While staying in Osage Beach, the hotel staff reccommended Ha Ha Tonka State Park. We we're sure glad they did. Our only regret was that we weren't prepared to spend the whole day. It has many hiking trails with castle ruins, springs, natural bridges, caves, and much more. We hiked first to the castle ruins. The 1/4 mile paved trail is handicap accessible and leads to a beautiful view. We were able to take my dad in a wheelchair. Next we hiked down to the spring. Most of the trail was boardwalk, but had many steps (316 to be exact - not handicap accessible). One or two places you needed to squeeze in between rocks. We also hiked to a balanced rock (not paved or boardwalk trail). The scenery was breathtaking. They have many more trails, but we were hiking with six children ages 4 - 10. They did fine on all the trials we tried.
A few tips before you go:
1. Bring your own water, snacks, or lunch. There were a few water fountains, but no concessions. The town of Camdenton is just few minutes away though.
2. Bring insect repellant. We found several ticks crawling on us before we covered ourselves in spray. After that , we had no problem.
3. If you like to hike and like nature, plan to spend the whole day or even multiple days. There is so much to see.
I saved the best part for last - It's all FREE!
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