5 Trails for Nature Lovers at Lake of the Ozarks

There are plenty of things to do at the Lake of the Ozarks that don’t require getting into a boat. In fact, the area is home to the largest state park in Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks State Park located in Kaiser. If you travel a short distance south, you will also stumble upon the renowned Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Camdenton. Both parks have a variety of trails you can hike with scenic views of the lake and natural foliage. On your next visit to the Lake, make sure you check out these Top 5 Trails at Lake of the Ozarks.



Turkey Pen Hollow Trail

Location: Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton, MO

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 6.5 mile loop

Time to complete: 6 hours 30 minutes

Elevation gain: 954 ft

Sights: You will find dolomite glades, wildflowers, woodlands, a sinkhole, a running brook, and a hollow along the way.

Extras: Take the white connector to shorten the hike to 4.75 miles and pass by a pond with frogs, salamanders, and toads.

Watch out for: natural surface-dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, rocks, roots, and/or downed vegetation, low hanging vegetation, wood or stone steps, steep grades and inclines more than 10%, bluffs or drop-offs next to trail, water/stream crossings without bridges


Rocky Top Trail

Location: Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Kaiser, MO

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 2 mile loop

Time to complete: 1 hour 30 minutes

Elevation gain: 262 ft

Sights: View the wildflowers, wildlife, scenic lake views, rocky plains, and a teepee made from tree branches.

Extras: This trail has both a north and south loop. Around the bend of the south loop, you will find a cliffside with a great view of the Lake!

Watch out for: natural surface-dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, rocks, roots, and/or downed vegetation, steep grades and inclines more than 10%, bluffs or drop-offs next to trail, water/stream crossings without bridges


Castle Trail

Location: Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton, MO

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 0.8 mile out and back

Time to complete: 20 minutes

Elevation gain: 121 ft

Sights: Check out the historical castle ruins, the carriage house, lovely wildflowers, wildlife, and a scenic view of the lake.  

Extras: This trail is wheelchair and stroller friendly, having a paved path with 6 rest stops.

Watch out for: slippery conditions and/or downed vegetation, steep grades and inclines more than 10%, bluffs or drop-offs next to trail


Spring Trail

Location: Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton, MO

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 1.5 mile loop

Time to complete: 1 hour 10 minutes

Elevation gain: 200 ft

Sights: This trail takes you along the cool and breezy Ha Ha Tonka Spring. You will see waterfalls, wildflowers, wildlife, and pawpaw trees along the route.

Extras: This trail is partially paved and has a boardwalk with stairs at various points. Swimming is not allowed in the spring.

Watch out for: natural surface – dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, rocks, roots, and/or downed vegetation on trail, wood or stone steps, steep grades and inclines more than 10%, bluffs or drop-offs next to trail, water/stream crossings without bridges


Devils Kitchen Trail

Location: Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton, MO

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 1.25 mile loop

Time to complete: 1 hour 15 minutes

Elevation gain: 209 ft

Sights: This trail leads you to the Devils Kitchen Sinkhole which is a small cave shelter. You will see rock formations and wildlife as you hike.

Extras: At one point along the trail, you will be able to see the Ha Ha Tonka Castle from a distance, giving you another perspective of the historical landmark.

Watch out for: natural surface – dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, rocks, roots, and/or downed vegetation on trail, wood or stone steps, steep grades and inclines more than 10%, bluffs or drop-offs next to trail, bridges and/or structural crossings, road/highway crossings


It’s true! You don’t need a boat to see all the beauty the Lake of the Ozarks has to offer. On your next trip to the Lake of the Ozarks, visit one of these incredible trails and you will discover there is so much more to see at the lake. The area is home to amazing rock formations, clear springs, historical buildings, native wildlife and stunning scenery. An extra bonus is that all the trails we mentioned are dog friendly as long as you have a leash. Wherever you’re staying at the Lake of the Ozarks, a beautiful hike is just a short drive away. Don’t ask us though, go see for yourself!



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