Table Rock Lake in Branson

The Ozark Mountain’s best-kept secret, Table Rock Lake, draws tourists from all over the country. Missouri’s largest man-made reservoir is not only a recreational lake but it controls floods and creates hydroelectric power for nearby areas.

One of Branson’s most popular destinations, Table Rock Lake, is located in the Ozarks of southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas and is about an hour’s drive south of Springfield, Missouri. The lake has a shoreline of nearly 800 miles and a depth of 220 feet, making it the deepest artificial lake in the state.

Table Rock Lake is Missouri's Premier Recreational Hot Spot

Often compared to Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock is less crowded and much prettier than its predecessor. In Taney County, Missouri, Table Rock Lake is best known for its world-class fishing, water sports, boating, and swimming. In addition to the many activities, more and more tourists flock to this stunning vacation destination for its alpine mountains, wildflowers, verdant meadows, and all-around natural beauty.

Check out the nearby Table Rock State Park with its abundant paths and biking trails for many outdoor adventures. Table Rock Lake's commercial marinas feature numerous events for water sports enthusiasts.

Fun Fact: The lake draws its name from a rock formation, high above the White River, resembling a table near the small community of Table Rock, Missouri.

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Table Rock Lake Men Fishing on Boat in Branson, Missouri, USATable Rock Lake Fishing

Table Rock contains 43,000 acres of water along miles of tree-lined shores, beaches, and marinas. The lake is renowned particularly for its bass fishing.

The lake is also an accessible site for scuba divers. The underwater village Oasis is a popular technical dive for scuba divers and currently rests under 100 feet, near the bottom of Table Rock Lake.

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Table Rock Lake Boat Rental & State Park Marina

Table Rock Lake Marina activities include boating, swimming and water skiing. There is a 30 mile per hour speed limit for boats from sunset to sunrise.
Fun Fact: The paddlefish is the biggest fish in the lake, hitting the state record, weighing 140 pounds, 9 ounces.

Table Rock Lake Water Sports

Table Rock Lake truly has every water sport under the sun. The list includes kayaking, skiing, scuba diving, paddle boarding, and parasailing. Visitors can also rent wave runners and jet skis. There's plenty of area to cover, as the lake spans 43,000 acres.

Table Rock Lake Campgrounds

Enjoy the two beautiful campgrounds, open year-round and accessible for RV’s. Table Rock Lake RV Park includes electric and water hook-ups. Check the Table Rock State Park website for campground maps and reservation information.

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Restaurants on Table Rock Lake

Devil’s Pool Restaurant

Just 10 miles south of Branson, Big Cedar Lodge is the ideal lake retreat for gorgeous scenic views, relaxation, and fine dining. Devil's Pool Restaurant provides a casual dining experience that combines the best of southern hospitality, down-home fare with rustic elegance.

While surrounded by Missouri’s wondrous hills and overlooking the gorgeous lake, Devil's Pool Restaurant offers delicious food in a charming decades-old log cabin.

Floating Café

Floating Café is the only two-story restaurant on the gorgeous lake, located right on the water at Indian Point. The café features delicious seafood, burgers, soups, salads, and dessert, with live music venues in the summer.

Flat Creek Resort Bar & Grill

Just a short distance from Silver Dollar City and Branson, Missouri, Flat Creek is a great dining option offering awesome happy hour specials and some of the best catfish this side of the Mississippi. Guests can enjoy the free boat ramp service and playground.

aerial view of table rock lake in the fall near Branson, Missouri, USATable Rock Dam Highlights

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineering designed, built and operated Table Rock Dam from 1954 to 1958 on the White River. Table Rock Dam, a stunning feat of architecture in its own right, cost $65 million to build and brought a new resurgence to the Ozarks.


For a more intimate look at the Table Rock Dam, visitors can take one of the guided walking dam tours offered daily from March through October and from Thursday through Sunday in November and December.

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Fun Fact: Don’t buy into the alligator myth in Table Rock Lake. Alligators are not native to Missouri; however, rare sightings have been reported! The Missouri Department of Conservation has discounted this Facebook hoax, claiming that it released alligators into the lake.

Driving Tour

Visitors can drive across one of the many bridges across Table Rock Dam. Ten existing bridges were built in the 1950s and 1960s over Table Rock Lake; some of the most traveled include the Long Creek Bridge, the Kimberling City Bridge, and the Cape Fair Bridge.

The Historic Route 86 Bridge is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. You can learn more about these architecturally notable structures by visiting the Dewey Short Visitors Center.

Pro Tip: Most people fish near Table Rock State Park, but some locals say the best fishing is right by the dam!

Other Area Attractions

Table Rock Lake State Park

The area's state park, located in Taney County and Stone County on Table Rock Lake, consists of 356-acres and includes a marina, campground, and multiple trails for hiking and bicycling.

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Table Rock Lakeshore Trail

This paved pathway trail is a 4.4 mile heavily trafficked down and back trek near Point Lookout, Missouri. The course is considered easy enough for all skill levels. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed at all times.

Showboat Branson Belle

This popular lunch and dinner attraction, themed after the majestic showboats of the 1800s, offers an exciting event for the whole family. The Showboat’s spacious theater holds up to 700 passengers with three area balconies of seats. The 2-hour cruise includes a delicious meal and stunning views of Table Rock Lake.

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branson belle on the Table Rock lake at sunset in Branson, Missouri, USA

Showboat Branson Belle

Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery

This hatchery produces between 350,000 and 400,000 pounds of trout each year. Both rainbow and brown trout are raised at the hatchery, and 80% is released into Lake Taneycomo, marketing the area as one of the top fishing lakes in the region.

The hatchery includes a conservation center where visitors can learn about the local aquatic life and fishing. The center is open year-round and is free of charge.

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The Dewey Short Visitor Center

Called the ‘crown jewel’ of Table Rock Lake, the Dewey Short Visitor Center is a fun place to take the family. Here you can learn about the dam’s history. In addition, visit some fascinating exhibits that include a state-of-the-art interactive map of Table Rock Lake.

The center also features a Native American artifact exhibit and an Ozark diorama.

Pro Tip: Check out a nice trail right by the visitor’s center that goes along the water and connects to a dining riverboat.

close up of Erin smiling on a sunny day

Written By Erin

Erin Poche` is a Utah-based writer and editor for Tripster and contributing writer for BeyondType1. She also writes and edits for an indie publisher of fanta ...

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