Table Rock Lake Information

Table Rock Lake lies in the Ozark Mountains of southwestern Missouri with a small part of its southernmost arm in northwestern Boone and Carroll Counties, Arkansas. In Missouri, Table Rock Lake borders Barry, Stone, and Taney counties. It covers 43,000 acres with over 800 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 220 feet. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers designed, built, and now operates Table Rock Lake.

Table Rock Lake winds around like a snake with thousands of coves that spider web around it for 79 miles upstream along the White River channel. Table Rock Lake’s waters are crystal clear, and the entertainment City of Branson, Missouri, sits just a few miles east of its eastern edge. The Corp of Engineers built Table Rock Lake for the purposes of flood control and hydroelectric power.

Rolling hills, emerald green forests, winding roads, and miles of shoreline characterize Table Rock Lake’s shoreline. An estimated 129,000 people visit Table Rock Lake each for super adventures like ziplining, running ATV trails, moonshine tasting, fishing, boating, tubing, or mudding through the forests, plus amazing places to dine on great cuisines and spirits off all kinds from craft beer to moonshine.

Stay up to date with our Table Rock Lake Newsletter.


History of Table Rock Lake

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers began construction on Table Rock Dam 1954 to 1958 on the White River. Table Rock Lake gets its name from a rock shelf that stands high above the White River about one mile downstream from the dam site on the eastern edge of the lake. Table Rock Lake brought vacationers who craved water-based recreational opportunities.

The economic boost that became Branson, Missouri, began in 1960 when a small Ozark village opened as Silver Dollar City, which became a huge entertainment complex. Ozark music and comedy called the “Baldknobbers” along with the first music theater built in Branson, Presley’s Country Jubilee, opened up. By the decade of 2000 to 2010, over 100 theaters made Branson the place to be for live Ozark inspired music and entertainment.

American Indians first inhabited the Table Rock Lake region approximately 10,000 years ago. Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, who explored the area in the winter of 1818-1819, wrote one of the earliest descriptions of it. He convinced Levi Pettibone, a fellow New Yorker, to accompany him on a three-month, nine-hundred-mile journey through the thinly populated White River Valley region of the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks that winter.

Schoolcraft and Pettibone went through a horrible experience. They were not experienced outdoorsman. They did not bring adequate clothing or equipment, and their packhorse wandered off a few times and drowned most of their supplies when they tried to ford a river. The two men were lost without food and dry gunpowder. Fortunately, fur trappers and traders ingeniously survived in the Ozarks by that time.

The men ran into a hunter named Wells, who gave them food and shelter. After buying supplies from Wells, Schoolcraft and Pettibone set out for the James River, a branch of the White River, where they discovered lead deposits. They left the Ozarks after conducting tests and recording their findings.

Schoolcraft was not gracious in his descriptions of the people in the Ozarks even though they saved his life. He criticized his perceived lack of their education and their frontier lifestyle. He wrote in his journals that they had “abandoned the pursuit of agriculture, the foundation of civil society, and embraced the pursuit of hunting, so characteristic of the savage state in all countries.”

Schoolcraft neglected to write about the farmers and entrepreneurs he met and did not recognize them holding the independent, self-reliant, adaptive spirit of the early Ozarks frontiersmen and their families. His judgmental viewpoints, in part, helped to establish the nation’s lasting perceptions that the Ozark Mountain region was home to an uneducated and unsophisticated people.

In 1882, Reuben S. Branson opened a general store and post office, and gave the town his name. Soon after, word spread throughout the country about a cave, Marvel Cave. Marvel Cave opened to tourists in 1894. A minister and author, Harold Bell Wright, discovered the Table Rock Lake area. Wright was so inspired by the natural scenery and the people that he wrote a book, The Shepherd of the Hills, first published in 1907.

The Shepherd of the Hills was a huge success and brought tourists from all over to experience the breathtaking views and endearing characters which Harold Bell Wright immortalized in his novel. Through The Shepherd of the Hills, over a century ago, which brought attention to the beauty of the Table Rock Lake region with tourists then and continues to inspire visitors today.

Harold’s book became a 1941 film starring John Wayne, Betty Field and Harry Carey. The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama started performing in the Ole Mill Theatre in a hollow on the Homestead in 1960, an exciting action-packed production with a cast of over 90 performers; dozens of animals including, horses, donkeys, mules, and sheep presented in an outdoor amphitheater, covered by the stars, and surrounded by the very hills Wright wrote about.

