Scenic USA - Missouri
Each day Scenic USA presents a new and interesting photo feature from somewhere in the United States. Chosen from a wide variety
of historic sites, city scenes, backcountry byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a brief explanation. For further detailed
information, links to other sites are provided, but are never to be considered an endorsement.
Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Land of the laughing waters to the Osage Indians, today's Ha Ha Tonka State Park is one of Missouri's most popular parks. Filled with natural wonders, water related recreation, the Ha Ha Tonka Castle ruins and nearly 20 miles of well blazed trails, visitors will find plenty of marvelous sites to explore.
First proposed in 1909 as a state Park by Governor Herbert S. Hadley,
it would take another 70 years before the public could enjoy this park's natural wonders. Working in real estate, oil, cattle and banking, the Kansas City businessman Robert McClure Snyder saw the potential of the Ha Ha Tonka Spring area. Envisioning a European style castle overlooking the gorge area of Ha Ha Tonka Spring (and eventually a section of the Lake of the Ozarks - inset), Snyder purchased 5,000 acres of this woodland paradise. Shortly after construction began in 1905, Snyder was killed in one of the first automobile accidents in Kansas. His sons carried on Snyder's dream, completing the three story castle, stone stables, greenhouses and an 80 foot water tower. Unfortunately, the hotel and stables burned in 1942, with only the stone walls surviving today.
A premier showcase for Missouriís karst geology, the park's natural wonders include a 70 foot natural bridge (inset), Missouri's 12th largest spring (a bubbling Ha Ha Tonka Spring), a huge sinkhole called the Coliseum, the Whispering Dell sink basin, 19 caves that include Robber's Cave and Counterfeiterís Cave, and a diverse network of woodland and glade habitats.
Ha Ha Tonka State Park Map
Copyright © 2012 Benjamin Prepelka
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