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Ha Ha Tonka State Park facts for kids

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Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Missouri State Park
Ha Ha Tonka State Park.jpg
The "castle" ruins at Ha Ha Tonka
Country United States
State Missouri
County Camden
Elevation 705 ft (215 m)
Coordinates 37°58′08″N 92°46′09″W / 37.96889°N 92.76917°W / 37.96889; -92.76917
Area 3,709.74 acres (1,501 ha)
Established 1978
Management Missouri Department of Natural Resources
 - Park Office 1491 State Road D
Camdenton, Mo.
 - coordinates 37°58′59″N 92°46′08.5″W / 37.98306°N 92.769028°W / 37.98306; -92.769028
Visitation 520,828 (2014)

Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a state-owned, public recreation area encompassing over 3,700 acres (1,500 ha) on the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks, about five miles south of Camdenton, Missouri, in the United States. The state park's most notable feature is the ruins of Ha Ha Tonka, an early 20th-century stone mansion that was modeled after European castles of the 16th century.

The park also features caves, sinkholes, and bluffs overlooking the lake. It is a prominent example of karst topography, which is geological formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock. A 70-acre (28 ha) portion of the park was designated as the Ha Ha Tonka Karst Natural Area in 1981.


Construction of the Ha Ha Tonka castle was started by Robert McClure Snyder, Sr. in 1905, a Kansas City businessman who purchased the large property. Alluding to the natural springs on the property, "ha ha tonka" was said to mean "smiling waters."

Following Snyder's death in an auto accident in 1906, the castle was completed by his sons Robert, Jr.; LeRoy, and Kenneth Snyder in the late 1920s before the Stock Market Crash. The building was used as a summer and weekend home by the Snyder family, who lived in Kansas City. In the late 1930s it was used as a hotel, but was destroyed by fire in 1942.

The state purchased the castle and grounds in 1978, adapting them for use as a state park and opening them to the public. The water tower was repaired in 2004, with a new roof installed. The castle walls have been stabilized. The ruins can be seen from an observation point across from the post office.

Activities and amenities

The park has 15 miles of hiking trails leading to caves, sinkholes, natural bridges, and the castle. The park also features boating, fishing, and swimming.

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