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Mark Twain Lake

Fed by the Salt River and nearby creeks, Mark Twain Lake, located in northeastern Missouri in the Salt River Hills provides 18,600 acres of recreational waters, which also serve to provide power generation and flood protection. Mark Twain Lake, completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1984, is the youngest Missouri lake and the largest lake in northeast Missouri. The 285-mile, undisturbed shoreline rich with tree-lined banks and rocky bluffs, offers a perfect habitat for fish.

The Mark Twain State Park offers all the amenities expected of a state park. Hile the park is open year round, some of the services are only available from April through October.


The most sought after fish in Mark Twain Lake include largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, carp, catfish, perch and walleye. The numerous coves and inlets provide many places to fish in a relaxing environment.

The lake is open to fishing all year round, weather permitting. Although Mark Twain Lake will freeze over during a hard winter, ice fishing is not advisable because of fluctuating water levels and variable ice thickness.

Every year, the Mark Twain Lake Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Buddy Bass Tournament, which is the lake's largest and oldest tournament.


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    Mark Twain Lake Missouri Coordinates:
39.5717N -91.5711W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
18,600 acres
Maximum Depth:
85 ft
640 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
5 ft
Major City:
St. Louis
St. Louis


Mark Twain Lake welcomes all boat and motor types and sizes for all types of water sports' enthusiasts.

Two full-service marinas provide boating and fishing supplies, fuel, storage, snacks and boat rentals.

Two public four-lane boat ramps are available at the park's day use areas. There is also a boat launch ramp at the campground.


Mark Twain Lake lodging options include campgrounds with both primitive and modern campsites and six camper log cabins available for rent year-round. Lots of other lodging facilities are available nearby, as well.

Please consult the Lake Resource Guide for information on lodging and other attractions in the area.


The closest major city to Mark Twain Lake is St. Louis, which is 120 miles away. Other nearby cities and towns: Fulton, Hannibal, Wentzville, Columbia and Bridgeton. Mark Twain Lake flows through parts of Ralls and Monroe counties.

Fun times at Mark Twain Lake  Mark Twain Lake

  Mark Twain Lake   Mark Twain Lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  38 Avg. High  44 Avg. High  54 Avg. High  67 Avg. High  76 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  89 Avg. High  88 Avg. High  80 Avg. High  69 Avg. High  54 Avg. High  40
Avg. Low  18 Avg. Low  22 Avg. Low  32 Avg. Low  34 Avg. Low  53 Avg. Low  62 Avg. Low  66 Avg. Low  64 Avg. Low  56 Avg. Low  44 Avg. Low  34 Avg. Low  23