Horseback Riding-Stockton Lake Area

There's nothing much better than a trail ride when you can ride in the shade of the Ozarks forest on the banks of a lake. There are equestrian trails or multi-use trails at all three lakes.

Stockton Lake Equestrian Trails

Begin this 15-mile ride at Hawker Point on the west side of Stockton Lake. Take the south trailhead through the forest and along the lake to the Orleans Trail Campgrounds near the dam.  (Of course, you can start at Orleans Trail Campground and take the trail south, instead.) Several entry and exit points along the way. Open to hikers and bike riders, but not motorized vehicles. Phone Park for more info: 417-276-6948

Another enjoyable ride starts west of  the Big Sac arm of the lake. The Hulston Mill/Timber Trail loop runs 15 miles total, and is a moderately difficult ride on a natural surface. There are two horse camps along the way and you share the trail with mountain bikers and hikers.

Truman Lake Equestrian Trails

Nearly 25 miles of developed trails around Truman Lake. The Berry Bend Equestrian Center trail system offers rides of varying lengths and levels of challenge. The West Trail is for more advanced riders, with steep ridges and valleys. The East Trail overlooks the lake in a number of places and is somewhat more level. Hikers also use these trails. The Berry Bend Equestrian Center campground is available overnight only for campers with horses, but provides lake access for all water activities.

There is also a private campground adjacent to the lake on the south shore of the Osage Arm of Truman Lake. You can ride 26-30 miles of trails on Army Corps of Engineers land. J Bar S Trail Riding Campground is at 12900 NE 1270 Rd, Osceola. 417-644-0212.

Pomme de Terre Lake Equestrian Trails

A well-marked multi-purpose trail starting in Bolivar and ending on the southern end of the lake. Nearly 20 miles long and very scenic, the trail is challenging as it winds through varying terrain. It is the only Truman Lake trail open to equestrians, and you share it with bikers and hikers. The East trailhead section is rocky and hilly and not recommended for beginners; the West trailhead section is somewhat easier.  

Camping is available for riders and their mounts at Pomme De Ridge Horse Camp and Campgrounds in Bolivar. This private campground is located close to the Truman Lake trail and campers must have a horse. Located at 3338 Hwy Rb, Bolivar. 417-844-8288.

When you camp with horses, you must bring proof of a negative Coggins test, and all out-of-state horses must have a recent official health certificate.  Riders are strongly encouraged to wear blaze orange when using the trails during hunting season!

 

Do You Know…

Lake Pomme de Terre is rated the number one Bass lake in Missouri.

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The El Dorado Springs Founders Day Picnic is said to have started with townsfolk gathering around the spring with basket dinners...in 1881.

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The town of Caplinger Mills had one of the first hydro-electric power plants in the area, supplying power to towns as distant as Bolivar and Buffalo, and to Stockton and others closer in.

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Some fish worth telling tales about:  1 lb 6 oz Gizzard Shad caught in Truman Lake; 2 lb 2 oz Green Sunfish taken from Stockton Lake;  A Northern Pike from Stockton Lake weighing in at just over 18.5 lbs; A Smallmouth Bass just over 7 lbs  and a Tiger Muskie, 22 lbs, both from Stockton.

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The city of Bolivar began as a small settlement along the Overland Stage Trail, and built up around Keeling Spring which is now mostly covered by a concrete monument.

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Warsaw holds the record for the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Missouri. Good thing they’re on the lake!

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