Ha Ha Tonka State Park
With its intriguing history and outstanding geologic features, Ha Ha Tonka State Park is one state park that should not be missed. The park is a geologic wonderland featuring sinkholes, caves, a huge natural bridge, sheer bluffs and Missouri’s 12th largest spring. The ruins of a turn-of-the-century stone castle overlook these wonders and offer impressive views of the Lake of the Ozarks and Ha Ha Tonka Spring.
A series of trails and boardwalks makes it easy for visitors to experience all the park has to offer, from its historic castle and geologic wonders to its wooded areas and open rocky glades. Picnic sites beckon visitors for a relaxing lunch in a scenic setting unparalleled in the lake area. All these fascinating elements combine to create a park that can be explored and enjoyed time after time.
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This trail leads hikers through an open woodland and glade complex that is maintained with periodic prescribed fire. The trail is located within the boundaries of the Ha Ha Tonka Oak Woodland Natural Area, which is recognized for its high quality natural communities. More than 300 native plants have been recorded in the area immediately surrounding the trail.
Boulder Ridge Trail
Boulder Ridge Trail is a gravel surface trail that makes a loop around the long narrow ridge top southwest of the lake parking lot. The trail was constructed in 1983 by park staff and volunteers to showcase this interesting geologic site. The terrain has uneven and rocky trail surfaces and some moderate elevation changes.
This rugged loop trail takes hikers past Balanced Rock; a large cylinder-shaped dolomite boulder sitting on one end. Walking this trail, hikers will catch two glimpses of old abandoned water pipe. This is all that remains of the pipe that carried water from the mill site to the water tower above.
This is a great trail to hike for spring wildflowers. Pawpaw trees can be seen along the first section of trail and grow alongside the boardwalk just before the spring. Spring Trail continues toward Ha Ha Tonka Spring along the shore of the old millpond, which is a great place to watch for wildlife, including turtles, frogs and toads, green herons and others.
Big Niangua River Trail
The trailhead for this floating and boating trail on the Lake of the Ozarks and the Big Niangua River is located at Ha Ha Tonka State Park. The trail offers deep fishing holes, scenic wetland landscapes and views of towering woodland hills. It is also rich in history with spring-fed creeks bearing the names of counterfeiting game members from the 1830s.
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