Nestled in the Salt River Hills of north-central Missouri, Mark Twain State Park gives visitors access to sprawling Mark Twain Lake, as well as unparalleled outdoors activities. The terrain is covered by bluffs overlooking the lake and stands of oak, hickory and maple that are filled with white-tailed deer, turkey and other wildlife. Numerous picnic areas, two four-laneboat ramps and more than six miles of hiking trails with lake views offer something for everyone.
Excellent fishing for crappie, catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, carp, walleye and perch awaits you at the 18,000-acre Mark Twain Lake. The lake has many quiet coves where you can spend peaceful days fishing and relaxing. Take advantage of fishing opportunities on Mark Twain Lake 24 hours a day, year-round (when lake conditions permit). Ice fishing on Mark Twain Lake is not advised due to fluctuating water levels under the ice, as well as variable ice thickness. Be aware of length and possession limits for all fish.
If you don't have a boat, or you have small children that would like to fish from shore, four-acre Tom Sawyer Lake, near the junction of Highway 107 and Route U, offers opportunities to catch blue gill, largemouth bass and catfish. Fishing at Tom Sawyer Lake is available from sunrise to sunset year-round. Ice fishing is not permitted on Tom Sawyer Lake. Please observe length and possession limits posted at the lake.
Gain access to the lake at two four-lane, concrete boat ramps located in the park. One is located off of Route U one-half mile west of the junction of Highway 107 and Route U. This ramp does not have a lighted parking lot. The second ramp is located off of Highway 107 about two miles north of the same junction. This ramp has a lighted parking lot. Both offer access to Mark Twain Lake and there is no charge for using these ramps.
A single-lane boat ramp is located in the campground for use by registered campers. It does not have a lighted parking area.
There are no horsepower or length limits for boats on Mark Twain Lake.
Mark Twain State Park offers basic and electric campsites, a special-use camping area and a group camp. For a little extra space, try one of the park's family campsites in Puma Campground.
To make a reservation or view campsite details, photos and availability, go to the reservation website by clicking the “Make a Reservation Now” link below. Reservations may also be made by calling toll free 877-ICampMO (877-422-6766).
Cool off in Mark Twain Lake! Even though swimming is allowed anywhere in Mark Twain Lake except in front of the boat ramp accesses, the state park provides beach access for swimming at the north end of the park at the Highway 107 Recreation Area. The initial opening of the beach and temporary closings during the on-season depend upon the lake level and water quality. Any temporary closings will be posted on this website. A changehouse facility is located nearby.
There is no lifeguard on duty, so swimming is at your own risk.
No fishing or launching or parking of boats is allowed along the beach.
Pets and alcohol are also prohibited on the beach area.
Enjoy a picnic lunch at one of two picnic areas located in the park:
Buzzard's Roost Picnic Area has about 30 individual picnic sites. The overlook in this area offers a panoramic view of Mark Twain Lake and is one of the most photographed locations on the lake. The Highway 107 Picnic Area has six picnic sites and is located near the boat ramp off of Highway 107. All picnic sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
There are two shelter houses located at Buzzard's Roost Picnic Area.
The open shelter, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, holds between 40 and 45 people. It is available by reservation (rental fee is $30), or if not reserved, is available at no charge to users on a first-come, first-served basis. The building has picnic tables, electrical outlets, a water hydrant and an outdoor cooking grill.
An enclosed shelter, known as Huck Hall, is available by reservation only. The building holds up to 100 people and rents for $100 a day. It has folding tables and chairs, two modern restrooms, a small kitchen with a refrigerator and stove and two outdoor cooking grills. Groups larger than 100 need special permission from the facility manager to use Huck Hall.
A modern playground, completed in 2002, is perfect for the kids and is located in Buzzard's Roost Picnic Area.
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