Today, The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama tells the story based on an old legend about a city dwelling preacher who came to the hills and seduced, then deserted a young woman, who died shortly after her child was born. While this relationship was viewed as a crime, the overriding theme is one of renewing faith in God and man. The former city dweller becomes the Shepherd in Mutton Hollow, tending the sheep as he once tended his congregation, but gaining strength and peace in his solitude, instead of false pride.


Fishing Table Rock Lake

Predominant games species in Table Rock Lake are Kentucky, largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, bluegill, channel and flathead catfish, black and white crappie, paddlefish, and rainbow trout. Other species include white bass, carp, drum, and walleye. Fishing experts continually acclaim Table Rock Lake as one of the top bass fishing lakes in North America.

Keeping Fishing Legal on Table Rock Lake: a Lake with Two State Regulations

Keeping it legal on Table Rock Lake means anglers should understand the fishing regulations in Arkansas and Missouri. Missouri residents, age 16 years and older, who fish the Arkansas portions of Table Rock will no longer be required to purchase a non-resident Arkansas fishing license.

Residents of Missouri and Arkansas who possess a valid resident fishing permit from their respective states may also purchase a $10 White River Border Lakes Permit. Missouri residents 65 years of age or older or any person 15 years of age or younger, resident or nonresident do not need a Missouri fishing license.

If you are 16 or older, you must carry a valid Arkansas fishing license to take or attempt to take fish and frogs in Arkansas, unless you are fishing in a licensed "put-and-take" pay lake. Anglers 16 and older also must have a valid trout permit to keep trout or fish in certain waters. If you guide, aid or assist someone else in fishing for hire, you also must have a valid Arkansas fishing guide license.

Onto the exciting adventure of fishing at Table Rock Lake: So many marinas and boat ramps, shoreline fishing accessibility, thousands of coves with shallow water, deep wide-open water, and crystal clear water add up to the most exciting angler experience in the U.S. at Table Rock Lake.

Successful bass anglers on Table Rock Lake study the pre-spawn and spawning habits in the months between March and May, when the bass species are especially plentiful. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass sport around in the lake’s shallowest, clearest waters. The waters around Table Rock Dam are full of fish with trophy-sized weights. Bass fishing is great year round, along with the abundant crappie and catfish species.

Find plentiful bluegill around the entire shoreline in the hot summer months, which makes fishing with the kids so much fun. Catfishing is best after the sun sets when this species swims into shallow waters. Table Rock Lake fishing guides report that paddlefishing is best in larger fishing boat, while a smaller speedboat is best for bass fishing.

Downstream from the dam, the Missouri Department of Conservation operates a fish hatchery. The cold water discharged from the dam creates a trout-fishing environment in Table Rock Lake. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers operates 13 public boat launches, and 11 more are in the 14 marinas and parks who call Table Rock Lake their home. So many expert fishing guide captains are ready for you to book a grand adventure, no matter what game you are after, and they know where the fish are hiding.

Find experienced local guides on our Table Rock Lake Fishing Guides page.


Boating Table Rock Lake

There is no end to the boating adventures on Table Rock Lake. Its shoreline views are breathtaking, and thousands of coves, along with numerous islands, provide private swimming areas and secluded spots to enjoy. Full service marinas and over 100 privately owned resorts supply convenient services plus a wide variety of watersports and activities for visitors.

Table Rock Lake is perfect for all types of water activity. Boating is the most popular way to enjoy the area, and there is a vast array of sizes of types of boats. Take a boat cruise which offers charters from small pleasure crafts and amphibious vehicles to a full-sized showboat experience.

Moonshine Beach is the only sandy beach on Table Rock Lake. Table Rock Lake’s  public beaches are located at Aunts Creek, Baxter, Beaver, Big M, Campbell Point, Cape Fair, Cricket Creek, Eagle Rock, Indian Point, Port of Kimberling, Long Creek, Mill Creek, Moonshine Beach, Old 86, Viney Creek, and Viola.

