Stroll through the history of a once-bustling river town that's now the serene village of Arrow Rock. You'll walk streets lined with the architecture of the historic "Boone's Lick Country." At Arrow Rock State Historic Site, you may wander into the historic J. Huston Tavern, which dates back to 1834 and provides a dining experience in the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River. View displays of historic furnishings in the old kitchen and upstairs bedrooms. You can visit other historic buildings, such as the Old Courthouse and George Caleb Bingham's house. You can learn about the history of Arrow Rock and the "Boone's Lick Country" through exhibits and audio-visual presentations in the visitor center. The historic site is part of the larger Village of Arrow Rock, which features quaint stores and several antique shops.
Big Soldier Lake is named for a Little Osage chief, who negotiated with government agent George Sibley at the Arrow Rock bluff in 1813. Originally built as a shallow stock pond in 1930, the impoundment was renovated and deepened (18 feet at the dam) in 1989. In 1995, a fishing access for persons with disabilities and small parking lot was constructed with funds from the parks, soils and water sales tax.
The four-acre lake is stocked and managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources. All state fishing license requirements apply. Consult the State Wildlife Code for license requirements. There are no license vendors in Arrow Rock; the closest being in Marshall or Boonville.
Non-motorized small watercraft with approved Coast Guard flotation devices are allowed. Electric trolling motors are permissible.
Enjoy a picnic lunch at one of several picnic tables. There is one accessible picnic site available.
Plan your next large gathering of family or friends at the historic site. An open picnic shelter, built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s, can be reserved for $35 per day (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.). It can accommodate approximately 40 people. If not reserved, it is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The shelter has two large fireplaces, three picnic grills, several picnic tables, water (April 15 through Oct. 31) and electricity. An accessible vault toilet and playground are nearby.
The playground is near the open picnic shelter.