Haha Tonka State Park Guide: Missouri Parks to Visit
Being less than three hours away, this is the perfect day trip for families!
Haha Tonka State Park is located near Lake of the Ozarks in Camden County, MO. Even though its over 2 hours away, the drive there is beautiful and winding. You can make it a dedicated trip, or stop by on the way to the lake.
Their slogan, “where nature and history come together,” means you can enjoy the history of the castle ruins, as well as wooded areas, “open rocky glades and a geologic wonderland”, according to the park’s website.
Location: 1491 State Road D, Camdenton, MO 65020
Distance: (2 hours, 41 minutes)
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 sheer bluffs, caves, walking trails, picnic areas and ruins of a castle.
Things to Do at Haha Tonka State Park:
There are quite a few things to do at the state park, especially if you like the outdoors. You can get your exercise, while also exploring history! Check out these fun things to do:
Explore the Castle Ruins
The building is from the turn of the century, so it isn’t in the best shape. But if you have children it can be magical for them to explore.
The castle ruins overlook the other beautiful features of the park. Its built on a bluff so you can enjoy a great view of the Lake of the Ozarks and Ha Ha Tonka Spring. It’s a beautiful site to see!
If your family enjoys the outdoors, there are plenty of walking trails to explore. The state park has over 15 miles of trails you can run or walk together.
Each walking trail leads somewhere cool! You can find a naturally-built bridge, caves, a spring and sinkholes depending on which you choose.
It’s easy to navigate the park with the trails and walkways. You can experience all there is to offer without completely trekking through the woods.
You can find a map of the trails online. Just click “find a park > Haha Tonka State Park” and you’ll find maps of every trail in the park.
Eat Lunch at the Spring or Picnic
If you’re planning to spend the day here, be sure to pack a lunch and snacks!
Small Picnic Areas:
There are picnic areas where you can enjoy lunch or a snack on your day of exploring. Scattered in the park are 20 picnic areas for public use. These are open every day.
You can also find larger picnic shelters – The Lake Shelter & Post Office Shelter. There are two separate shelter sites that have tables, outdoor grills and electricity.
** Both picnic shelters are first-come, first-serve if they are not rented out.
The shelters are first come, first serve as long as no one has reserved it. You can reserve the shelters if you would like to have a family gathering or party ($45 for the day). Find more info here.
> The Lake Shelter
This structure holds up to 60 people. It is the smaller of the 2 sites. There is no drinking water, but there are these features:
- Electricity available
- Large grill (not under the roof)
- Toilet close
> The Post Office Shelter
This is the bigger of the shelters available, with 100 capacity.
- Playground nearby
- Drinking water
- 2 large grills (under roof)
- Toilet nearby
The shelters are perfect for family gatherings or special outings and can be reserved for $45 per day, or if not reserved, the shelters are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at no charge.
There are multiple caves to go caving, but most are currently closed.
The only open cave is Island Cave. You MUST have a permit to go in the caves – only open from June 15th to September 15th. You can visit the park office to get a permit. Learn more about the caving and how to get a permit online.
With the park near Lake fo the Ozarks you can enjoy all the normal water activities and the camping spots nearby!
We hope your family enjoys the park and your day trip!
If you know other fun tips for Haha Tonka State Park, be sure to drop them in the comments so we can add to our guide.
From our family to yours, iFamilyKC.