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Bennett Spring State Park
26250 Highway 64A
Lebanon, MO 65536
Phone: (417) 532-4338
Directions: From I-44: Take exit #129, then travel 1.5 miles north on Hwy 5 to Hwy 64. Travel 10.5 miles west on Hwy 64 to Hwy 64A. Turn left, 1 mile to park.
About Bennett Spring
At just over 100 million gallons of daily flow, Bennett Spring is the 4th largest in the Ozarks. Having many different mills in the past, the area surrounding the spring was favored by farmers and settlers who were waiting for their grain to be processed at the mill. They would hunt, fish, and visit with local residents. A trip to the mill was a day of rest and relaxation, a fun break from all the chores of home.
Around the turn of the century, recreation was becoming more popular. Already a favorite fishing spot for many, a privately owned fish hatchery was built in 1923, stocking the spring with trout. In 1924, the state purchsed the spring and some of the surrounding land to create one of the first state parks in Missouri. The park is owned and operated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the hatchery is operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
During the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), created by the federal government, built many of the park's facilities still in use today. They constructed cabins, roads, shelter houses, trails, and the arched bridge across the spring branch. One of their most notable buildings is the rustic dining lodge, featuring stone walls, beamed ceilings, and wrought iron chandeliers.
The most enjoyed activity at the park, of course, is trout fishing. Bennett Spring State Park is one of four trout parks operated by the Conservation Dept. in Missouri. Fishing for rainbow and brown trout is one of the pasttimes that has made the Ozarks so popular. Trout season runs from March 1 thru October 31. Daily trout tags are required to fish for trout, as well as a Missouri fishing license. All can be purchased from the park's store.
Aside from fishing, Bennett Spring State Park also offers many other activities to be enjoyed. Camping and hiking are favorites here at the park. A park motel and cabins are popular lodging facilities available here. During peak season, 193 campites are available, from primitive tent sites, to RV sites with full hookups available. Over 12 miles of hiking trails give access to other unique features of the park, including an intact 100-yard long collapsed cave, or natural tunnel. A public swimming pool is also available during the summer months. Nearby, the Niangua River offers more fishing opportunities, and is a favorite Ozarks float stream.
Features & Facilities
Visitor Center | Nature Center | Gift Shop | General Store | Dining Hall | Meeting Room | Pavilion | Picnic Area/Tables | Playground | Swimming Pool | Spring | Lodging | Cabins | Campground | Group Camping | Restrooms | Showers | Laundry | Dump Station | Canoe Rentals
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