Nature At Its Best
Benton County is blessed with a wide variety of natural beauty. The lakes, the forests, the rolling hills teeming with all varieties of flora and fauna make Benton County unique in all Missouri.
Where Missouri's Great Lakes Meet
One the western side of Benton County you have Truman Lake.
55,600-acre Truman Lake, with 958 miles of coast line, has created a diverse wildlife area rich in the history of Osage Indians, explorers, fur trappers, traders and white settlers. Harry S Truman State Park, located on the peninsula that juts into the lake, opened in 1983. Clear waters, dramatic bluffs and vibrant summer and fall colors make Harry S Truman State Park an ideal place to vacation. The park offers a marina, ample fishing and boating opportunities, and water that’s perfect for every kind of swimmer. Hiking trails, picnic areas and campsites that dot the park’s open oak woodlands, natural grasslands and lakeside areas let visitors enjoy the abundance of wildlife and recreation opportunities at this expansive park.
On the Eastern side of Benton County you have Lake of the Ozarks.
Yes, it's true! Benton County is on the Lake of the Ozarks. While many folks might not realize it, Lake of the Ozarks starts at the Truman Dam in Warsaw.
Then is it is on for 92 miles, 1150 miles of shoreline and 55,000 square acres of water fun and recreation. Benton County is the gateway to the most significant lakes in Missouri and abound in numerous recreational activities which include boating, fishing, water skiing, sailing, camping, hunting, horseback riding, and hiking
Did Someone Say Fishing?
Truman Lake is home to lots and lots of fish including Black Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Whitebass, Catfish, and Walleye. Lake of the Ozarks fish include Black Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, White Bass, Catfish, and Walleye. And don't forget the Spoonbill or Paddlefish. This is a rare fish which is huge and rods are not sufficient. You need trolls and sinkers to get hold of these fish. Check out http://www.missourifishingguide.com
First Class Hunting Also
Deer, squirrel, turkey, waterfowl, quail, dove, rabbit...Benton County is one of the great locations in Missouri for a variety of game. In fact, in 2011, Benton County placed in the top five counties overall for deer taken in all categories. You can find out more at http://mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping.
Bird Watching and More
If you like Watching Birds, we hope you will spot and enjoy some of the hundreds of species of birds such as Buntings, Eagles, Kittiwakes, Goshawk, Kestrel, Woodpeckers or Yellowthroat in Benton County. And look for Swallows, Hummingbirds, Egrets, Cardinals, Orioles, Robins, Owls, Martins, etc., etc. etc. In Benton County there are thousands of great locations for birdwatching of the tremendous number of bird species. Look for helpful Bird Watching Checklists at http://www.mobirds.org/Resources/Checklists.aspx.
And while you are watching birds in Benton County don't forget about the Butterflies. Benton County is the home of 6 different families of butterflies, accounting for 103 sub-families. Can you find them all? Check out http://www.abirdshome.com/resource/chklist/states/counties/mo_15.htm for more information about Benton County Butterflies.
A Special Place - High Lonesome Prairie Conservation Area
One mile west of Cole Camp on Highway 52, then go 0.5 mile north on Klink Avenue you find a native prairie.
This 655-acre native prairie has been designated by Missouri Audubon as an Important Bird Area (IBA). IBAs are sites that have been identified by Audubon as those that are the most crucial for bird populations, due to their abundance and/or diversity of birds present. To find out more about the IBA program, visit http://mo.audubon.org/.
High quality grasslands are important habitat for many species. This area is a remnant of a once vast prairie ecosystem that provides habitat for a diverse group of plants and animals. Species on conservation concern which find a home on this area include Mead's milkweed, upland sandpipers, and prairie chickens.