Sightseeing in Missouri’s Great Outdoors


Article Tags:

outdoors , State Parks and State Historic Sites , backpacking trail , biking / walking trails , nature trails , Trails , walking trails , Tours
Find the Perfect View
Author: H&L Partners
Stand on your tiptoes and peek above the bushes. Get the perfect view of the lake as you peer between the branches of swaying trees. Observe nature all around you. You’re sightseeing in Missouri. Enjoy.

Stand tall and feel empowered and adventurous at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, an Ozark treasure overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks, located five miles southwest of Camdenton. Explore the ruins of this 1905 European-style castle and meander the 15 miles of tails. Watch a 58 million gallon-per-day natural spring gush from beneath the bluff. Peer into caves. Gaze at the large natural bridge. For more information about the beauty of hiking Ha Ha Tonka, read the VisitMO Spotlight Blog entry, "True beauty hiking Ha Ha Tonka."

After exploring Ha Ha Tonka, drive eight miles north and let your next stop be Bridal Cave (four miles northwest of Camdenton). Tours, which begin every 15 minutes, guide you alongside enormous stalagmites and resounding stalactites. "Bridal Chapel," a towering picturesque formation, will awe you; thousands of couples from around the world have been married at that spot. Find the perfect angle, snap a photo and share the cave’s beauty with us on our VisitMO Facebook page.

Surround yourself with rugged Ozark hills. Gaze across the 24,900-acre Stockton Lake at Stockton State Park. Rest in a hammock beneath a cedar tree as the cool lake breeze caresses your body. When you’re finished resting, cast your line into the lake and catch a keeper. The lake is home to a variety of fish including bass, crappie, and walleye. Pick up the pace and rent a fishing, pontoon or ski boat from the State Park Marina, 11 miles south of the town of Stockton.

Ten miles southwest of Branson sits beautiful Table Rock State Park. Feel the breeze glide across your face as you scan the blue waters of Table Rock Lake. Embark on a bike or trek on foot across the Table Rock Lakeshore Trail and the expansive White River Valley Trail System. Pick a spot under the trees, rest your eyes and rejuvenate with a nap at the park’s campgrounds.

Walk beneath the arches of a 146-year-old covered bridge. The Locust Creek Covered Bridge, seven miles west of Laclede, is the longest of the four surviving covered bridges in Missouri. The dry creek beneath the bridge allows a 360-degree view of the nostalgic structure; truly a sight to behold. (Take care; the creek may flood during times of heavy rain.)

Head 105 miles east from Chillicothe to visit a second surviving covered bridge, nine miles southwest of Paris, Missouri. The Burr-arch truss design of Union Covered Bridge is unique. Saunter across the bridge’s timbers, over the Elk Fork of the Salt River, and listen to the rippling water. The landmark, once used as an emergency shelter, now serves as a location for families to reminisce about the past, skip a rock and wet a fishing line.

Journey into the St. Francois Mountains and arrive at the highest point in Missouri at Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, nine miles west of Ironton. Explore the wildlife, volcanic rock and outstanding natural features of the 7,028-acre park. Take the Mina Sauk Falls loop trail to reach Missouri’s tallest (wet-weather) waterfall – Mina Sauk Falls. In the glades, see the park’s volcanic origins. Rest atop Missouri and peer over miles of seemingly untouched forest ... and enjoy the show.

  Ha Ha Tonka State Park
The remains of a huge, circa 1905 European-style stone castle add an air of mystery to this park. Situated ...

  Bridal Cave/Thunder Mountain Park
Cave tours travel over concrete pathways, through the cave's 60-degree Fahrenheit environment. One-hour ...

  Stockton State Park
Stockton State Park overlooks Stockton Lake. A steady breeze across the Springfield plateau makes this ...

  Stockton State Park Marina
Full service marina located within the confines of Stockton State Park on beautiful Stockton Lake. Facilities ...

  Stockton State Park Campground
This park offers basic and electric campsites, including some walk-ins sites. Services include reservable ...

  Table Rock State Park
Visitors to Branson can make their headquarters at this park, located along Table Rock Lake. The park ...

  Table Rock State Park Campgrounds
This park features two campgrounds offering basic, electric and sewer-electric-water campsites. Services ...

  Locust Creek Covered Bridge State Historic Site
This bridge was built in 1868. At 151 feet, it is the longest of the four surviving covered bridges ...

  Union Covered Bridge State Historic Site
Built in 1871, this is the last surviving covered bridge in Missouri using Burr-arch truss construction. ...

  Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
At an elevation of 1,772 feet, this is the highest point in Missouri. The state's highest wet-weather ...

  Taum Sauk Mountain State Park Campground
Basic, walk-in campsites and a special-use camping area are available. Campsites are first-come, first-served. ...