Ha Ha Tonka State Park
|Ha Ha Tonka State Park|
|Missouri State Park|
The "castle" ruins at Ha Ha Tonka
|Elevation||705 ft (215 m) |
|Area||3,709.74 acres (1,501 ha) |
|Management||Missouri Department of Natural Resources|
|Website: Ha Ha Tonka State Park|
Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a state park in Missouri, United States, located about five miles south of Camdenton on the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks. The area has several caves, sinkholes, and bluffs overlooking the lake. It is a prominent example of karst topography, which is geological formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock. The most notable feature of the park is the stone ruins of a mansion, nicknamed the "castle" because it was modeled after later European castles from the 1500s.
The Ha Ha Tonka castle was started by Robert McClure Snyder (Senior) in 1905. He was a Kansas City businessman who purchased the area which was known by Native Americans in the area as "ha ha tonka" which supposedly means "laughing waters," alluding to the springs below the castle. Following his death in an auto accident in 1906, the castle was completed by his sons Robert Jr., LeRoy, and Kenneth in the late 1920s. The building was used as a hotel until it was destroyed by fire in 1942. The State of Missouri purchased the castle and grounds in 1978, and opened it to the public as a state park. The water tower was repaired in 2004, with a new roof installed; the castle has also been partially restored.
Activities and amenities
There is an observation point across from the post office where one can view the ruins. The park has 15 miles of hiking trails leading to caves, sinkholes, natural bridges, and the castle. The park also features boating, fishing, and swimming.
- "Ha Ha Tonka State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "State parks...estimated acres" (PDF). Revised Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan: 2008-2012. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. pp. 142–143. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
- "Ha Ha Tonka State Park". Missouri State Parks. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
- Ha Ha Tonka State Park Missouri Department of Natural Resources