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“Ha Ha Tonka”

Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in Camdenton
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Imposing architecture and breathtaking scenery combine to make Ha Ha Tonka State Park one of Missouri’s most treasured spots. Located on the Lake of the Ozarks, the park features the stone ruins of a turn-of-the-20th-century castle built by a prominent Kansas City businessman high atop a bluff. More than 15 miles of trails traverse the park, leading visitors to sinkholes, natural bridges, caves and down to the lake.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Camdenton, Missouri
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Ha Ha Tonka”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

Visiting the Castle ruins is beautiful! (And it's free!)
There are very nice facilities (restrooms) and parking areas close to all the trails.
It's a short level walk (paved to accommodate strollers and wheelchairs) to the Castle ruins with a water fountain, kiosk historical boards and many benches along the way, all over looking the natural beauty of the Ozarks and the Spring below.

But our favorite thing to do is cove up near the Spring (beneath the Castle ruins) and shoot the shoot.

What you do is load your boat with a delicious picnic, noodle floats etc. and head by water to the cove where the lake meets the spring.
For the somewhat adventurous (heck, I'm a fat old lady and I still do it) you swim to the footpath, climb up the muddy, slippery bank (don't worry, there's always someone there to give you a hand) walk to the top of the narrow, swift shoot and lay back to enjoy the brief refreshing, ice cold ride!
The little rapids shoot you straight into the warm lake.
You'll discover you can stand with one foot in the chilly spring water and the other in the warm water of the lake.
It's very safe with just enough scary to give ya' a little thrill.
Even supervised, vested little kids love it as long as Mom or Dad are there to help and encourage!

It's a very popular, local family outing, especially when it's really hot.

After lunch, you can walk the beautiful trail to the cave and view the Spring close up, then spend the rest of the day relaxing on your float between more laugh filled shoots to cool off.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank ozarkmtnlake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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530 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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  • Any
English first
Lake Ozark, Missouri
Level Contributor
75 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great for a short visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

I enjoy Ha Ha Tonka for a short nature walk along the stream, which during the hot summers is remarkably cool. Never really a lot of people.

The castle ruins are very interesting, as are some of the other landmarks in the park.

I wouldn't suggest driving 300 miles to come visit the park, it's not that exciting to me, but if you're in the area and looking for a fun 'nature' experience this might be it. There are several trails that range from easy walks for people without motion limitations, to challenging "walks" up the steps from the stream to the castle - not for the faint of heart.

Be sure to spend some time reading the displays to get a sense of just what an engineering challenge the castle was to build. Also there is a great lookout spot near the castle which provides a great view over the tree tops of the surrounding area.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Michael T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walker, Missouri
Level Contributor
50 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Fun place for family outdoor recreation”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

My family visited Ha Ha Tonka and was entranced by the many trails which were alive with flora and fauna for nature lovers and those who just enjoy walking. While some of the walking surfaces were not perfect for feeble feet, the majority of the trails were well maintained and offered beautiful views of the natural area. The picnic areas were also quite clean and handy for a family meal.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank CharlesNaas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“History, hiking and photography!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2013

I waited years to visit Ha Ha Tonka State Park....don't make the same mistake..go and visit for yourself! We had hoped the dogwoods would be in full bloom but we were about a week too early. There are many photo opportunities of Lake of the Ozarks, the Natural Bridge (which was a nice surprise, hidden away but easy to get to) as well as the Castle ruins itself. Hiking around the area with man-made walkways and steps make getting around a little easier. There are some trails that are steeper and require lots of endurance but those are clearly marked. The castle grounds are well-maintained, with benches for rest stops along the way, even water fountains are available. I can easily imagine how life was back in the day...from the carriage houses to the water tower to the views of the lake, maybe picnics on the grounds...

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Sue L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Missouri
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Clear waters, so much fun!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2013

The park was great, and getting to swim in the freezing cold, blue water is something everyone must do!

Helpful?
1 Thank Lauren S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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