7 In Hiking + The Outdoors/ Missouri/ Travel

Ha Ha Tonka State Park: Day Trip

This past month Alex and I took a day trip to Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Southwest Missouri.  I had never been there before, but I am guilty of not really taking the time to explore my own state, and I’m trying harder to do this more, so, this is where we began!

The Ruins of the Old Coach House

The Ruins of the Old Coach House

Ha Ha Tonka is a gorgeous park with so much to offer!  There are caves (one was used by counterfeiters as a headquarters in the 1830’s), sinkholes, a HUGE natural bridge, 15 miles of hiking trails, and even the ruins of a burnt down castle.

A View of Ha Ha Tonka Spring from the Castle Lookout

A View of Ha Ha Tonka Spring from the Castle Lookout

The Castle Ruins

The Castle Ruins

Fall Refections in The Lake of the Ozarks

Fall Refections in The Lake of the Ozarks

The Ha Ha Tonka Spring

We did quite a few of the hikes that day, but my favorite was probably the Spring Trail.  We started under the Natural Bridge and around the Colosseum Trail.  Then you wind through parts of the forest and then you come  out on the Niangua Branch of the Lake of the Ozarks.  The trail continues along this arm, and these beautiful, tree-covered cliffs rise up behind it, and in the fall- wow!  I have never seen such beautiful fall views!  You just have to sit on the edge of the water and take it all in.  You finish this trail by following the arm around to a spring coming out of the base of a cliff and the you have to ascend 316 stairs, but the view from the top of that is spectacular!

Fall Reflections

Fall Reflections

The Spring Trail

The Spring Trail

The Spring Trail

The Spring Trail

Hiking the Devil's Kitchen Trail

Hiking the Devil’s Kitchen Trail

My other favorite trail was the Devil’s Kitchen Trail.  We climbed up in the Counterfeiter’s Cave (but sadly found no money), and passed over more bluffs and different rock formations.

Alex Hiking

Alex Hiking

The Natural Bridge

The Natural Bridge

Me in Counterfeiter's Cave

Me in Counterfeiter’s Cave

I can’t wait to go back in the summer to do some swimming and hiking!  It was the perfect place to start my Ozarkian Adventure to really open my eyes to the beauty of my own state.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Tyler Jewell
    December 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    JABBER ABBER!

  • Reply
    Somewhere Saturday- Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Missouri | For the Love of Wanderlust
    August 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    […] the Ozarks, and all I can think about is how beautiful hiking is in the fall! I cannot wait! I love Ha Ha Tonka State Park, and can’t wait to go back and do some hiking! If you’re in the Ozarks, it’s a […]

  • Reply
    It’s Been Real, MO… | For the Love of Wanderlust
    June 9, 2014 at 9:54 am

    […] is one of my favorite parks to visit!  The first time I went was in the fall and we had a blast spending the day hiking!  Stacey and I just went earlier this […]

  • Reply
    Somewhere Saturday- Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Missouri | For the Love of Wanderlust
    August 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    […] Ozarks, and all I can think about is how beautiful hiking is in the fall! I cannot wait! I love Ha Ha Tonka State Park, and can’t wait to go back and do some hiking! If you’re in the Ozarks, it’s a […]

  • Reply
    Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Missouri - For the Love of Wanderlust
    September 12, 2015 at 9:38 am

    […] Ha Ha Tonka State Park is located a little south of central Missouri and is one of my very favorite Missouri state parks that I’ve visited. With just under 20 miles of hiking trails and features like a spring, a lake, a burned down castle, caves and more it’s a great place to explore. I’ve been in spring, summer and fall and I love exploring it so very much. I’m excited to get to show it to Matt this fall, and I guess this is as good of a time as any to announce that Matt and I are relocating to Southwest Missouri to be closer to my family and plan for our future, and although we’re going to sincerely miss the mountains, Asheville and more than anything else, some of our greatest friends, we’re very excited to explore our new home and surrounding areas. […]

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