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