About the Lake Home | Recreation | Attractions | Marinas | Area Map | Useful Links  

Lake of the Ozarks Attractions

Ha Ha Tonka State Park
The origins of this state park begin with a prominent businessman in Kansas City, Robert McClure Snyder, around the turn of the century. He learned of the beauty of what is now The Lake of the Ozarks region and, after journeying to see it, decided to purchase land and build a private home reminiscent of European-style castles. He went to great lengths to bring in European experts in stone masonry and construction techniques, and began construction in 1905. Sadly, his dream of Ha Ha Tonka did not materialize for him. He was killed in an automobile accident in 1906. His sons began completion of the project in 1922. After years of adversity, Ha Ha Tonka was leased as a hotel. Then, in 1942, a fire started from one the many fireplaces and the entire structure was destroyed. The remains we see today are the stone outside walls that stand alone on the cliff.

The State of Missouri purchased this land in 1978 and opened it to the public. It comprises about 3,500 acres on the Niangua Arm of The Lake of the Ozarks, about 5 miles south of Camdenton. The topography of the area is consistent with the Ozarks in general and is an excellent example of "Karst" with caves, sink holes, underground streams and natural bridges. One of the state's largest springs is located here. Ha Ha Tonka is an excellent day trip and has places to spread out a picnic lunch.

It is not hard to understand why Robert Snyder would want to enjoy living in this place. The beauty that he saw in Ha Ha Tonka is still here for all to see.

Missouri Sate Parks and Historic Sites Link: Ha Ha Tonka State Park


Lake of the Ozarks State Park
This state park is Missouri's largest and affords its visitors with 90 miles of shoreline along the Grand Glaize Arm of The Lake. It also has two public beaches, boat rentals, boat-launching areas, hiking trails, horseback riding stables and four organized youth camps. Picnic areas are available and one can reserve a picnic shelter for large groups for a $30 fee to guarantee its use.

Missouri Sate Parks and Historic Sites Link: Lake of the Ozarks State Park

Caves
To escape the summer's heat, many vacationers visit Ozark Caverns. They maintain a constant temperature of 56 degrees F. Guided tours will lead one to discover a whole new world of underground beauty.

In addition to the Ozark Caverns, the Lake Area has two other caves that have been made easy to view with paved walkways, bridges, handrails and lights. Bridal Cave, the oldest cave in the lake area, can be found just north of Camdenton, off Hwy. 5 on Lake Road 5-88. It can also be reached by water at the 10-mile marker on the Big Niangua Arm of the Lake. Jacob's Cave, the largest cave in the Lake area is just north of Gravois Mills, off Route TT. This is the only cave that is completely accessible for persons with disabilities.

The Lake area contains over 300 registered and mapped wild caves. Wild caves differ from ones that have been "tamed" such as Jacob's Cave. These caves have no tour guides but spelunkers can experience first-hand the excitement of discovery. Temperatures in these caves vary between 50 and 60 degrees F. year-round.

Camden County Musuem
The Camden County Museum is located in Linn Creek and housed in what was once the Linn Creek School. As one goes through the old school, each classroom depicts a specific theme such as archives to weaving where woven rugs can still be purchased. Other rooms include antique household furnishings, tools, and banking equipment.

Open May through October, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Miller County Musuem
The Miller County Museum is found in Tuscumbia and occupies the old Anchor Mill building. The folk life museum provides an authentic view into the past central Missouri society, its Indian heritage, crafts, early home accessories, schools, churches and agriculture.

Open Mid-May through Mid-September, Mon., Wed., and Fri., 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Morgan County Musuem
The Morgan County Museum is housed in the Martin Hotel in Versailles. The hotel itself is over 100 years old. Twenty-eight rooms of the hotel depict different themes relating to past Missouri life. The lobby of the hotel still displays the eight-day Seth Thomas wall clock and the keyboard with keys behind the original hotel desk.

Open June through August, Tuesday through Friday, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and by appointment.

Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center - Willmore Lodge
Just northeast of Bagnell Dam on Business Hwy. 54, Willmore Lodge continues to provide an administrative and entertainment (albeit informational) center in its new role as the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Originally it provided that same kind of service for the Bagnell Dam construction project, being built by the Union Electric Company in 1930. It is registered in the National Register of Historic Places.

Open to the public all year.

Partner Attractions

 

Marinas