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BEST KEPT SECRETS IN MISSOURI

Updated on July 15, 2013

An American Dream - Robert McClure Snyder Castle Ruins

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Ha Ha Tonka, Missouri State Park, Lake of the Ozarks

There is breath-taking scenery at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, one of Missouri’s most treasured landscapes. Located on the Lake of the Ozarks, the park features the stone ruins of a turn-of-the-20th-century castle built by a prominent Kansas City businessman high atop a bluff. There are more than 15 miles of trails in the park, leading visitors to sinkholes, an old millstone, natural bridges, caves and down to the lake.

Gunter Mill Spring is also located within HA HA TONKA State Park and trails around the Spring are scenic. There are quiet, secluded areas to sit around this Park.

Local people may want to keep this a secret, but if you've been there, you'll want to go back!

Additional tip: The castle is a tremendous treasure and would be a great spot for an outdoor wedding. The Park Service does allow them there.

One of Numerous Breath-taking Views, Ha Ha Tonka, Missouri State Park

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Post Office Near The Castle Ruins, HA HA TONKA Missouri State Park

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Gunter's Mill, Ha Ha Tonka - Missouri State Park, Lake Of The Ozarks

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Ha Ha Tonka State Park - Lake of the Ozarks MAP

Amidon Conservation Park

The Amidon Conservation Missouri State Park boasts of more than 1,500 acres. It is located in the upper segment of the Castor River in Madison and Bollinger Counties in Missouri. The land was donated by the Amidon's thus the name of the Park.

Boasting of beautiful elephant granite rocks from the Castor River Shut-Ins, rich forests, water falls, various wildlife, and trailheads, it is both beautiful and serene.

Good shoes for slippery rocks are recommended. Swimming is an option also. And don't forget your camera!

Fredericktown is most limited in the restaurant and motel areas. There are three fast food restaurants, an older drug store made into a steakhouse on the Courthouse Square and an Oriental diner so consider making your stay at Amidon a picnic if you prefer, but Farmington just 18 miles due north has a larger variety of dining choices. There is one motel in Fredericktown, but again, Farmington has a vast amount of chain hotels.

Amidon is located just south of Highway "J" approximately nine miles southeast of Fredericktown from Highway 72 eastbound.



Amidon Conservation Park Video

Amidon Conservation Park
Amidon Conservation Park | Source
Amidon Conservation Park
Amidon Conservation Park | Source

Amidon Conservation Park MAP

Elephant Rocks at Amidon Conservation Park

Amidon Conservation Park - Near Fredericktown, Missouri
Amidon Conservation Park - Near Fredericktown, Missouri | Source
Amidon Conservation Park - Near Fredericktown, Missouri
Amidon Conservation Park - Near Fredericktown, Missouri | Source

Courthouse - Fredericktown, Missouri

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Silver Mines - Near Fredericktown, Missouri

Native American Tourist - playing a Native American courting flute at Silver Mines, Missouri. (Used with permission)
Native American Tourist - playing a Native American courting flute at Silver Mines, Missouri. (Used with permission) | Source

Silver Mines - West of Fredericktown, Missouri

While you are in the area of Fredericktown, you may want to opt for Silver Mines off Highway 72 West of Fredericktown. Silver Mines and Amidon trails can be done on the same day and are approximately 15 miles apart from each other.

Silver Mines is located along the St. Francis River. It is considered white water and kayakers tend to paddle by as early as March. Silver Mines is a historic mining operation and is known for its Precambrian granite and felsite rocks. Silver Mines Recreation Area is named for the abandoned “Einstein Mine”, which was mined for Silver, Tungsten and Lead. The Einstein Silver Mining Company began mining in 1877, and mining ceased completely in 1946. Evidence of other gemstones not mined still exist and are found on occasion. Rocks with silver ore are also found today.

The forest is rich with wildlife such as fox, deer, coyote, squirrels, rabbits, birds and the waterway contains a variety of fish. The trail head is just down the hill from parking and requires appropriate shoes for hiking.

Silver Mines is a place of serenity and sense of oneness with nature.

Fredericktown, Missouri MAP

Sainte Genevieve, Missouri

Sainte Genevieve is a quaint little town with many sites of interest.

Established before 1750 by French settlers, this town provides an array of rich culture and history.

There are bed and breakfast inns cultivated from historical homes, small antique shops, and restaurants known for their historical preservation along with their reputation for huge onion rings, cheesecake and wine.

Take a ferry ride while you are there across the Mississippi River. On the Illinois side of the river, you can enjoy places like Ft. Kaskaskia, Ft de Chartres and other historical landmarks. But if you want to walk off that cheesecake, try Hawn State Park and take in the beautiful rock cliffs and bluffs there walling off behind a wading creek.

Whatever your likes or dislikes are, Ste. Genevieve has something for everyone.

Joseph Bogy House, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri

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Hawn State Park, Near Ste. Genevieve, Missouri

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St. Gemme Beauvais Lodging, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri

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Ste. Genevieve, Missouri MAP

Colorful Botanical's Line The Streets of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri

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    • BuffaloGal1960 profile imageAUTHOR

      T. Clifton 

      3 years ago from Buffalo, Missouri

      Thanks Janell. I appreciated it. Yes, Ha Ha Tonka is a favorite of mine. :)

    • Janellegems profile image

      Janellegems 

      3 years ago from United States

      These are some beautiful places and I love the pictures. Thanks for sharing this. I have lived in other parts of Missouri over 17 years ago. I would have to visit these before the year ends.

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