In 1976-1977, when work was underway
on what would become Smithville Lake, workers uncovered what is believed
to be an ancient astronomical observatory similar to Stonehenge but
made of wood. While the original site is now under water, the reconstruction
of this “Woodhenge” is just one of the
attractions at this lake located just north of Kansas City.
pool, the lake offers 7,190 acres of recreational opportunities including
swimming at two beaches, fishing, water skiing and sailboating. The lake caters
to the sailboat crowd, with a special marina and launch area located at Sailboat
There are rental boats available
at two marinas and a special slalom course owned by the Kansas City
Water Ski Club is open to the public in summer.
For those who want to
enjoy the outdoors without getting wet, Smithville Lake has much more
to offer. Cyclists can ride the network of mountain bike trails built
by the Earthriders bike club or take to the paved path along the lake.
There’s also a BMX bike track and skateboard park below the dam.
is permitted in the wildlife management area, while a trapshooting
park lets hunters hone their skills during the off-season. There
are 777 camping sites surrounding the lake, with more than one third
featuring electrical hookups.
Lake is located just
north of its namesake town on Highway 169. For more information call
the Corps of Engineers at (816) 532-0174.