Turn up the tunes, roll down the window, and hit the road. Perfect for two- or four-wheeled rides, this scenic route visits three historic towns, two lakes, a swinging bridge, and so much more. Don’t forget to check out the Barn Quilt Trail, too.

Benton County Scenic Drive
98 Miles | Routes 52, B, WW, W, BB, T, C, PP, 7, 83

Benton County consists of three quaint historical towns with a whole lot of adventures and hospitality rolled up into one amazing experience: Cole Camp, Lincoln, and Warsaw and two of Missouri’s largest lakes: Truman Lake and the Osage Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks. 

This self-guided adventure tour allows you to travel by two or four wheels and is jam-packed with conservation areas, picturesque parks, lake access points, and thousands of miles of public use areas.

Bring your swimming trunks, a cooler, a camera, and breathe in the fresh air while you find your adventure.

1. German Immigrant Memorial–This memorial honors the immigrants and families of the settlers of Benton, Morgan, Pettis Counties, and beyond.

2. Buffalo Creek Conservation Area–3,612-acre, mostly forested area contains a 6-acre fishing pond, three springs, and 3.0 miles of Big Buffalo Creek.

3. Edmonson Access – 110 acres of conservation land that contains forest, old fields, and Cole Camp Creek.

4. Tebo Creek State Wildlife Area–51,133 acres that lies within the Truman Lake area.

5. Truman Lake Opry–Live music, concerts, food, and more.

6. Truman State Park–The park offers a marina, ample fishing and boating opportunities, with hiking trails and picnic areas.

7. Shawnee Bend Recreational Area–Playground, sandy beach, and a 2.3 mile nature trail.

8. Harry S. Truman Visitor Center and Pioneer Village–At the visitor center, take a step back in history and learn about how the dam was built, then explore the Pioneer Village with old-time cabins that have been relocated, a General Store, and walking trails.

9. Joe Dice Swinging Bridge – This historic bridge was built in 1904 and is used for walking, hiking and biking.

Photos Courtesy of Benton County Tourism

10. Drake Harbor and Steamboat Landing –Riverfront trails, Steamboat Landing Boardwalk, and the historic Community Building are a must-visit while in Warsaw.

11. Osage Bluff Recreational Area – Campground, nature trails, beautiful views of Truman Lake, water access, and beautiful bluff.

As you’re out and about enjoying our Benton County backroads, include the Barn Quilt Trail of Benton County on your list. For more off-the-grid scenic rides, go to VisitBentonCoMo.com.


1. German Immigrant Memorial
2. Buffalo Creek Conservation Area
3. Edmonson Access
4. Tebo Creek State Wildlife Area
5. Truman Lake Opry
6. Truman State Park
7. Shawnee Bend Recreational Area
8. Harry S. Truman Visitor Center and Pioneer Village
9. Joe Dice Swinging Bridge
10. Drake Harbor and Steamboat Landing
11. Osage Bluff Recreational Area

Article originally published in Missouri Life’s Scenic Rides & Drives Guide 2024