KSNF/KODE — Missouri is famous for the Gateway Arch, the Missouri River and much more, but the Show-Me State is also home to a vibrant collection of lakes and reservoirs.
When it comes to the state’s many reservoirs, or man-made lakes, the website, “Onlyinyourstate.com,” claims there’s one that reigns supreme: Truman Lake.
With a surface area of over 55,000 acres at a normal level, Truman Lake is unquestionably the largest man-made lake in Missouri. The lake serves as a flood control outlet, so its surface area increases to around 200,000 acres when it’s flooded.
A popular spot for both water recreation and camping, Truman Lake and its surrounding lands makes for an excellent place to spend a day or even just an afternoon.
While Truman Lake takes the title of “largest man-made body of water in the state,” the website, “OnlyInYourState.com” claims it’s also the most underrated. The lake offers visitors plenty to do, but it often gets overlooked compared to other Missouri lakes, like Table Rock Lake near Branson, the website states.
Officially known as Harry S. Truman Lake, the reservoir is part of Harry S. Truman State Park. But the lake wasn’t always named after a U.S. president. Prior to the completion of the current dam, Truman Lake was actually known as Kaysinger Bluff Dam and Reservoir.
The lake sits just north of Springfield, Missouri, and to the southeast of Kansas City. Its shape follows the routes of several watersheds to the west.
As the undisputed king of Missouri reservoirs, Truman Lake wasn’t always the size it is now. In fact, prior to the completion of the dam in 1979, it was much smaller.
Today, the town of Warsaw sits on the lake’s banks, but for thousands of years, Native Americans occupied the land. Warsaw itself was first settled in the 1820s. Small ferry boats were constructed along the river that would eventually morph into Truman Lake.