Release Date

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JULY 15, 2022 – Beginning this year, ExplorUS will manage lodging and limited retail operations at Lake Wappapello State Park for Missouri State Parks. Formally Ortega National Parks, ExplorUS is a hospitality management company operating in parks across the country.

Covering more than 1,800 acres in the southeastern Missouri, Lake Wappapello State Park features cool, clear waters where anglers can cast their lines for white bass, crappie and bluegill, as well as largemouth bass and catfish. Each year, the park welcomes more than 125,000 anglers, campers, swimmers and hiking enthusiasts. The park also features modern cabins with kitchens, rustic camper cabins and more than 20 miles of hiking trails.

“We are so pleased to be adding Lake Wappapello to our list of Missouri properties,” said Frank Pikus, chief executive officer of ExplorUS. “This lovely park has great outdoor opportunities and the two- and three-bedroom cabins bring nature right to our guests’ door. We have hired a wonderful staff to oversee the cabin rentals and anticipate having a very successful season.”

“We look forward to our partnership with ExplorUS at Lake Wappapello State Park,” said David Kelly, director of Missouri State Parks. “ExplorUS offers a variety of amenities and will help visitors have a state park experience filled with wonderful memories.”

ExplorUS is dedicated to preserving and protecting the unique environments and precious resources of the sites where it operates, allowing today’s guests and future generations to experience the beauty, serenity and splendor of local, state and national parks. It provides concession services at 50 locations nationwide, including three other Missouri state parks:  Lake of the Ozarks, Montauk and Sam A. Baker. You can find out more about ExplorUs at

Cabins are available for rent from April 1 through Oct. 31, 2022. More information can be found at or by calling 888-543-2490.

Lake Wappapello State Park is located at 8005 State Highway 172 in Williamsville, Missouri.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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