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The HIKE at Ha Ha Tonka

The JEWEL of Lake of the Ozarks

Hike with me in the beautiful Ha Ha Tonka State Park. It is a jewel in central Missouri and shouldn’t be missed if you visit the Lake of the Ozarks area.

I was recently asked, “when is the best time to hike the park?” If you are a hiker, you know every season has its beauties and its bothers. Personally, I’m partial to spring and fall. Both seasons are moderate in temperature, abundant in color, and almost free of ticks and mosquitos. The bothers are that both seasons tend to be rainy.

THE TRAILS

I’ve hiked the waterfalls of the Blueridge and Smokey Mountains, the red rocks of Sedona, and the legendary Utah Zion and Bryce National Parks. All are beautiful and all are worth multiple trips. However, when picking a home base (close to family) after retiring, I don’t think a better choice could have been made than here in Camdenton MO. The variety of the nearby Ha Ha Tonka trails along with the seasonal changes makes every hike special.

Devil’s Kitchen

Looking up the chimney in Devil’s Kitchen
Looking down the chimney at Devil’s Kitchen
The Wall at Devils Kitchen

The Spring

The fence at the cove rapids
Spring shoreline on the island trail
The rapids at end of the shoreline island trail
Stairs from Balance Rock on the island trail

The Sink Hole and Stairs

Natural Bridge

Boulder Ridge

Sun Valley

THE HIKE

For me, it’s more than a hike. It is a life experience that balances the jitters and doubts of everyday life. A hike can distract you from your concerns and calm your soul with God’s beauty and abundance.

THE GIFT

I’ve had the privilege of being the guide for multiple families from all around our great country. Not once was it about working out or even exercise. It was more about movement, family time, love of nature, and social connection.

The gift of giving has been a blessing these past couple of years. Though so many express gratitude for my willingness to escort strangers, God’s gift to me has been the joy I feel when He puts in my path opportunities to share the experience with others. For this gift, I am truly grateful.

THE CASTLE

Last but not least, the iconic Ha Ha Tonka Castle is a must-see. That being said, it’s rarely on the “hike” schedule as it is well paved and suited for those who just want to take a stroll. The views are spectacular and one can get the feel of the park by just visiting the Castle.

I now offer my guide services to fundraising organizations. Also, when a tour group insists on a monetary gift or tip, I explain that ALL gifts are donated to my local food bank.

God Bless you, my fellow hikers! Stay safe!

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This entry was posted on May 25, 2022 by in Thrive vs Survive Articles.

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