Ha Ha Tonka State Park – Missouri


Ha Ha Tonka State Park is located near the Lake of the Ozarks in Camdenton, Missouri. This might be one of my favorite state parks as it has so much to offer from a castle, a spring, rock formations and a lake. I love parks that you can connect trails together and hike for as long or as short as you want.

We parked in the upper parking lot near the castle and started our day out from here. This lot can fill up very fast as it is fairly small, but there is overflow parking just down the hill and a trail connects to the castle area.

We took in the overlook view and in the picture below you can see the turquoise waters of the natural spring which we would hike down to later on.

Robert Snyder, a wealthy Kansas City business man, began building the retreat in 1903. After Snyder passed away in an automobile accident, his sons completed the construction in 1922. Years later in 1942, sparks from a chimney fire set the castle ablaze as well as the carriage house so all that remains today are the ruins. This is a pretty remarkable structure within a Missouri State Park.

We then backtracked to the parking lot and hiked to the water tower along the boardwalk.

Ellie was really excited to be out hiking again!

We then hiked over to the natural bridge and what a spectacular site this is. The trail leads across the top of the natural bridge and then underneath. During heavy rains, a waterfall flows over the top of the natural bridge.

The trail then leads through a canyon with towering rock walls and lush vegetation.

We then followed the trails down to the edge of the Lake of the Ozarks. If you have a boat, you can dock here and enjoy the trails for the day!

We crossed over onto the island where a grist mill used to stand long ago. If you hike one trail in the park, the Island Trail is not to be missed. You will want to head to the opposite side of the island and look for a trail that leads down and along the spring-fed creek.

This is probably one of the most beautiful areas in the park. Take a moment to sit and reflect and let nature fill your soul =)

We then hiked back to Ha Ha Tonka Spring which is Missouri’s 12th largest spring by volume. The natural beauty of this park is unreal.

From here, we headed back up to the top of the bluffs. Note the sign below that there are a lot of stairs on this trail!

We then followed the trail back to the parking lot.

I had been to this park at least once before (maybe twice, but I can’t remember LOL). One trail that I had never hiked before was the trail that leads through Devil’s Promenade and Kitchen so later in the afternoon we came back to the park to hike this trail.

It is a great trail and features amazing rock formations! I highly recommend this trail as well!

I absolutely love this park since it packs so much scenery into a small area. I can’t wait to go back and hike the other trails that I haven’t been on yet!

Have you visited Ha Ha Tonka State Park before? If not, be sure to add it to your list!

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8 comments

  1. Thanks for this post. I have been to Ha Ha Tonka twice. Once more than 30 years ago, and I remember climbing on the castle ruins. The second time, the castle was roped off. But even that trip was more than 14 years ago. I only remember the trail around the castle, but after reading your post, I definitely want to go back and hike all the beautiful trails you describe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never a bad hike at this spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never visited this spot before but it is absolutely beautiful. Are persons allowed to bathe in the spring? The water looks so inviting πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful place! We have been to the castle area and got down to the Lake. Haven’t been to the spring but your pics of the place are stunning! Thanks for taking us along!

    Liked by 1 person

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