Stephens Lake Park
Park Hours: 6 am to 11 pm; Fishing Hours: 4:30 am to 11 pm
Multi-Use Trail Miles: 0.6 mile lake trail, hard-surface; 1.7 mile perimeter trail (hard-surface)
Maps & Documents
- Playgrounds (3)
- Stephens Spraygrounds
- Waterfalls (2)
Art Sculpture – “Look Out Point”
Lakes (11 acres)
- Fishing Lake (1)
- East side of boardwalk
- Non-motorized boating
- Swimming Beach (1)
- Open May 1 to September 30
- Unguarded facility, swim at your own risk
- Winter Sports
Fields – Practice
- Mini-Shelter/Picnic Areas (6)
- Reservable Shelters (5)
- North side of Riechmann Pavilion (open year round)
- South side of Gordon Shelter
- West side near beach (open April 15 to October 15)
Stephens Lake Park is the crown jewel of Columbia’s park system and is known for its 11-acre fishing/swimming lake, mature trees, and historical significance in the community. It serves as the center for outdoor winter sports, a variety of community festivals, and outdoor concert series at the amphitheater. It has reservable shelters, playgrounds, swimming beach and spraygrounds, art sculpture, waterfalls, and walking trails. This popular park houses numerous tree collections, including red bud, oak, conifer and nut trees, along with the Hindman Memorial Garden, Children’s Grove, and demonstration rain gardens, which have earned it a Level II Arboretum Accreditation.
Thanks to funding from the Park Sales Tax for the equipment and sponsorship by iZones, free WiFi Internet access is available at selected areas of Stephens Lake Park around the park shelters, beach area, and Riechmann Pavilion. As a sponsor, iZones has donated the monthly Internet costs.
The only equipment required to access the free service is an electronic mobile device that has WiFi capability. On the electronic device, search for available WiFi networks, select the “(park name)” and click on “connect.” Users will be redirected to a welcome page. On the welcome page, click on the “connect” link to access the Internet.
Stephens Lake Park is the center for outdoor winter sports in Columbia. There is a hill for sledding on the east side of the lake, which can be accessed from the park entrance at 2001 Broadway. Park users can warm themselves with a bonfire during the winter sports season at the fire pit at Collins Shelter near the sled hill, and there is a heated restroom nearby open year round. Wood is provided by the Parks and Recreation Department when there is snow on the ground or the lake conditions permit skating and can be found in the wood shed near Collins Shelter. Ice skating is allowed on Stephens Lake only when the ice has been checked and deemed thick enough. Ice fishing is allowed on Cosmo-Bethel Lake when conditions allow.
A press release will be issued and signs posted when the lake ice conditions are favorable for skating and ice fishing. For updates on ice conditions on both Stephens and Cosmo-Bethel Lakes, watch for announcements on the Parks and Recreation home page.
- Winter Trout Fishing at Cosmo-Bethel Lake
- Ice Skating and Ice Fishing Criteria for Designated City Lakes
- Ice Skating Safety Tips
- Ice Fishing Safety Tips – Cosmo-Bethel Park
- Sledding Safety Tips
If you would like to hold a special event in the park, fill out a Park Special Use Permit Application. If you would like to use a specific portion of the park, such as the island and island shelter, outdoor amphitheater, or Riechmann Pavilion, see the Facility Rentals/Reservation page.
Unique donation opportunities are available at Stephens Lake Park. Put your name or a loved one’s on a tree collection, single table picnic shelter, amphitheater, island, or other park elements. [More Information]
Tree-Ching Trail Walk
Find out how trees pay us back by taking the on-line virtual Tree-Ching Trail Walk at Stephens Lake Park. (The trail walk in the park occurred in October and November 2010. The price tags on the trees have since been removed.)