The rivertown of yesterday now rests on the Osage arm of the Lake of the Ozarks. Truman Lake is just over the hill a mile away. With not one, but two lakes in easy reach, Warsaw is a recreation paradise. Visitors enjoy the water the way the original settlers did, on the upper arm of the Lake of the Ozarks, without the traffic, and lots of opportunity for fishing or floating on the water on a lazy summer’s day. Beautiful, unspoiled water viewscapes with relaxing water recreation lures visitors to enjoy boating, sailing, swimming, skiing, and fishing with all of the convenience of sand beaches, parks, campgrounds, and marinas, that make coming to the lakes fun for the whole family.
To enhance the appeal of enjoying these venues, the City of Warsaw is aggressively trying to create a riverwalk system that will become a major link for future recreation areas on both lakes. The riverwalk will start at 65 Highway, to the south of Warsaw, and travel atop the US Army Corps of Engineers levy system. At its beginning and until its end, the riverwalk will traverse next to natural wetland habitat that is home to various types of wildlife.
As the riverwalk continues into the center of town it will link into Drake Harbor and recreation area. At this point it will have several accesses into the downtown area from Drake Harbor. The riverwalk will become part of the new boat parking for the Harbor. This docking area will allow visitors from Lake of the Ozarks to park their boats and enter the downtown. Still within this area, the riverwalk will connect to an outdoor amphitheater. The amphitheater will also connect into the downtown and will have a stunning view of the waterfront with the hills as a backdrop. Included in the plan is a downtown RV park.
From Drake Harbor, the riverwalk will continue towards the northeast to Highway 7 and the historic swinging bridge. This bridge was built in 1904, and will be the only point that the riverwalk crosses the Osage River. It provides a unique experience of its own, with a teasing view of still more riverwalk to come. Once across the river, the riverwalk splits into two directions. The south split travels through even more wetland and wildlife habitat, and provides a view of the downtown from the opposite side of the Osage River. The walk will loop back to the swinging bridge and provide a view of the bridge that is truly memorable. The second path will continue to the northeast toward Truman Dam. Like the other sections, it travels through a third area of wetlands and wildlife habitat. Total there are close to 750 acres of wetland refuge, and all will have designated points that pedestrians or cyclists will be able to explore interpretive trails into the habitat. These trails will be either elevated boardwalks or paths.
As the riverwalk approaches Truman Dam, there will be a paved path leaving the riverwalk and entering into the Bledsoe Ferry Sports Complex. The riverwalk will continue towards the Dam and provide a view of the Truman Visitor Center setting atop Kaysinger Bluff. The riverwalk will turn to the west and cross the Dam Access Road and wind into the Shawnee Bend Recreation Area. The first recreational activity it will connect to will be the Shawnee Bend Golf Course. This beautiful nine hole, 36-par course lies two miles northwest of Warsaw and a ¼ mile west of the Truman Dam. A major area attraction, Shawnee Bend boasts challenges that cannot compare with other courses. Experience the beautiful views of Truman Lake and Visitors Center from various fairways and greens.
Future plans are for the riverwalk to continue through Shawnee Bend and connect to different recreational opportunities on Truman Lake. Truman Lake has earned the reputation as one of the top fishing lakes in the nation and has gained popularity as an overall recreation area from Kansas City north into Iowa.