Table Rock Lake boaters take advantage of all the watersports such as skiing, tubing, parasailing, canoeing and kayaking, and wake surfing. Bring your own boat or rent one from the many boat rental services or from one of the Table Rock Lake marinas. Over 100 resorts, including the many marinas, provide lodging accommodations with courtesy docks, rentals, slip availability, and five star amenities.

You can find our list of boat ramps on our Table Rock Lake Boat Ramp Map. If you're wondering about the lake level, we have a great chart on our Table Rock Lake Level page. 

Many Table Rock Lake resorts have designated swim areas and swim docks. Moonshine Beach is a public swim beach located near Branson. Several of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers campgrounds have public swim and day-use areas. Most rental services have fishing, sport, and pontoon boats for rent. Some have rental fleets that include stand-up paddleboards, jet skis, and powerboats, plus water skiing and wakeboarding equipment.

Find or sell a boat on our Table Rock Lake Boats for Sale page.


Table Rock Lake Marinas

A cornucopia of marinas, fourteen of them, call Table Rock Lake home. These marinas are spread out around the whole of Table Rock Lake. Listing the entire amenities Table Rock Lake marinas offer for a boat’s home would make a novel. If you want to find your boat a wonderful home with a five-star dockominium experience or a plain rustic place to dock your fishing boat, you will find it at one of the Table Rock Lake marinas.

Whether you want a party-style marina or a peaceful family friendly marina experience, you can find a marina that will suit your every need at Table Rock Lake. You will find nightly, weekly, monthly, and annual boat slip rental availability. Whether you want to soak in the gorgeous scenery and abundant wildlife on the shore from the dock while drinking a cold one with dock neighbors, or get out on the water and play or fish all day and come back to a peaceful existence as nighttime sets in, it is all there at one of the Table Rock Lake marinas.

Plan your trip to the lake by finding a marina on our Table Rock Lake Marinas page.


Table Rock Lake Real Estate

The Table Rock Lake real estate market is the second largest marketplace for lake property in Missouri. Table Rock Lake real estate is the largest market for lake homes and land in Arkansas. There are many price points depending on what a homebuyer wants. Price ranges vary from as little as $20,000 for an undeveloped lot to millions for a waterfront home.

In Missouri, the average list price for Table Rock Lake homes for sale is $383,000. Normally, there are about 500 lake homes for sale at Table Rock Lake, and 950 listings for lots and land. In Arkansas, there are typically around 500 lake homes for sale on Table Rock Lake, and 950 lots and land listings available. Table Rock Lake homes for sale have an average list price of $383,000.

The closest major airport, Springfield-Branson National Airport in Springfield, Missouri, is only 63 miles from Table Rock Lake’s eastern border, and about 65 miles from its western border, with varying distances depending on your location Branson, Missouri, provides unique, exciting entertainment venues and a great nightlife experience if you are on Table Rock Lake’s eastern border.

When you live over 12 miles west of Branson on Table Rock Lake, you live with nature. Table Rock Lake becomes more and more secluded and remote moving westward. Outside of Branson’s R-IV School District, there is no public education for children on Table Rock Lake. Springfield, and Branson, Missouri, have the only shopping centers accessible to the Table Rock Lake region.

The bottom line on buying lakefront property on Table Rock Lake is that you do not have easy access to shopping and entertainment centers the further west you are from Branson. There are a few restaurants and nightclubs on or near Table Rock Lake and in the resorts and marinas.

To find your dream lake home, explore our Table Rock Lake Homes for Sale page.


Table Rock Lake Cabins and Vacation Homes

Limited options exist for vacation home rentals on Table Rock Lake because they are so popular and come with outstanding views and amazing accommodations. It is best to book one of these beautiful homes in advance because Table Rock Lake sees 129,000 visitors a year, and people who rent vacation homes snap these properties up early for spectacular experiences.

Private owners offer cabin rentals at Table Rock Lake, and if you desire a cabin, it is best to research online and then call local Table Rock Lake realtors. There are over 100 resorts at Table Rock Lake with cabins and alternative lodging. Because Branson, Missouri, is a tourist destination, there are rental and real estate agencies that cater to vacationers in Branson and all areas of Table Rock Lake. Leasing options for vacation homes and cabins include nightly, weekly, monthly, and yearly contracts.

Find the perfect vacation home on our Table Rock Lake Cabins page.


