Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Part I: Ha Ha Tonka Castle

Memorial Day weekend I took a day off work and headed to Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri with my friend, Kati. Normally when I go to Lake of the Ozarks I spend my time boating, but since we weren't going with boaters this time we made plans to hike, dine at the lake, and shop at the local outlet malls/tourist shops.

I took quite a few picture during the trip so I thought I'd break them up into a few posts.

The first day at the lake we headed to Ha Ha Tonka State Park. We didn't even stop at our hotel before going to the park. It was a gorgeous day and we wanted to take advantage of the weather.

Besides having several trails and beautiful views of the spring and lake, you also get to see the stone castle ruins. This makes for a beautiful mix of architecture and nature. The ruins are from an old hotel originally designed by a prominent Kansas City businessman. It is my understanding that this was going to be his house, but he died before the completion. The hotel was finished in the 1920s and it was destroyed by a fire in the 1940s. Thankfully, the state of Missouri purchased the grounds and castle in 1978 and made the area a state park (Wikipedia). 

The views of the lake and spring below the castle were gorgeous! There were quite a few great look out points near the castle ruins.

 We walked a few trails-a lake trail which took us down to a little dock, and another trail which took us to the old water tower and a cool cave area.

I was very impressed with this park and I'm looking forward to exploring it more someday!

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