Mark Twain Lake brings tens of thousands of people to its pristine shorelines each year. The lake sprawls over 55,000 acres of land and water in the Salt River basin of northeast Missouri. Mark Twain Lake is truly a place to get away from it all. Because it is a project of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, development of the shoreline is restricted. What you’ll see is the quiet, natural beauty of the bluffs and timber, not construction and clutter.
Recreation at Mark Twain Lake is abundant. Here, you can fish and hunt on 45,000 acres of available land and water. The water teems with bass, crappie, catfish and other species. The two marinas host several fishing tournaments over the summer and make it convenient for the many motorboats and sailboats on the lake. Hunters will find plenty of deer, dove, quail, turkey and waterfowl. For the quieter crowd, mushroom hunting is popular in the spring. Collectors also look for deer sheds and arrowheads. The biggest treasure hunt at the lake is geocaching. Hundreds of geocaches are hidden there for hikers, visitors and anyone with a GPS system.
Three high-quality campgrounds serve Mark Twain Lake. Hundreds of sites come fully loaded with electric, water and sewer hook-ups. Other primitive campsites are available for hikers. Horseback riding is another popular activity at Mark Twain Lake. Three equestrian and walking trails wind 20 miles along the woods and shoreline. At the south spillway, you’ll find a shooting range that’s open to the public.
A big draw at the lake is the M.W. Boudreaux Visitor Center over looking the Clarence Cannon Dam and Mark Twain Lake. Exhibits and hands-on displays help visitors understand the natural, cultural, historical and environmental aspects of the area, as well as basic water and boating safety. The dam itself is an impressive sight, built up with 3 million cubic yards of earth supported by a half million cubic yards of concrete.