Camping at Table Rock Lake

The only questions campers and RVers need to ask themselves are, “Where do we want to be on this beautiful 79 mile long lake?” and “Do we want to be near Branson for both fun and adventure on the lake and entertainment, or do we want to be surrounded by nature?” Most of the campgrounds are located on the eastern, southeastern, and northeastern arms of Table Rock Lake with plenty of room to explore, view wildlife and birds, and chill out.

There are sixteen public campgrounds Table Rock Lake and over 100 resorts. Several different agencies manage the campgrounds, and campsites range from full-hookup to non-electric tent sites. Campers and RVers can contact the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Dewey Short Visitor Center for all camping inquiries. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers manages 13 campgrounds with swimming areas, boat ramps, and family picnic areas.

Table Rock State Park is located on the east side, both north and south of Table Rock Dam. This park has two campgrounds and offers basic, electric, and sewer/electric/water campsites, family campsites, and a platform tent site for a unique camping experience. Campers can reserve a site at Table Rock State Park campsite up to 12 months in advance online.

Check out our list of campgrounds and RV parks for your family adventure on our Table Rock Lake Camping page.


Hiking Trails at Table Rock Lake

Table Rock State park boasts three exciting hiking trails. Its Chinquapin Trail is a 1.2-mile natural surface trail that provides access to several points in the park, including the campground, park office, amphitheater, and Table Rock Lakeshore Trail. The trail is relatively flat, but hikers can discover Ozark woodlands and glades. The trail near the trailhead is in a glade but enters dry woodland to the east. The glade area has an array of native grasses and wildflowers that help support many native Ozark animals. Some of the wildflowers are very rare or endangered, so visitors are asked to leave them for others to enjoy. The Chinquapin Trail shares a section with Table Rock Lakeshore Trail.

The Table Rock Lakeshore Trail is adjacent to Table Rock Dam. This paved trail is ADA accessible and popular with people who use walkers and wheelchairs. It runs along the Table Rock Lake shoreline, and woodlands on the upper side of the trail are lined with oaks more than 200 years old. Its trailheads are available at the Showboat Branson Belle and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Dewey Short Visitor Center, and at the State Park Marina area on the south end of the trail. This trail shares a section with the Chinquapin Trail.

The White River Valley Trail System is a complex 11.3-mile trail and provides a challenging experience for hikers and mountain bikers in a rugged area of Table Rock Lake. This trail mainly covers land that was used during the construction of the Table Rock Dam in the late 1950s. Some parts of the trail are built on roads that were used for the construction of the dam. This trail is rated as strenuous. Hikers and mountain bikers should bring necessary survival supplies.

Scenic areas of this trail include small waterfalls, views of Table Rock, the Taneycomo lake to the east, and an abandoned farmstead. The White River Valley Trail is rugged, with elevations ranging from 710 feet to nearly 1,200 feet above sea level. Natural vegetation along the trail range from moist bottomland woodland along Lake Taneycomo to dry dolomite glades on higher grounds.

The White River Valley Trail is 11.3 miles long and is divided into four loops. Each of its loops displays different characteristics. Its loops include various white connector trails that can shorten or lengthen the hiking experience. Its Red Loop is the most technically challenging, with an elevation change of about 120 feet. Its Blue Loop is the most diverse loop for nature with nearly 400 feet of elevation gain on the climb to Baird Hill.

Its Orange Loop is the shortest loop with an elevation difference of about 110 feet, and can only be accessed from white connector 4 from the Blue Loop and white connector 5 from Green Loop. Its Green Loop has the highest elevation point on the trail system at nearly 1,200 feet and offers magnificent views. Portions of this trail on Corp of Engineers land are closed during gun, deer, and turkey hunting seasons. This entire trail system is closed following heavy rains. Backpacking and camping on the trail are not allowed.


Hunting Table Rock Lake

Hunting and trapping are permitted on the waters and on the surrounding government-owned lands around Table Rock Lake and are subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Permanent tree stands are prohibited on Corp of Engineers property. Stands or steps of any type that penetrate the bark of a tree are considered permanent. Portable stands with the owner’s name and address permanently affixed are permitted. Stands are to be hung no earlier than one week before the opening and remain no longer than one week after the close of archery season.

