You can quantify the family-friendly digs and activities at Blue Springs Ranch. Twenty-nine cabins; 150 campsites; 3,000 feet of ziplines. That's not to mention the ranch's organized float trips down the picturesque Meramec River, which bumps right up against the camp, and trail rides through the surrounding wilderness. And in 2013, Blue Springs started a new tradition: hosting an annual rodeo starring the Lone Star Rodeo Company.
Trophy fisherman Walter Krause, who has 15 years' experience on the Illinois Muskie Tournament Trail and the Pro Musky Tournament Trail, takes up to two anglers aboard his private boat for a guided trip through two fish-filled Illinois lakes. Whether plumbing the depths of Cedar Lake for striper or pursuing Kinkaid Lake—one of the top trophy-muskie lakes in Illinois—for oversize bass, muskies, and walleyes, participants benefit from Walter’s 46 years of experience and on-board depth finders and GPS. During the course of each customized trip, visitors learn how to track fish movements, how to properly hold rods, and how to train a wall-mounted singing fish to bait other fish with its seductive crooning. Walter provides each angler with life jackets, bait, tackle, and rods, although participants must bring their own fishing licenses, lunches, and weather-appropriate clothing.
Under the helm of the eponymous Captain himself, Captain Mike Fink's Marina’s friendly crew of youthful staff––well-versed in the art of boating––helps guests sprout their sea legs with a well-maintained fleet of rental boats and jet skis. Nestled alongside the fish-filled waters of Lake of the Ozarks, the marina serves as a jumping-off point from which nascent captains can pilot their buoyant steeds out onto the serene lake to partake in sun-bathed revelries or practice their sea-monster-lassoing skills. As longtime locals, Captain Mike and his team happily dole out thoughtful recommendations regarding area attractions and restaurants to inquisitive guests, pointing out all manner of hidden gems and waterfront restaurants.
Since launching off from the shores of Fort Myers Beach in 1982, Paradise Parasail’s signature smiley-face parachutes have become an iconic image in the sky, now flying high above the waters of both the Gulf of Mexico and the Lake of the Ozarks. USCG-licensed captains navigate each of the company's boats as riders trail behind at heights of up to 500 feet. With feet flopping in the wind, thrill-seekers are free to wave to their friends, family, and nearby migratory birds. Parasailers can also pose for photos and videos captured by the company's onboard photographers.