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!
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.
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!
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.
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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