Food, Hiking, midwest, Opinion, outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized, Vacation, writing

Lake of the Ozarks

If anyone mentioned to me at the start of 2022 that I would be making not one, but two trips out to the Ozarks region of Missouri, I’d have probably given them the side-eye and questioned why. Not that I don’t love interstate travel, or that I don’t think that the Ozarks offers some breathtaking scenery and interesting geology. It’s just typically not on my top ten list of “how to spend limited personal days.” And yet, my recent September trip was my second visit to the Ozarks in six months, and Lord-willing, I will be making a third in the coming months.

On this trip, we stayed in the norther area of Ozarks, specifically Osage Beach along Lake of the Ozarks. This is located about half-way between St. Louis and Branson, and about an hour from Jefferson City via U.S. 54. The region is a popular place for summer vacationers, as it offers many opportunities for recreation with its miles of shoreline and sparkling blue waters. With 900 docks and a stock of bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass according to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Lake of the Ozarks is a great place to go for watersport.

We arrived at the end of the summer season. We were told that had we checked in just a few weeks earlier, the water would barely be seen on account of the numerous watercraft. While there were still a few boats skimming the deep blue waters, the lake was relatively empty. Against the green of the surrounding vegetation, the sparkling lake was pretty in the late afternoon sun.

The Lake of the Ozarks was created after the damming of the Osage River. The Bagnell Dam was constructed for the purpose of hydroelectric power generation by Union Electric Company of St. Louis in the early 1930s. The lake spans four Missouri counties and the hydroelectric plant generates about 500 million kilowatts of electricity annually. While we could consider the environmental effects that the construction of dams has on a region and its respective ecosystems, it is also true that Lake of the Ozarks provides habitat for a number of species of fish, salamander, frogs, birds, and mammals.

SInce it was the off season, the surrounding towns were relatively quiet. It was nice, just being able to take a pleasant walk and enjoy the nature. That said, there were a number of restaurants we were able to enjoy, especially barbecue places. There was also a Target in Osage Beach for our shopping convenience.

If you ever find yourself in the middle of Missouri for whatever reason, I would definitely recommend a stay in Lake of the Ozarks. It is a really pretty place, and only about 2 hours from St. Louis Lambert International Airport. And with so many state and local parks, here are many places to recreate and spend time in the outdoors, whether you are a lover of watersports or dry-ish land. There are some pretty hiking trails that will be the subject of my next post.

Until then, happy trails- and live the adventure.

For more information, check out :
Visit Missouri

Chris the Puppy of the Ozarks

References:
“Plants and Animals.” Missouri State Parks, 7 Feb. 2011, https://mostateparks.com/page/55034/plants-and-animals#:~:text=Many%20animals%20native%20to%20the,banded%20armadillo%20and%20river%20otter.

“How Much Electrical Power Can Bagnell Dam Produce? Part 1.” How Much Electrical Power Can Bagnell Dam Produce? Part 1, http://www.ozarkdragon.com/p/goto-just-about-any-website-related-to.html.

“About the Lake of the Ozarks.” City of Lake Ozark, 5 Apr. 2021, https://cityoflakeozark.net/about-us/.

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