface, taking in all the sights and sounds this spectacular natural setting has to offer.

Scuba diving is another enjoyable outdoor experience Table Rock Lake is known for. Clear, deep and shallow water dive locations away from boat traffic abound. If you have never dived before, this is a great place to learn. Table Rock Lake Dive Shop offers an introductory scuba course that will have you in water within a couple of hours. Parasailing and catamaran sailboat excursions are two more of the seemingly endless options for enjoying the lake.

Table Rock Lake is an incredible fishing destination. But because it is so large and the water is so clear, it can be an intimidating lake to fish for the first time. Hiring one of the many local professional fishing guides is a great way to learn a few secret spots and pick up on tactics to set yourself up for success on your own. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are abundant, and the crappie fishing is excellent. Bowfishing is popular, as well. Below Table Rock Dam, the upper-section of Lake Taneycomo offers tailwater trout fishing with serious trophy potential. Fly fishermen flock to the dam in the fall to try their luck at landing one of the lunker browns that migrate up stream to spawn.

There are many public and privately owned campgrounds in the area. Table Rock State Park has two beautiful campgrounds, which offer all sorts of campsites, from primitive to full hook-up. The park also has family campsites for hosting larger groups. If camping isn’t your thing, there are numerous local cabin rentals are available. Big Cedar Lodge offers an array of accommodations from spectacular multi-room log lodges to much simpler lakeside fisherman cabins.

One unique and exciting way to experience the best of both worlds is to rent a houseboat. Imagine yourself sunbathing on a hot summer afternoon on the upper deck far from the stresses of everyday life. You’re reading a good book and enjoying a cold drink. After awhile, you slip off your sunglasses and step out of your flip flops. You stroll to the edge, pause briefly to look down, then dive off into crystal clear refreshing water. Five Star Houseboat Vacations offers luxury houseboats with all the amenities you need to enjoy an on-the-water camping experience. Wheel your luggage across the dock onto your floating abode and set sail for an adventure the entire family will remember forever.

Even if you’re more of a land-lover, there are plenty of trail opportunities around the Table Rock Lake. Miles and miles of trail offer walkers, runners, bikers and hikers the opportunity to stretch their legs. Bird watching is popular in the around the lake, with bald eagles sighted frequently. Table Rock Lakeshore Trail is paved and courses through flat terrain. It’s a perfect trail for a leisurely stroll along the shoreline. It’s a wonderful nature trail for individuals requiring a wheelchair. Chinquapin Trail is a natural surface trail of moderate difficulty running through Ozark woodlands and glades.

Nothing helps you unwind after a long day on the water or the trail, like a glass of wine, good meal and great view. Top of the Rock, a property developed by Bass Pro Shop’s founder Johnny Morris, offers an extensive wine list and some of the finest dining you can find in Missouri.

See you down the trail…

Brandon Butler



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