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Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.9/5 based on 460+ reviews on the web
Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a state-owned, public recreation area encompassing over on the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks about five miles south of Camdenton, Missouri, in the United States. The state park's most notable feature is the ruins of a stone mansion that had been modeled after European castles of the 16th century. The park also features caves, sinkholes, and bluffs overlooking the lake. It is a prominent example of karst topography, which is geological formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock. A 70acre portion of the park was designated the Ha Ha Tonka Karst Natural Area in 1981.HistoryThe Ha Ha Tonka castle was started by Robert McClure Snyder, Sr. in 1905. He was a Kansas City businessman who purchased the area which was known by Native Americans in the area as "ha ha tonka" which supposedly means "laughing waters," alluding to the springs below the castle. Following his death in an auto accident in 1906, the castle was completed by his sons Robert, Jr.; LeRoy, and Kenneth in the late 1920s. The building was used as a hotel until it was destroyed by fire in 1942. The state purchased the castle and grounds in 1978 and opened it to the public as a state park. The water tower was repaired in 2004, with a new roof installed, and the castle walls have been stabilized. The ruins can be seen from an observation point across from the post office.
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  • Did the touristy event. Decided to do the park stop. Great scenery, and will be better when fall colors pop. Lots of walking, do be prepared. The castle ruins are interesting and there are many photo ...  read more »
  • The park is just 8 miles south of Camdemton. We 4 seniors very much enjoyed a series of 3 one-half to one mile walks thru the timber on mostly paved paths with each walk ending at an interesting sight...  read more »
  • We combined the spring and colosseum trails. The trail was well maintained but some of the wood steps need work. The area is beautiful and has a lot to see. I suggest the parking lot accord from the p...  read more »
  • Beautiful park. It requires a lot of walking to see it all so I would recommend being in good shape. There is a pretty and huge natural spring. It is down 310+ steps. Just remember you have to walk back up the. My children didn't enjoy that part. 310 steps is like a 20 storey building. Remember that. Very pretty though. Don't get close to the cliff edge. The soil is always lose and soft.
  • You won't see another state Park like this, and old castle and grounds for what was going to be a small village. Rolling hills, caves, plenty of water and lots of stairs. definitely a must see.
  • Quite possibly the single most beautiful park in the entire state. From the spring to the castle to the numerous trails through the forest, Ha Ha Tonka is a prime example of all the different types of beauty that Missouri has to offer. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, and be ready to climb! Be sure to bring water and snacks, because there is none available in the park, except possibly at the visitors center near the entrance.
  • We are from KC and we hike here every time we are down at the Lake of the Ozarks (4+ times a year). One of our top three favorite hikes in Missouri! We love it here soooo much!!
  • Great place to see while at Lake of the Ozarks! Be careful to not enter the actual castle due to fallen rocks. There are great views around and multiple trails to explore the area.
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