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Located in Jackson County, Missouri, Blue Springs Lake provides a relaxing retreat minutes from Kansas City's urban setting. Lying within Jackson County's Fleming Park, Blue Springs Lake is one of two lakes, and multiple attractions, that draw more than 1,300,000 visitors a year. Just 14 miles east of the Kansas state line and the western edge of Missouri's fertile farm land, Blue Springs Lake is the ideal destination for family day trips, extended vacations or a place to call home.
Part of Missouri's historic Northwestern Region, the story of Blue Springs Lake tells the tale of America's westward migration. Originally inhabited by people of the Missouri and Osage Nations, Lewis and Clark's 1803 exploration of the Missouri River brought the party of explorers through what would become Jackson County. Within decades, America was on the move. Eight miles northwest of Blue Springs Lake, Independence, Missouri became the "jumping off point" for immigrants following the Santa Fe, Oregon and California Trails. Thirsty travelers were attracted to the clear spring waters of nearby Little Blue River. The growing need to supply immigrants attracted businesses, a mill and growing settlement around the Blue Springs. Today the growing community of Blue Springs has a population approaching 55,000 residents.
Reaching full pool in 1990, 720-acre Blue Springs Lake is the smaller of two lakes contained within 7,800-acre Fleming Park. The three-mile long lake lies immediately north of 970-acre Lake Jacomo. One glance at Fleming Park's family-friendly attractions and well-planned amenities, and it will be easy to see why the park is growing in popularity. The family and group picnic shelters set along the northeast shore of Blue Springs Lake make an excellent "home base" for a day at the park. Move down the western shore and you find a jet-ski landing for your water craft, dry sail for your boat, beach for swimming, one of two marinas and park campgrounds.
Water sports and land adventures continue around Lake Jacomo. The northeast end of Lake Jacomo is designated as a "disabled fishing area." Work your way south from the balloon port at the northern tip of Lake Jacomo and you will find a second marina, dry sail, boat ramps, youth primitive camping area, electric and non-electric campgrounds, and additional ramps and boat docks. The eastern shore provides a mix of water and land activities. One attraction leads into another beginning with Fleming East Nature Preserve, a dog training area, and a sailboat launch and mooring area. Attractions found at the south end of the park go far beyond usual lakeside activities. You'll feel as if you have stepped back in time at the Native Hoofed Animal Enclosure where visitors can observe grazing bison, elk and white-tailed deer. You do step back in time at Missouri Town 1855. This living history museum provides interpretive tours of 25 buildings depicting Missouri farm life from 1820-1860. The Kemper Outdoor Education Center displays multiple natural history exhibits and maintains nature trails, butterfly gardens, an arboretum and day camp for local youth. The Center's buildings provide an excellent site for family reunions and other large gatherings. But wait, that's not it. At the far west side of the park you will find soccer fields, a remote control flying field and Audubon library for bird watchers.
Fleming Park offers non-stop fun, but water remains the central attraction along the tree-lined shores of Blue Springs Lake. Water sports include swimming, boating, water skiing, tubing, jet skiing, canoeing and fishing. Boat rentals are available along with the sale of tackle and bait. A fish cleaning station is available for those who catch some of Blue Springs Lake's hybrid striped bass, bluegill, largemouth bass, carp or catfish.
Fleming Park and Blue Springs Lake are surrounded by the communities of Blue Springs, Lake Tapawingo, and Lee's Summit. With populations ranging from under 1,000 to over 100,000, excellent shopping, fine dining, relaxing spas, and challenging golf courses are easily accessible. The hospitality and charm of lakeside neighborhoods can be found among the lake-front real estate properties in Lake Tapawingo and Lakewood Lakes in Lee's Summit. Additional vacation rentals and real estate properties offer perfect accommodations for a trip to the country setting of Blue Springs Lake or Kansas City's museums, galleries or professional sporting events.
If you are looking for more solitude than Blue Springs Lake can offer, outlying attractions include several conservation areas. Among them is the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Refuge. Located only a few miles southeast of Blue Springs Lake, much of the 3,084-acre refuge is handicap accessible. Bird watching is a popular attraction with over 225 species identified within the refuge. Nature lovers will enjoy blissfully remote bicycle, hiking, and horseback trails. Hunting deer and waterfowl is permitted along with fishing bass, catfish, crappie, trout and sunfish on their 12 small lakes. Jim Bridger Urban Conservation Area borders Fleming Park, southeast of Blue Springs Lake. Swimming, camping and waterskiing are not permitted but pole and line fishing offer the opportunity to catch black bass, catfish, hybrid stripped bass and crappie. Seasonal deer and waterfowl hunting are permitted. Additional hiking, hunting and fishing trips can be made less than five miles northeast of Blue Springs Lake at Burr Oaks Woods Conservation Nature Center. Visitors will want to check their event calendar for educational activities scheduled throughout the year.
Blue Springs Lake and the amenities of Fleming Park provide all the attractions one might find in a pre-planned vacation package. Just find your accommodations and let the fun begin. Come for a day or a lifetime and enjoy the pleasures of a tranquil lake; explore the legends and lore of the immigrant trails; or get a taste of city life. Find your vacation rental or real estate property near Blue Springs Lake and stay at the center of it all.
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