Spring Trail is a 1.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Camdenton, MO that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The first .40 mile of Spring Trail is paved and accessible to visitors with physical limitations. This section takes hikers along the shoreline of Lake of the Ozarks and Ha Ha Tonka Spring. This is a great trail to hike for spring wildflowers. Pawpaw trees can be seen along the first section of trail and grow alongside the wooden boardwalk just before the spring. One of the first stopping points is at the site of the old gristmill, which was burned in 1931 to make room for Lake of the Ozarks. A spillway, raceway and grinding stone remain at the mill site. A small trail shelter with tables and an interpretive display are also located near the old mill site. Spring Trail continues toward Ha Ha Tonka Spring along the shore of the old millpond. The millpond is a great place to watch for wildlife, including turtles, frogs and toads, green herons and others. At the end of the millpond is another raceway that acts as a dam to the spring water during normal water levels. During periods of high water levels, Ha Ha Tonka Spring water runs over the raceway and flushes out the millpond into the lake. Shortly after the second raceway, the trail surface changes from pavement to wooden boardwalk. At this point, a small wooden overlook over the spring offers a nice view of the spring channel and is a great place to look for muskrats, otters, ducks and other aquatic wildlife. An interpretive panel on this overlook has information about the springs recharge area, temperature and aquatic plant life. The wooden boardwalk has several short sections of steps leading back to the site where the spring water surfaces and four more interpretive panels are attached to the railing. As hikers near the spring, they are challenged to squeeze between large rocks that were once part of the ceiling over this collapsed chasm. After exiting the rocks, there is an old pump south of the trail. This pump was used in the 1940s to pump spring water to a small log cabin at the top of the hill above you. The spring emerges from the water-filled cave at the base of the small bluff ahead. The average flow of the spring is 58 million gallons of water a day. It is a half-mile from the trailhead to the mouth of the spring. Many visitors turn back at this point. The next section of the Spring Trail ascends 316 wooden steps climbing 200 vertical feet and can be very strenuous for some hikers. At the top of the steps, hikers can choose to follow Dell Rim Trail to the left to go to the castle ruins, or turn right to continue on the upper section of Spring Trail. Very shortly, hikers will have a spectacular view over the spring waters and spy the 250 foot bluff with castle ruins atop. Continuing on the trail, catch a glimpse of the century old post office building along Highway D. Shortly after this, hikers can choose to take a White Connector back to the mill site to end the hike early or continue on another loop of Spring Trail by taking the trail to the left. This stretch parallels Highway D and eventually crosses a dolomite glade and then heads back into woodlands. This trail will wind back to the trailhead at the lake parking lot.
Super clear water and good wildlife with some pretty steep steps on your way down to the spring
Pretty trail, crowded though
We combined the spring and colosseum trails. The trail was well maintained but some of the wood steps need work. The area is beautiful and has a lot to see. I suggest the parking lot accord from the postoffice (Start high finish high). There are parking lots at colosseum and the island. Lots of stairs and great scenery.
We just hiked the portion from the parking lot by the lake to the spring. Still a good distance but easy walking. Best time to go is at dusk. It was perfect as we walked along looking at the fog rolling over the water. Beautiful. Can't see a lot as far as the spring at the end goes.
Great trail. Beautiful spring water area.
Another favorite part of my weekend route at Ha Ha Tonka. Easy to add several trails that interconnect. The spring is always cool. Low fog in the early morning on hot summer days. The 316 steps out are good.
Great trail but it only took us 45 min. If you go clockwise you will have to climb up 300-something steps.
This is a nice trail. A mixture of rough terrain and pavement. Some uphill climbs.
Very easy and leisurely hike. We spent most of the day in the park and did most of the trails.
Perhaps the best in the park with its variety and overall scenery. Do the Island trail at the same time. Can be strenuous to some but worth the effort. Start at the eastern end and you will find it easier.