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Located in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains of Southeast Missouri near the Mark Twain National Forest, is one of Missouri's hidden treasures, called Wappapello Lake. The lake along with Wappapello State Park and Sam Baker State Park that surrounds it, provides a variety of activities for everybody.

The Army Corps of Engineers started construction of Wappapello Dam and Wappapello Lake in 1936, and finished it in 1941. Both the lake and the dam were a part of the St. Francis River Basin Project. They were built to help control flooding in the area. The flood control act enabled the Army Corps of Engineers to build this beautiful lake, which  has become a popular vacation spot in Southeastern Missouri.

There are over 40,000 acres of public land and water for activities such as:

Those who love being on the water can enjoy over 8,400 acres of water, perfect for fishing or recreational boating. 26 boat ramps makes accessing the lake easy and convenient. Beach goers can choose from three man made sand beaches, and those seeking lodging can choose from several modern resorts with full service marinas. Special events such as the 4th of July Festivities and Old Greenville Days are sure to entertain the whole family and are free of charge.

While you're visiting Wappapello Lake, be sure to visit the Bill Emerson Memorial Visitor Center, which is located at the south side of the dam. While you are there you can pick up free lake information, and see the exhibit room and the displays that depict the everyday operations of Wappapello Lake, and learn some of the lake and dam's history. Natural and cultural resources are interpreted through trails and various programs, which highlight the natural beauty found in Southeast Missouri. Pine Ridge, Lost Creek and Johnson Tract Trails are part of the National Trails System, and the "Memory Lane" historic walk, located inside the Greenville Recreation Area, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wappapello Lake  has a large population of white bass, crappie and bluegill, as well as largemouth bass and catfish. Fisherman love the fishing here, it is truly a fisherman's paradise. Whether you fish from shore, or fish from a boat, you are likely to catch your limit of fish.

The Budweiser Drag Boat Nationals are held at Wappapello Lake in May of every year. There are several classes of boats racing, such as:

Some of the top prizes pay up to $2,500 to the champions. It is truly an exciting event, one that should not be missed.

Living near the lake, I have been able to enjoy the many hidden treasures it has to offer. The scenery in the fall is breathtaking with all of the fall foliage and their beautiful colors.

Should you ever find yourself in Southeastern Missouri, and you find yourself heading 16 miles north of Poplar Bluff, Missouri on U.S. Hwy. 67, stop by Wappapello Lake for a day or a week. Be sure to bring your fishing gear and bathing suit. You will have a very enjoyable time.

Source: Many visits to Wappapello Lake
Wappapello Lake Tourism and History Guide.

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