The Stoddard County area provides adequate recreational opportunities with lakes, fishing, hunting, hiking, swimming pools, parks, basketball courts, pickleball courts, tennis courts, pickleball courts, soccer and baseball fields, golf courses and country clubs.Recreational facilities in the city or within 10 miles:

  • 1 Public Swimming Pool
  • 10 Public Tennis, Pickleball or racquetball Courts
  • 10 Public Parks
  • 1 Public Golf Course
  • 1 Semi-Private Golf Course
  • 2 Country Clubs
  • 1 Bowling Alley
  • 1 Theater
  • 1 City Pond
  • City Walking Track  (Coming Soon)

For more information about our parks and recreation items, go to the Dexter Parks and Recreation website at  Other facilities or special features:  National Holly Preserve, Otter Slough, Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, Clearwater Lake, and Mississippi; Black and St. Francis Rivers.

City Parks

Dexter Park and Recreation Department oversees several parks which include West City Park, East City Park, Sugar Plum Park, Boon Park, Bell Park and 2 small areas downtown. The department also manages and maintains the Dexter Fishing Lake, Dexter Sports Complex, and the Dexter Aquatic Facility. The Dexter Park and Recreation Department are members of the Missouri Park and Recreation Association (MPRA) and are also members of the National Recreation Park Association (NRPA). The park department is overseen by a seven member advisory board. A listing of organized recreational programs, activities, and events as well as pictures and amenities of the parks can be found on the departments’ website

Lake Wappapello

If you enjoy the outdoors, Lake Wappapello offers something for everyone. Activities at the lake include fishing, hunting, swimming, camping, picnicing and more.


Wappapello Lake is truly a fisherman’s paradise, whether you enjoy fishing hard and fast or just lying back with your cane pole. The lake is stocked with some of the most sought-after game fish, such as largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, and flathead catfish. There are also many popular species of non-game fish in the reservoir.
Easy access points are provided at many places along the shore. There are numerous boat ramps as well as innumerable places to fish from the bank. Private businesses in the surrounding area offer supplies of fishing tackle and bait.
Fishing licenses are required in Missouri. State laws should be checked for complete information. Licenses may be purchased at County Clerk’s offices, lake concessionaires and many commercial establishments.


The 44,000 plus acres of land and water that make up Wappapello Lake host a variety of upland game species. The wooded hills serve as home to the white-tailed deer, squirrel and turkey, while the many fields and pastures provide good habitat for doves, quail and rabbit. The lake also hosts numerous populations of ducks and geese during the fall and winter months. Management of this vast resource is aimed toward providing good habitat for many species. Hunting licenses are required in Missouri. Special permits are required for certain game such as deer, turkey and waterfowl. For more information about hunting at Lake Wappapello contact the Wappapello Lake Project Office at 573-222-8562.

Hidden Trails Golf Course

Vacation Activities

Camping enthusiasts will find a variety of camping facilities at Lake Wappapello. Facilities available in each campground vary from the most fully equipped to the more isolated, less developed, primitive camping areas. Camping is permitted in designated areas only.Picnicing facilities are available around the lake for just about any size picnic you can imagine. Group shelters are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, or they may be reserved by contacting the Wappapello Lake Management Office.

Wappapello Lake is host to a variety of recreational boating opportunities. Water skiers and sailboaters can be seen on the lake as you drive across Wappapello Dam. The lake’s 180 miles of picturesque shoreline attracts boats of all sizes.

Swimming has long been one of the more popular activities at Wappapello Lake. Three sand beaches provide an excellent place for the entire family to spend an afternoon of swimming.For more information on the variety of activities to be found at Lake Wappapello, contact the Wappapello Lake Project Office at:

HC2, Box 2349, Wappapello, MO 63966-9603 or call 573-222-8562.

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