Created in 1978, Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Missouri covers over 3,700 acres and is best known for being home to the ruins of Ha Ha Tonka, a 20th-century mansion. In addition to this, the state park is filled with a vast amount of landscapes, including caves and sinkholes.
The area tends to be somewhat chilly during the winter, but temperatures start to rapidly rise during the summer. Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a short drive away from Jefferson City and Lebanon.
You’ll find quite a few things to do outdoors while at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, and one is hiking. You’ll discover numerous pathways winding around the grounds to trek down. A few options to consider are Spring Trail, Turkey Pen Hollow Trail, and Castle Trail. All of these will take you by stunning landscapes, including the Ha Ha Tonka mansion. Along the way, you might also come across caves, bluffs, and meadows.
While here, you can also go birdwatching. You’ll find numerous species flying around through the nearby woods or hunting for fish and insects. Some you might see while here are teals, buffleheads, wrens, nuthatches, robins, bluebirds, and warblers. In addition to this, you’ll come across many different types of woodpeckers as the park’s forest is home to most of the state’s woodpecker species.
Another activity to do while here is fishing. A short drive away from Ha Ha Tonka State Park is Lake of the Ozarks, a body of water packed with catfish, crappie, bass, paddlefish, and bluegill. Fishers can take a boat out into the water, fish along the shoreline, or cast their reel from a dock. Keep in mind that fishing is not allowed in Ha Ha Tonka Spring.
Camping at Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Book an RV in Camden County and stay at one of the numerous campgrounds situated near Ha Ha Tonka State Park. One option to keep your camper at is Bull Run Bluff Campground. This RV campground offers amenities such as electric, water, picnic tables, and fire pits. Bull Run Bluff Campground has a pool and is pet-friendly. You’ll also find fishing spots and a handful of hiking pathways nearby.
Another place to keep your RV at is Mother Nature’s Riverfront Retreat. There are a few travel trailer sites available, although most are primitive. However, you’ll find a few basic amenities, such as picnic tables and grills. This campground also offers kayak rentals, boat shuttle services, and a few walking trails.
Exploring the Area
Should you like to explore the surrounding area with your camper, you will find plenty of destinations nearby to venture to. In Jefferson City, there’s the Missouri State Capitol. This structure is home to the state’s political happenings and overlooks the Missouri River. Guided tours can be taken of its interior, where you can view its intricate architecture and learn more about its interesting history through a handful of exhibits. In addition to this, visitors can take a quick walk to the Governor’s Mansion. If you’d like to tour the interior of the mansion, you do need to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance.
About two hours away in St. Louis is the Gateway Arch. Towering 630 feet over the city, this monument is believed to be one of the tallest arches in the world and was designed to represent America’s expansion into the West. Take a ride up to the top for panoramic views or stop inside its museum, which tells more about Native American history, pioneers, and the local landscape. Visitors can also hop on a quick steamboat ride down the Mississippi River for a unique look at St. Louis.
Drive over to Joplin to see the George Washington Carver National Monument. This national monument celebrates the life of George Washington Carver, a famous scientist, and educator. Guests can step inside the childhood home of Carver to learn more about his life or explore the numerous pathways surrounding the grounds. This destination also hosts various events throughout the year, such as film showings, art festivals, and prairie days. Admission to the George Washington Carver National Monument is free.
While in Joplin, head over to Grand Falls. This waterfall, believed to be one of the largest in the state, features an impressive 163-foot ledge that plunges into small creek pools. Take photos of this natural wonder or trek down some of the trails nearby for a closer look. Should you do decide to get closer, keep an eye out for some of the many frogs that enjoy bathing in the mist.