Legal Game Species in Missouri:

  • Big game: white-tailed deer, elk, and turkey.
  • Small game: dove, rabbit, quail, pheasant, and squirrel.
  • Waterfowl and other migratory game birds including ducks and geese species.
  • Furbearers: beaver, bobcat, fox, and coyote.

Things to Do At Table Rock Lake

Downtown Branson is six miles from Table Rock Dam on the eastern edge of Table Rock Lake and the entertainment capitol of the Ozark Mountains with hundreds of activities and attractions for tourists to the Table Rock Lake region. Attractions run the entertainment gamut and include family fun, golfing, historic downtown district, live music, museums, plays, award-winning restaurants.shopping, theme parks, a zoo, and animal parks.

The Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson evolved around the entrance to one of nature's greatest wonders, Marvel Cave. In 1894, Canadian entrepreneur William Henry Lynch opened the cave as an Ozarks tourist attraction. By 1960, the Herschend family introduced their 1880s Ozark Mountain Village, Silver Dollar City theme park. They built the theme park around the entrance to Marvel Cave, upon the foundations of a genuine 1800s mining town of Marmaros. It is located at 399 Silver Dollar City Parkway, Branson, Missouri.

Book a cruise on The Showboat Branson Belle, a beautiful majestic showboat reminiscent of the 1800s, the Showboat Branson Belle evokes the spirit of a bygone era of riverboat adventure. You will see stunning views of Table Rock Lake, enjoy a three-course mean, and see live entertainment. The Showboat Branson Belle's dock, White River Landing, is home to two specialty shops, where you will find souvenirs and elegant ladies’ apparel, jewelry and accessories.

Check out our Table Rock Lake Events or our page of What To Do At Table Rock Lake.


Table Rock Lake Weather & Climate

Lake sees an average of 46 inches of rain, with eight inches of snow, and 211 days of sunshine per year. The winter low in January is 22 degrees with a summer high in July of 89 degrees. May, June, and September are the most comfortable months for this region, and January and December are the least comfortable months.

Keep an eye on the skies with our Table Rock Lake Weather Forecast page.


Table Rock Lake Zip Codes

Boone County Arkansas: 72601,  72602, 72611, 72615, 72630,  72633, 72644,

72662.

Carroll County Arkansas: 72611, 72613, 72616, 72631, 72632, 72638, 72660.

Barry County Missouri: 64842, 64874, 65605, 65623, 65624, 65625, 65633, 65641, 65647,  65658,  65708, 65723, 65734, 65745, 65747, 65769, 65772.

Stone County Missouri: 65610, 65611, 65616, 65624, 65631, 65633, 65656, 65669, 65675, 65681, 65686, 65705, 65728, 65737, 65747.

Taney County Missouri: 65608, 65614, 65615, 65616, 65627, 65653, 65672, 65673, 65679, 65680, 65701, 65726, 65731, 65733, 65737, 65739, 65740, 65744, 65759,  65761, 65771, 72643. 


Table Rock Lake Flora and Fauna

https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature

Bald eagles, great blue heron, loons, and ospreys are common bird sightings in the winter months at Table Rock Lake. Wildlife enthusiasts might see more than birds in the hotter months, like roadrunners, collared lizards, and tarantulas. The ecosystem in the Table Rock Lake region is affected by humidity and barometric pressure and spans from moist to dry and low to high-pressure weather patterns. Table Rock Lake’s unstable variations in weather patterns support a wide variety of plant and animal life.

The river bottoms near Table Rock Lake contain forests of sycamores and cottonwoods. Other trees in the region are mostly hardwood oaks and hickories at lower elevations. At higher elevations in the region, shortleaf pine trees and ash junipers healthily grow and survive. Wildlife sightings at Table Rock Lake’s rural environment put on an amazing mammal parade. 

Hang out at Table Rock Lake, and you will see bats, beavers, badgers, black bears, bobcats, buffalo, chipmunks, coyotes, gray foxes, American minks, rabbits, squirrels, grey wolves, and so many more animals. This magnificent region of the United States overflows with nature and wildlife.

Table Rock Lake Email Updates


 

Table Rock Lake Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.

 

Table Rock Lake Weather Forecast

Thursday

Isolated Thunderstorms

Hi: 91

Thursday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 70

Friday

Mostly Sunny

Hi: 93

Friday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 73

Saturday

Hot

Hi: 97

Saturday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 72

Sunday

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 87

Sunday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 64


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