With its intriguing history and outstanding geologic features, Ha Ha Tonka State Park is one state park that should not be missed. The park is a geologic wonderland with sinkholes, caves, a huge natural bridge, sheer bluffs and Missouri’s 12th largest spring. The ruins of a turn-of-the-century stone castle overlook these wonders and offer impressive views of the Lake of the Ozarks and Ha Ha Tonka Spring.
A series of trails and boardwalks makes it easy for visitors to experience all the park has to offer from its historic castle and geologic wonders to its wooded areas and open rocky glades. Picnic sites beckon visitors for a relaxing lunch in a scenic setting unparalleled in the lake area. All these fascinating features combine to create a park that can be explored and enjoyed time after time.
Cast your line into the Lake of the Ozarks at various access points in the park. An accessible fishing dock is located near the Lake Picnic Area. Statewide regulations apply. Fishing is not permitted in Ha Ha Tonka Spring.
Whether your group is large or small, you will find the perfect spot for a picnic. There are 20 picnic areas scattered throughout the park available for day use.
The park also features two picnic shelters equipped with electricity, picnic tables and an outdoor grill. The shelters are perfect for family gatherings or special outings and can be reserved for $45 per day, or if not reserved, the shelters are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at no charge.
The Lake Shelter will accommodate 60 people. It has electricity, but no drinking water is available at this site. There is a vault toilet nearby and one large barbecue grill next to the shelter, but not under roof.
The Post Office Shelter will accommodate 100 people. It has electricity and drinking water available. There is a vault toilet nearby and two large barbecue grills in the back area of the building and under roof. There is a children’s playground in this area.
A playground is located in the Post Office Day-Use Area.
Access the park from the Lake of the Ozarks within the Big Niangua arm at the 14-½ mile marker. There are docks on both the castle ruins and spring side of the cove. The boat length limit for docking at the park is 24 feet. There are no fees. On the spring side of the cove near Lake Shelter, the park provides an area with large stone steps designed for launching kayaks. From this location, floaters can paddle the 13.30-mile-long Big Niangua River Trail up the river toward Tunnel Dam and Lake Niangua.
Although one of the park's popular day-use areas sits adjacent to Lake of the Ozarks on the Niangua arm, there is not a designated swimming area. Near Lake Shelter, a low seawall and steps leading into the lake are used by those wanting to fish and enter the water. This area is not buoyed nor is a lifeguard on duty at any time of the year. Enter the water at your own risk, knowing that this cove has extensive boating use and that the temperature of the water is very cold due to the proximity of Ha Ha Tonka Spring.