Bennett Spring State Park, Lebanon

4.4
#16 of 61 in Nature in Missouri
Bennett Spring State Park is located in Bennett Springs, Missouri, approximately west of Lebanon on Highway 64 and is in Dallas and Laclede counties. The park was established in 1923. It is centered on the spring that flows into the Niangua River and gives the park its name. The spring averages 100 million gallons (380,000 m3) of daily flow. The park offers fly fishing, camping, canoeing, and hiking, among other activities.HistoryIn 1837 the James Brice family built a mill at the stream and the spring became known as Brice Spring. The town that built up was known as Brice. The family of Peter Bennett soon settled near the spring and started their own mill. Originally, the families were rivals, but they soon intermarried. Both of these mills were eventually destroyed in a flood.During the Civil War years, another mill was constructed by Peter Bennett. This Bennett Mill was larger and more successful than the Brice mill. The spring soon took on the Bennett name. Peter died in 1882 and his son William Sherman Bennett took over. The Bennett Mill burned in 1895.In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) made various improvements to the park. The CCC built the dining lodge, cabins, trails, roads, shelters, gauge station, and the arched stone bridge across the spring branch. The bridge has 3 distinctive sideways “C’s” to memorialize the men of the CCC who built it. The CCC also channelized the spring branch and constructed the dam just upstream of the stone bridge to make the spring more habitable to the non-native trout. The dam is used to divert water through the fish hatchery and to maintain a constant water level at Bennett Spring to this day.
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Bennett Spring State Park Reviews
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  • Stop by the Bennett Springs trout hatchery. Definitely a must see and great place to stay in MO! Recommend Riverfront campground for accommodations, canoe/raft rentals and a scenic place to stay.  more »
  • Returning home from Branson, we stopped at Bennett Spring one of Missouri’s State Parks, which we learned had also been a CCC camp. Fishermen were everywhere fishing for and catching trout. A man prou...  more »
  • We booked two nights, tent camping, in October. We go every year at this time. Other parks we stay at have patrols that go around several times a day. This one only had one on the second day and that ...  more »

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