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Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton

4.8
#1 of 65 in Things to do in Lake of the Ozarks
State Park · Nature / Park
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Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a state-owned, public recreation area encompassing over on the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks, about five miles south of Camdenton, Missouri, in the United States. The state park's most notable feature is the ruins of Ha Ha Tonka, an early 20th-century stone mansion that was modeled after European castles of the 16th century.
The park also features caves, sinkholes, and bluffs overlooking the lake. It is a prominent example of karst topography, which is geological formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock. A 70acre portion of the park was designated as the Ha Ha Tonka Karst Natural Area in 1981.
Construction of the Ha Ha Tonka castle was started by Robert McClure Snyder, Sr. in 1905, a Kansas City businessman who purchased the large property. Alluding to the natural springs on the property, "ha ha tonka" was said to mean "smiling waters."
Following Snyder's death in an auto accident in 1906, the castle was completed by his sons Robert, Jr.; LeRoy, and Kenneth Snyder in the late 1920s before the Stock Market Crash. The building was used as a summer and weekend home by the Snyder family, who lived in Kansas City. In the late 1930s it was used as a hotel, but was destroyed by fire in 1942.
Take a look at our Camdenton trip planner to schedule your visit to Ha Ha Tonka State Park and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Ha Ha Tonka State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
841 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • I love visiting this state park! The history is neat and it’s a very well kept park! The boardwalks and trails are maintained in great shape and in some places it’s handicap accessible. Most of the... 
    I love visiting this state park! The history is neat and it’s a very well kept park! The boardwalks and trails are maintained in great shape and in some places it’s handicap accessible. Most of the...  more »
  • What an amazing place to hike! We started at the Castle and hiked to the water tower, then to springs, the island, the natural bridge and back to the Castle. Yes it was a lot of stairs but well worth....  more
    What an amazing place to hike! We started at the Castle and hiked to the water tower, then to springs, the island, the natural bridge and back to the Castle. Yes it was a lot of stairs but well worth....  more »
Google
  • This park is frequented by many locals because it’s a beautiful getaway. My favorite part was the island trail and the beautiful waters. All trails are pretty well marked and maintained. We were out in nature without getting lost. Well positioned porta-potties around the park, and very well marked road signs. The castle is a nice piece of history, but apparently some of the bikers visiting the area figured they could walk wherever they want (pic attached). Despite all the railings and signs, she jumped the rails and walked around & inside the castle. There were no rangers in site to enforce the rules, and it’s people like this, that forced the park to close the castle off to visitors in the first place. (Admin, contact me for license # if you want it). Other than that, the views & history of the area are spectacular. It’s definitely worth a visit. We stayed at the Lake of the Ozarks State Park while visiting the area, and it has some nice trails too.
  • Gorgeous Park! We hiked the Spring Trail up to the Dell Rim Trail to see the castle. The Spring water was so pretty and clear. We saw turtles and some birds there too. So many hiking trails around the park and many were pretty short. After we hiked back from the castle we drove to the trail head for the Natural Bridge and it was a quick 300ft descent to the feature.

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