Description - Lewis and Clark State Park lies on the shores of Blue Lake, an "oxbow" formed by the meanderings of the picturesque Missouri River many years ago.
The park is named for Meriwether Lewis, secretary to President Thomas Jefferson, and Captain William Clark, United States Army, who were commissioned by President Jefferson in 1804 to head an expedition into the northwest to explore the vast territory purchased from France. With 26 men and supplies, Lewis and Clark led their expedition up the Missouri River from St. Louis by keelboat.
On August 10, 1804, the expedition arrived at the site where Lewis and Clark State Park now lies. They spent some time there exploring the region and making observations on the geographical conditions, plants and animals in the area. Today, thousands of people visit the park every year for outdoor recreation and to learn a little bit more about the Lewis and Clark expedition. The park has been designated as part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail by the National Park Service.
Lewis and Clark is a very popular area for family picnics. The park has more than 30 acres of picnic grounds with tables, fireplaces, and drinking water. An open picnic shelter is available for picnic use and may be reserved for a fee through the park manager.
The lodge at Lewis and Clark is a fine place for group events such as wedding receptions and family reunions. The lodge was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Reservations for the lodge may be obtained through the park manager.
The Lewis and Clark campground is a great place to spend a leisurely vacation in the outdoors. The 82 campsites, all with electrical hookups, lie along the lakeshore. Modern rest rooms and showers are available, as is a trailer dump station. Camping permits are obtained by self-registration at the campground. Camping Fees can be paid at the site.
Lewis and Clark State Park is a fine place for a leisurely hike. On the trails, park visitors can see a variety of trees, shrubs, and, often, wildlife including deer, rabbits and squirrels, as well as a wide variety of bird species. A self-guided nature trail is present and provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about the natural communities of the park.
Lake Activities (Swimming, boating, fishing)
The 250 acres of Blue Lake offer a variety of water-oriented recreational opportunities. The beach is a fine place for sunbathing and swimming. Two boat ramps are available for easy lake access. No restrictions are placed on motor size. Fishing is good for a variety of species including bass, northerns, crappies, bluegills and catfish.
While visiting Lewis and Clark, please take the opportunity to view the full-sized reproduction of Lewis and Clark's keelboat, "Discovery," which was constructed by volunteer efforts in the park itself. Imagine, if you can, the expedition winding its way up the Missouri River while sailing, pulling and poling the 55-foot boat.