The Willmore Lodge is on my favorite places to visit list! I really think this is a hidden gem as it offers history, beautiful views, short garden trails and visitor center information. It’s a gorgeous Adirondack-style building with an amazing view of the Lake of the Ozarks Bagnell Dam. On display around the lodge are historic pictures of the area before, during, and after the dam was built. These photos exemplify the times, wildlife, and process of building the dam. Its amazing to look at the amount of labor and time to build at dam in the 20s. The building was completed in 1930 by the Union Electric Company and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Start your lake area visiting trip here as it hosts the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, The Lake of the Ozarks Visitor’s Center and the Bagnell Dam History Museum. In addition, it is close to the Bagnell Dam strip which is another fun place to walk around.
I plan for a half day (4 hours) and combine this visit with a visit to the Bagnell Dam Strip. I first, on the way there, stop and grabs a sandwich to go. Upon arrival I thoroughly enjoy a walk around the building to see all the historic pictures of the dam and next sit out on the lakeside deck to enjoy a casual lunch with a beautiful view. Once I have my fill, I can take a short walk around the garden trails before I climb into my car to depart.
Finally when leaving, head across Bagnell Dam Road and travel to the far side of the dam, the backside (on Union Electric Road). You can pull down and park or get out and walk to see the amazing power of the water as it is expelled. It is also fun to watch the fisherman as they pull in the big ones!