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Guide to Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Located on the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks, Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a destination that perfectly blends architecture, history, and breathtaking scenery. The park is filled with natural geologic formations and offers plenty of space over 3,700 acres to enjoy the outdoors.

We've put together this short guide to highlight some of the most popular attractions at Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

Ha Ha Tonka Castle

Arguably the most well known attraction in the park, the ruins of the Ha Ha Tonka Castle sit on a bluff overlooking the park, providing some of the best views in the area. While the location might seem wonderful, the history behind the castle is tragic.

The castle was the dream of a wealthy businessman who hired European stone masons to construct his mansion in the style of European castles. Unfortunately, the man died before he could see it completed. His sons finished the home but eventually were forced to move due to financial hardship. The castle was then used as a hotel and lodge before it was destroyed in a fire.

While you are visiting Ha Ha Tonka Castle, you can also admire the Ha Ha Tonka Natural Bridge, a massive geological formation that serves as the primary entrance to the castle grounds.

Ha Ha Tonka Spring

This spring serves as the namesake of the park. In the native Osage Indian language, Ha Ha Tonka means "laughing water".

Ha Ha Tonka Springs is the 12th largest spring in the state of Missouri, discharging more than 48 million gallons of water per day. The waters are crystal blue and collect in the Trout Glenn Pool before moving to the Lake of the Ozarks.

The Spring Trail boardwalk runs nearby on the south side of the spring, making for a wonderful stroll through the park.

Note that both fishing and swimming are prohibited in the spring and the millpond.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park Trails

Ha Ha Tonka State Park draws in hikers from all over to the variety of trails found here. Fourteen trails crisscross the park, each well marked. The conditions of each trail vary, ranging from paved paths to boardwalks to natural trails. The most popular is the 316-step wooden staircase that leads to the Ha Ha Tonka Castle ruins.

You can find a full list of trails as well as maps and information about them on the Missouri State Parks website

Other Activities


One favorite activity for guests is to go picnicking at one of the 3 picnic areas in the park. All of them have ample parking and restroom facilities, but you'll find that each offers a unique experience.

Boating and Kayaking

If you'd rather go out onto the water, you have two options.

First, Ha Ha Tonka State Park offers 2 public boat docks. The first dock is located on the south side of the spring and makes for a beautiful spot for fishing and other activities.

The second dock is primarily for those visiting the park by water and is located on the north side of the park. It also serves as an easy connection for boaters to travel to the castle.

Second, the park offers kayak rentals from April to October. You can either arrange a rental through the visitor center or use the self-service kiosk lakeside. The kayaks are located in a no wake zone, making it a perfect c

Relax at Point Randall Resort

Point Randall is the premier resort on the Lake of the Ozarks. Not only do we offer a wide range of quality lodging but also boat rentals to help you have fun out on the water

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