“the ruins of an American castle”
In the early 1900s, the wealthy Kansas City businessman purchased 5,000 acres that included a spring-fed lake. He selected a site on the rocky summit above for his retirement home, saying, “I will fish and loaf and explore the caves of these hills, with no fear of intrusion.” But just as imported Scottish stone masons began work on his dream, Snyder died in 1906 in one of the state’s first automobile fatalities. His sons finished the home, but it was gutted by fire in 1942. The carriage house burned the same day and, in 1976, the water tower was burned by vandals. The roof has been repaired on the tower, and the rock walls of the castle have been stabilized to preserve the artistry of the masons. The stone skeleton of Snyder’s European-style castle sits like a rock sculpture, with a sweeping view of the Lake of the Ozarks far below. The area was proposed as Missouri’s first state park in 1909, but did not join the park system until 1978. While most visitors start their tour of the park at the castle ruins, the park features a series of boardwalks and trails, most of them less than two miles long, that show off the woodlands and glades. The trails also lead to another of the park’s attributes, the honeycomb of tunnels, caverns, springs and sinkholes created by its porous karst geology. Rumors of ghosts persist on the grounds, with numerous visitors claiming that they feel watched inside the castle, with the occasional sighting of a full body apparition..
The ruins of the castle screams so much history. The place in itself is simply amazing. It is an majestic photo spot. The background was just marvelous. The architecture and the scenery was simply amazing. Aside from this beautiful sight, there are also lots of things to do around the area. We went fishing and tried horseback riding, too. A great place for outdoorsy people.
OMG HA HA Tonka was the best sighting place I have ever been to. Seeing such amazing things there was awesome. If I ever go there I'm going to take my whole family this time I took my grandma mom and me we had so much FUN I hope we get to go again. The castle was huge. It had so many things I didn't imagine. The water tower was AMAZING too. It is a great place to take pics. It's amazing how they built that. Hope you have a lot more visitors!!!!
We stopped here because the name was fun. We got so much more. The size of the mansion is spectacular. The amount of the structure still standing is impressive. The scenery....WOW! As we walked down the trail we saw a bird of prey hunting in the valley below. We were above the bird looking down on it. Well worth the detour.
We were staying at Lake Ozark for a week and stopped at the Castle. We went to the Visitor's Center first. They gave us a map of the area and told us how far each trail was, plus there is a restroom at the center. We drove up the road to the Natural Bridge and Castle. Both are sort of close to the parking areas. We are not strong hikers, but both trails were ok. The trail to the Castle is paved, but up hill. Kids would not have any problems. If you are overweight or have bad knees, give yourself about 20 mins to get to the Castle. The walk is well worth it. Beautiful view of the lake, hills and the Castle. Bring your camera. You will take home great photos.
Don't forget the teetering boulder below the castle. It's kinda scary that two huge boulders and sit like that.
Take state road D. NOT the Ha Ha Tanka road.
Fun free and interesting.
I would have really enjoyed reading this and seeing the photos but the ads kept me from doing that, what a shame.
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Ha Ha Tonka State Park
- Wed: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
- Sun: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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