Table Rock Lake is one of Missouri’s most popular and beautiful lakes. It was formed after construction of Table Rock Dam in 1958, creating about 800 miles of shoreline and up to 52,300 acres of surface water. The first time I looked at it on a map I was astounded. It just snakes around and all over the place; driving around it could be a day’s trip in itself (of course, the hilly Ozarks add to any driving trip here; they also contribute greatly to the lake’s beauty).
Although there are lake-side resorts, condominiums, campgrounds and private homes around its perimeter, it remains largely undeveloped, especially when viewed from off shore (most development is in coves and hamlets).
There are many access points just west of Branson, especially at Table Rock State Park with its campground, State Park Marina with its boat rentals, and 2.2-mile Table Rock Lakeshore Trail that starts at the Dewey Short Visitor Center. Nearby is Moonshine Beach for swimming. As Missouri’s deepest (200 feet) and clearest lake, it’s also popular for scuba diving, with rentals and classes available at the marina.
Of course, if you’re an angler, you already know that Table Rock Lake is also a premier bass-fishing lake, home to largemouth, smallmouth, Kentucky spotted bass and white bass, as well as crappie, bluegill and catfish.
There are lots of opportunities for boat rentals from public marinas as well as lakeside resorts like Big Cedar Lodge, Indian Point Lodge & Condos and Chateau on the Lake. You can even sleep on the lake in a houseboat, complete with living and dining areas, bedrooms, TVs and even grills. There are also boat cruises, including Spirit of America sailings in a catamaran and Showboat Branson Belle offering dinner and entertainment.