Location: Center, Missouri
Webpage: Corps of Engineers
General Description: In 2010, the Corps of Engineers opened the MW Boudreaux Visitor Center overlooking Clarence Cannon Dam and Mark Twain Lake. The building itself is a prime example of a green building with “ground source heat, energy efficient lighting, low flow water works, and energy-efficient windows and building materials.” Exhibits inside the Visitor Center include the history of the area, construction of the dam, and the benefits of the lake. These benefits include flood risk management, hydroelectric power, water supply, recreation, and environmental stewardship.
1) This is a relatively new facility and it still looks brand new. It is an excellent location to obtain recreational opportunities on Mark Twain Lake, such as hiking trails on the property. They also have a number of informative interactive exhibits about hydroelectric power, the history of floods on the Salt River that was the primary motivation for constructing the dam, and the environmental efforts of the COE. It was certainly worth the time to visit and learn about the lake.
2) At the Visitor Center there is a 0.25 mile paved walking trail through the forests and overlooking the lake and dam. It provided a nice warm up to a longer hike in the woods.
3) We also drove back to the Salt Lick Trail just opposite the entrance to Ray Behrens Campground, where we staying. This trail is an easy 2.5 mile loop trail through the Missouri mixed hardwood forest. The trail is well maintained and is mostly level.