Council Bluff Lake

The Basics

Council Bluff Recreation Area
State Hwy DD
Belgrade, MO

Phone: (573) 438-5427 (Potosi/Fredericktown District Office)

Closest Towns: Belleview, Ironton, Potosi

Directions: From Belleview: From the intersection of MO State Hwy 21 and MO State Hwy 32 near Belleview, MO, head West on Hwy 32 for approx. 14.4 miles. Turn Right and head North on State Hwy DD for approx. 3.1 miles to the entrance on your right.

About Council Bluff Lake

The largest lake within the Mark Twain National Forest, Council Bluff Lake was created when a dam was formed across the Big River in northern Iron County, located in Southeast Missouri. The lake is approximately 440 acres in size, with its deepest point being 87 feet. While fishing is a popular activity at the lake, it is also well known for swimmng, with a 54,000 sq. ft. sand swimming beach, extremely popular in the summer. A hiking trail which circles the lake is also popular throughout the year as well.

Open typically from May through September, Chapel Hill beach is a popular swimming destination for locals as well as campers visiting the area. Chapel Hill offers a 54,000 sq. ft. sand swimming area, as well as nearby play equipment for the kids. A concessionare is also available during the on-season at Chapel Hill, offering canoe and pedal boat rentals. No lifeguard is on duty.

Popular with fisherman as well, Council Bluff Lake offers many species such as largemouth bass, red-ear, sunfish, bluegill, crappie and catfish. Mant of these species are also stocked by the Missouri Dept. of Conservation, who also control the fishing regulations in Missouri. There are two boat launch ramps available: Wild Boar Hollow and Enough. Boats are limited to 10 horsepower, with a no wake zone across the entire lake. A fishing pier is available to anglers, and fishing from the shore is also allowed.

Located adjacent to Council Bluff Lake, Wild Boar Ridge Campground is open year-round, and offers 39 single sites, 7 double sites, 9 walk-in sites, and 4 group sites. Each site offers a table, fire ring, lantern post, and (except for walk-in sites) a parking spur. All sites are primitive sites, offering no hookups. Drinking water and vault toilets are available, and are centrally located. Coin-operated hot showers are available at Chapel Hill during the on-season, typically from May thru September.

Some camp sites can accomodate RVs up to 40' long, but no hookups or dump stations area available. Four group sites are available that can accomodate up to 50 people each. Individual and group site reservations can be made through

The 12-mile long Council Bluff Trail circles the lake, and offers a spur connecting it to the campground. There are also access points available at Chapel Hill and the Enough boat launch ramp, located on the south end of the lake. This trail is popular with both hikers and mtn bikers. Nearby, the Trace Creek Section of the Ozark Trail is also available.

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