Missouri, nestled in the heartland of the United States, boasts a collection of serene lakes that offer solace, recreation, and natural beauty to its residents and visitors. From fishing and boating to relaxation along the shore, these lakes serve as a vital part of Missouri’s outdoor experiences.

In this article, we will explore the biggest lakes in Missouri, revealing their locations, size, activities that can be enjoyed, and the historical journey that has shaped their significance.

1. Lake of the Ozarks

  • Location: Central Missouri
  • Size: 54,000 acres
  • Activities: Boating, fishing, water sports, camping
  • History: Created by the construction of Bagnell Dam, Lake of the Ozarks is a popular vacation spot.

2. Truman Reservoir

  • Location: Western Missouri
  • Size: 43,000 acres
  • Activities: Fishing, hunting, water recreation
  • History: Truman Reservoir, formed by Truman Dam, offers ample space for outdoor enthusiasts.

3. Bull Shoals Lake

  • Location: Southern Missouri (Part of the Ozarks)
  • Size: 41,000 acres
  • Activities: Fishing, boating, water sports
  • History: Bull Shoals Lake, with its clear waters, is known for its recreational opportunities.

4. Table Rock Lake

  • Location: Southwestern Missouri (Part of the Ozarks)
  • Size: 40,100 acres
  • Activities: Boating, fishing, hiking
  • History: Table Rock Lake’s beauty and recreational offerings make it a favorite among locals.

5. Stockton Lake

  • Location: Southwestern Missouri
  • Size: 38,600 acres
  • Activities: Fishing, camping, boating
  • History: Stockton Lake provides a serene setting for outdoor enthusiasts.

6. Pomme de Terre Lake

  • Location: Southwestern Missouri
  • Size: 26,200 acres
  • Activities: Fishing, boating, camping
  • History: Pomme de Terre Lake offers a peaceful retreat for nature lovers.

7. Smithville Lake

  • Location: Northwestern Missouri
  • Size: 23,300 acres
  • Activities: Fishing, boating, hiking
  • History: Smithville Lake serves as a local escape for outdoor adventures.

8. Mark Twain Lake

  • Location: Eastern Missouri
  • Size: 22,900 acres
  • Activities: Fishing, camping, water sports
  • History: Mark Twain Lake offers a blend of recreation and natural beauty.

9. Long Branch Lake

  • Location: North-central Missouri
  • Size: 22,500 acres
  • Activities: Fishing, boating, picnicking
  • History: Long Branch Lake provides a peaceful environment for relaxation.

10. Norfolk Reservoir

  • Location: Southwestern Missouri
  • Size: 21,800 acres
  • Activities: Fishing, boating, camping
  • History: Norfolk Reservoir is a recreational haven in the Ozarks region.

Missouri’s biggest lakes are more than just bodies of water; they represent the state’s commitment to providing a variety of outdoor experiences for residents and visitors alike. From water sports to leisurely picnics, these lakes contribute to the quality of life and offer a welcome respite from the daily grind.

As Missourians continue to cherish their natural treasures, these lakes stand as testaments to the state’s enduring connection with its environment and the beauty it has to offer.


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