When days get longer and the temperature rises, don’t stay inside, enjoy the great outdoors at one of Missouri’s State Parks.
Missouri State Parks are the perfect setting for a family vacation; there are plenty of fun activities for every age group. Bennett Spring State Park in Lebanon is just one of 52 state parks found across Missouri.
This beautiful site has everything from float trips and fishing to camping and hiking. Bennett Spring even has its own hatchery, breeding thousands of rainbow trout to stock its stream for the fisherman who frequent the park.
At Bennett Spring, beat the summer heat with a nine-mile float down the Niangua River on either a raft or canoe. With clear, cool water and vibrant greenery, the Niangua is the hot spot for a fun, relaxing day of floating the river.
Rent a six-person raft for $110 or a three-person canoe for $44;bring the whole family and plenty of snacks in the cooler to share.
Don’t forget to take a detour at the Niangua River Oasis (NRO) campground (about five miles down the river) and check out the NRO Zipline. Conquer land and air as you zip through the trees at speeds up to 40 mph. Experience this extreme adrenaline rush for $40 a person; call 417-532-0041 to make reservations.
After a day on the river, relax in one of many cozy cabin options at the state park. Bennett Spring offers the ultimate camping experience without removing all modern-day conveniences. Rooms come with comfortable beds, clean bathrooms and a TV. One-night stays start as low as $79 a night.
Want to rough it in a tent or are you going to pull up in your RV? Bennett Spring State Park can accommodate you as well.
Breakfast and dinner are served at the on-site Dining Lodge with plenty of meal options to choose from. Or you are welcome to bring your own food to cook at your camp site. Forgot something? Purchase food and supplies from the camp store and cook over one of the open fire pits and end the night with some tasty s’mores.
In the early morning, head down to the hatchery to see the thousands of rainbow trout at each stage of life. Children (and grown-ups) enjoy feeding the trout and watching them work to outmaneuver one another as the bite-size morsels hit the water.
If you’d rather try your luck at fishing, grab a fishing pole and gear before wading into the cool waters of the stream. With the clear water, the trout are easy to spot and ready to be caught.
A weekend getaway at any state park is sure to bring the family together for some summer fun and Bennett Spring State Park offers it all in one place.
Check out a sneak peek of our float on the Niangua River:
Written by Abbey Theban for the Missouri Division of Tourism.