Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Harry S. Truman State Park

Harry S. Truman State Park located in Warsaw, MO with over 1400 acres of area there is no shortage of things to do. There are numerous camping sites located in various different areas in the park. We stayed at the area called "Thorny Ridge" It was a beautiful campsite mere yards from the lake. The lake itself is the largest man-made lake in Missouri with over 55,000 acres of water surface.

Fishing is the number one sport on the lake, with opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. Not a fisherman? That's okay, boating, skiing, kayaking, swimming are all great activities that are easily enjoyed on the lake as well. The campground also features a large swimming area, complete with beach and shower house as well as a changing house. Like to hike? This park has many wonderful hiking trails, some through oak woodlands, and others on rocky glades with panoramic views of the lake. Wildlife abounds here, White-Tail deer and Wild Turkey are commonly seen, as well as armadillo, raccoons (be sure to secure your food), opossums, coyotes, fox and beaver. The park is a birdwatchers haven with numeorus bird species; Bald Eagles, Hawks, Shore Birds, Herons, Owls, Geese, Ducks, and many songbirds. The area was created and is managed by the Corp of Engineers, and originally was named Kaysinger Bluff Dam and Reservoir in 1954. Construction began in August of 1964 and was renamed in 1970 by Congress to Harry S. Truman State Park; named after the only Missouri born president. Nearby is Lamar, Missouri which is Harry S. Truman's birthplace. We took time to visit the birth home and nearby visitors center, it is worth the trip back in time to see this little piece of history. The creation of the lake was not without its problems, many roads had to be rerouted, Cemeteries moved, bridges torn down and others built, it even forced the closing of Frisco Railroads, after flooding shut down tracks. The rail line decided it was not worth the investment to reroute the little used railroad. Nearby you will find the Lost Valley Fish Hatchery situated on 971 acres. This is a great place learn more about the lake, and the enivornmental issues concerning the area. There is a wonderful visitors center that features a 12,700 gallon aquarium with native species of fish for viewing. Many educational exhibits delight visitors young and old alike. The hatchery is responsible for raising many species of fish in the 78 rearing ponds, including, Channel Catfish, Muskellunge, Walleye, Largemouth Bass, Hybrid and Striped Bass, Bluegill, and Hybrid Sunfish. They also participate in propagation research of many endangered fish species as well as native water mussells. Youth fishing is allowed on site for children age 15 and under at no charge, bait and tackle are provided. This is a great place to spend a week or a weekend as a family, camping, fishing, hiking, boating, and just getting back in touch with nature. Plan to visit soon, you won't be disappointed.

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