Where: Mark Twain Lake – Corps of Engineers Site (http://www.mvs.usace.army.mil/MarkTwain/)
Mark Twain State Park (http://www.mostateparks.com/twainpark.htm)
County: Ralls and Monroe
Closest Town: Paris, Perry
When: June 21 to 25, 2008
What: Useful information (hopefully) from our recent trip to Mark Twain State Park and Lake.
People normally don’t think of Northern Missouri when the term Lake Country is used. But Mark Twain State Lake is certainly of the caliber to compete with Truman, Lake of the Ozarks, Pom De Terre, and Table Rock. Nestled in the Northeast part of the state, this many fingered lake is one of Missouri’s secret gems. This article covers the lake, State Park, Mark Twain historical site, fishing, camping, and a few miscellaneous items.
Mark Twain Lake
I tend to be an explorer on our vacations, but to explore this lake a person would need a couple of weeks. Mark Twain has many access points via the recreation areas and the State Park. There are several arms and many little coves. In addition to the lake itself there are also other attractions, such as the Mark Twain Museum – discussed below. I was amazed at how few people were using the campgrounds and actually on the lake. I never saw more than one or two boats at a time; of course we were there mostly during the week. The weekends are probably another matter.
There is still plenty of standing timber in the water. Boats venturing out of the deep water need to be careful. However, for our kayak this was not a problem.
The state park has numerous campsites – basic, electric, and some wonderful camper cabins. We stayed in a camper cabin. They have electricity, a microwave, a queen bed, a futon, a table, and a loft that can sleep two children. “Children” is the operative word for the loft. My 6’3” son would have been a little uncomfortable up there, although he could have done it in a pinch. The cabins do NOT have water, thus the name “camper cabin.”
A camper cabin hint – the units at the west end of the campground have better views of and access to the lake. We stayed in cabin “A” which had a trail to the lake, but the lake was full of logs and weeds; pretty hard to fish there. However, we were close to the shower house and restrooms – which are very modern. The shower house has individual showers with private doors. (more…)