Table Rock Lake Camping - Panergy

by Regina Wu
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Table Rock Lake Camping - Panergy

Basically every year of my youth, my family took an annual summer camping trip to the Ozarks. Sometimes we would pack the entire extended family for the excursion, with two vans crammed full of cousins weaving through the oak and hickory lined roads. Occasionally, and much to the delight of myself and my siblings, we rented a boat and spent our afternoons gliding casually through the blue waters, perhaps even pretending to fish for bass.
table rock lake camping
Now that I'm the adult of the pack, come late June, I still try to round up as many family members and friends as I possibly can and wrangle them into the Ozarks camping outing. In anything, our clan has grown. If you and your family plan on taking it easy in the Midwest anytime, I highly recommend an outdoor journey to the sprawling, beautiful fingers of Table Rock Lake. Missouri is rich with history and beauty, and there are a few activities we Bryce's now think of as traditional Ozarks family fun?


Depending on your preference, or level of mountaineering skills, there are rural-hideaway types of campgrounds, isolated within the confines of breathtaking natural beauty, which we generally hike into with loaded backpacks. Or if you're more inclined towards a bit more luxury and a bit less heavy packing, the area is loaded with cozy lodging, complete with modern amenities, while maintaining a close proximity to the lake and mountains. We frequently stay at a log cabin in Branson, nestled into the Mark Twain Wilderness Area.


Personally, whenever I take a camping trip, I toss my metal detector in the back of the truck. Other than being a fun hobby, it's occasionally lucrative ? have you heard the one about the guy who found a cache of Roman coins or the Australian man who found a 12-lb gold nugget? Well, that certainly wasn't me, but the kids really get a kick out it when the machine starts beeping and we dig up something, be it closer to trash or treasure. An underwater metal detector could be particularly interesting; for now, I've just got the old fashioned kind ? but it can be pretty entertaining on a camping trip.


SCUBA diving?in the Midwest?! You better believe it. Table Rock Lake offers surprising crystal clear waters, particularly in late spring. Bluegill, long-ear sunfish, enormous catfish, even the rare freshwater jellyfish can all be spotted. Deep ravines and petrified trees make for an especially eerie adventure, particularly if you go at night. I've never been to the Bahamas before, but I've heard from other Table Rock Lake divers that the clarity can be close to that of the tropical waters. Except in Missouri, you don't have to deal with currents, waves or underwater predators. You can rent equipment, take lessons and head out looking for the lake's sunken ship.

by Regina Wu


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