Ha Ha Tonka is a state park near Camdenton, Missouri located on a section of the Lake of the Ozarks. The Missouri state parks website describes this park as “a geological wonderland: sinkholes, caves, a hugh natural bridge and Missouri’s twelfth largest spring”. The name Ha Ha Tonka came from the Osage Indian word for Laughing Waters.

Map of Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri

There’s 15 miles of trails in the park including some paved walkways suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. Atop a 250 foot bluff in the park sits the ruins of a hundred year old castle, the carriage house and an eighty foot water tower.

We hiked one of the trails, explored around the ruins and learned about the history of the park and castle.

Walking around the ruins video

It was in 1903 a businessman from Kansas City named Robert Snyder fell in love with the area and decided to build a private family retreat. He chose the style of a 60 room European castle, along with a skylight covered center atrium. He also built a carriage house some greenhouses and a unique water tower. One of the very first automobile accidents in Missouri took the life of Robert Snyder in 1905, so that ended this construction project until his son took over the project in 1922. For a brief period, due to depression and financial concerns, the son turned the home into a hotel. It later was completely destroyed by a fire in 1942.

Natural Bridge
Starting the Natural Bridge Trail
Hiking the Natural Bridge Trail

If you do an online search, you can find much more information on Ha Ha Tonka, the Castle and ruins and Bagnell Dam which affected the property and the Lake of the Ozarks. Here’s a couple links you may find interesting. https://www.ameren.com/missouri/residential/lake-of-the-ozarks/bagnell-dam and https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/missouri/ha-ha-tonka-beautiful-mo/

Let me know if you enjoyed this travel post. I hope you did. Until the next time..