BENNETT SPRING STATE PARK
In the mid-19th century, settlers found Bennett Spring to be an ideal spot for grist and flour mills. Today, most people come to Bennett Spring State Park to struggle with the rainbow trout, or just to marvel at the 100,000,000 gallons of clear, cool water that gush from the spring each day.
The spring valley - once a popular camping ground for farmers waiting for their grain to be ground at the mill - still attracts visitors interested in camping, hiking and canoeing. A Bennett Spring "hike" can be a leisurely stroll along the tree-shaded spring branch, or an invigorating seven miles to tour an interesting natural tunnel. Those looking for less rugged pleasures will enjoy the rental housekeeping cabins, the public swimming pool and the park's rustic dining lodge.
Fishing enthusiasts will be found casting their lines along the spring branch, while others visit the exhibits interpreting Missouri's springs and natural environment at the nature center. Now, at 3,216 acres, the state park that arose around Peter Bennett's spring continues to delight all comers.
Bennett Spring State Park has five campgrounds and offers basic, electric, and sewer/electric/water campsites. Services available include reservable sites, a dump station, showers and laundry. Water is available April 15 through Oct. 15.
Campground 1 is open year-round. Campgrounds 2, 3, 4 and 5 are closed November through Feb. 24.
For reservations, there is a required minimum stay for weekends and major holidays from May 15 through Sept. 15.
A meeting room located in the dining lodge can be reserved for a variety of special events including reunions, conferences and wedding receptions. The facility can accommodate approximately 60 guests and is fully furnished. For reservations or questions regarding the meeting room, please contact Donna at (417) 532-4547.
The swimming pool is open to the public from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend at Bennett Spring State Park. Pool hours are from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. A fee is charged.
Canoes and rafts are available for rent on an individual or group basis for float trips on the Niangua River. Reservations can be made beginning in April for trips starting the second week in May at the earliest. The season typically runs from Memorial Day to the second weekend in September. Float trips are available every day of the week except for Wednesdays. Beginning the first day of September, float trips are limited to Saturday and Sunday only.
Ho Hum is a nine-mile float trip lasting four to five hours. Weather permitting, the trip departs every day of the week except for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Rafts depart at 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. only.
For additional information, please call (417) 532-4307.