News Release 510

Big Lake State Park reopens Sept. 1

Volume 38-510 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Judd Slivka

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., AUG. 31, 2010 -- Residents and visitors to northwest Missouri will once again have a popular place to fish, camp and enjoy the great outdoors. After recovering from recent flooding, Big Lake State Park near Craig will reopen Sept. 1, Missouri Department of Natural Resources officials announced today.

On June 17, a nearby Missouri River levee gave way and almost all of the park’s 407 acres and its facilities were inundated.  After the water receded, cleanup and rebuilding efforts began.

Facilities available on Sept. 1 include the campground, with both basic and electric sites, eight cabins, 10 motel rooms, a convenience store and snack shop, the playground and boat ramp. The lodging facilities will be open through November. The convenience store and snack shop offer a full menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner available. Paddle boats, canoes, boats, bicycles and scooters are available to rent.

Campsites will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations made previously for arrival on or after Sept. 1 will be honored and a number of campsites may be reserved now for Sept. 1 through Oct. 3 arrivals. Construction activities will be ongoing in the campground, including the reseeding of grass. Other construction during the next several months will include upgrading 10 campsites from 30 amp to 50 amp electric service. 

“Our goal was to reopen the park by Labor Day weekend and we’re pleased that we were able to do that. This will be good not only for our visitors but also for all the residents of this area who were affected by the flood,” said Bill Bryan, director of the department’s Division of State Parks. 

The rebuilding of Big Lake State Park became a division priority with all available resources used to assist in the effort. Staff from surrounding parks and sites have been assisting with the cleanup and rebuilding effort. All facilities that had been flooded had to be cleaned and much of the material in the cabins and motel rooms had to be replaced. Although the park has been rebuilt enough to reopen, visitors will still see the effects of the flood. Staff will continue the rebuilding and repairing effort, including repairs to the swimming pool, dining lodge and the motel.    

Holt County, where the park is located, is one of 29 northwest Missouri counties declared as federal disaster areas so the department will begin the process of applying for federal funds for reimbursement of up to 75 percent of funds needed to repair the park.

Big Lake State Park is located 11 miles southwest of Mound City on Highway 111.  For more information on Big Lake State Park, contact the department’s toll free number at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit