Located on the Lake of the Ozarks, Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Missouri was once the stomping grounds of national treasure Daniel Boone who fur-trapped here with his son Nathan in the 19th century. In the 1830s, bluff shelters now known as Counterfeiter’s Cave and Robber’s Cave were used by criminals as hideouts. When the 20th century began, one rich businessman became so enthralled with this land that he began constructing a castle. In 1942, the castle burned down, and now its ruins can be seen on the Castle Trail, a moderate, short hike that is wheelchair accessible.
Another trail that’s a part of the park’s 15-mile trail system is called Colosseum Trail. It is extremely rugged, but the land formations are too intriguing to miss. The Colosseum is a sinkhole that spreads over 1500 square feet. Hikers descend into the sinkhole which is 150 feet at its deepest point. Colosseum Trail also takes hikers underneath a natural land bridge. Devil’s Kitchen Trail is named after yet another sinkhole. This rugged trail runs over a mile and guides hikers to Devil’s Promenade, a concave bluff wall. The Oak Woodland Interpretive Trail is easy to manage (and accessible by wheelchair) and it’s recommended even to experienced hikers. Along it are displays that educate visitors about how fire is used as a forest-management tool.
When you visit Ha Ha Tonka State Park, you will surely enjoy the woodland landscape. Keep your eyes open for dangers in the park: there are prairie scorpions and the Missouri tarantula here.