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Smithville Lake

The Kansas City office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of the Smithville Dam on the Little Platte branch of the Platte River in Clay County, Missouri in 1977. Impoundment began in 1977, and the result was the 7,190-acre Smithville Lake. This reservoir provides water supply for Smithville and Plattsburg, and also provides great water recreation opportunities for Kansas City residents and visitors.

The Corps continues to maintain this lake, which is the 10th largest of all the Corps lakes in this district. The lake is located less than 30 minutes north of Kansas City, and it offers a golf course, several wildlife areas, beaches, boat rentals and boating, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. Visitors to the area also can find casinos and vineyards withint ten miles of the lake, as well as the Clay County Park on the southeastern shore.


Smithville Lake receives a lot of fishing pressure, since it is located near Missouri's largest city. Despite this issue, the lake continues to provide high-quality bass fishing, thanks to foresight by the Corps of Engineers. They stocked several lakes that were flooded by Smithville before the impoundment, creating an environment that has multiplied over the years.

Outside the great bass fishing, anglers also can enjoy amazing crappie fishing. Although the Flood of 1993 killed much of the lake's vegetation, the restoration provided one of the best fishing years in 2005. Other game fish in this lake include catfish and walleye.


  Search Smithville Lake Resources
    smithville Lake Missouri Coordinates:
39.4024N 94.5329W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
7,190 acres
Maximum Depth:
60 ft
864 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:
Kansas City
Kansas City


Two full-service marinas are located on this lake, and they offer boat and slip rentals. One sailboat-only marina also sits on this lake. Campgrounds and marinas offer boat ramps, and some areas also provide fishing docks.


If you're a fan of state parks, two of them are located within 20 miles of this lake. Weston Bend State Park is located to the west beyond I-29. It offers an on-season full-service campground and off-season primitive camping. Watkins Mill State Park is located east of Smithville Lake, and it offers 96 campsites. Some of these campsites are open year-round.

Other camping opportunities are available at Camp Brand, Crows Creek, Little Platte and Little Platte W. Hwy, Perkins Park, and Smith's Fork. The first four campgrounds have boat ramps, and Camp Branch and Little Platte host marinas. Camp Branch also has lodging and a swimming beach as well as fishing docks.

Other lodging opportunities abound around the lake. The south end of the lake contains more hotels and motels, inns, and B&Bs, since it is located near Kansas City. Clay County also contains lodging that can fit a wide variety of budgets.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Located less than 30 minutes from Kansas City in Clay County, Missouri, other small towns near the lake include Smithville, Kearney, Platte City, Plattsburg, and Lathrop. The lake is located northeast of the Kansas City International Airport, and visitors also can gain access to the area through smaller private airstrips. Smithville Lake is situated halfway between I-36 and I-29. Drivers can cross the lake at two points via Route W.

Fun times at Smithville Lake  Smithville Lake

  Smithville Lake  Smithville Lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  36 Avg. High  42 Avg. High  53 Avg. High  64 Avg. High  73 Avg. High  82 Avg. High  87 Avg. High  86 Avg. High  78 Avg. High  67 Avg. High  53 Avg. High  41
Avg. Low  18 Avg. Low  22 Avg. Low  32 Avg. Low  42 Avg. Low  54 Avg. Low  63 Avg. Low  68 Avg. Low  66 Avg. Low  56 Avg. Low  44 Avg. Low  33 Avg. Low  22