Ha Ha Tonka to host fun events in July

VICKI WOOD
Lake Sun Leader

Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Camdenton is kicking off a month full of fun for July. On the 4th of July, the park is hosting The Great Ha Ha Tonka Scavenger Hunt, checking in at the visitor’s center to receive a clue card and instructions. The hunt is designed to expose guests to the extensive resources that Ha Ha Tonka has to offer in a unique and interesting way. Some hiking is required on the hunt, and portions of the trail can range from moderate to rugged hiking. Making it to the finish line first nets no prize, that is not the intention of the event. But all of those who finish the course by 5pm do receive the honor of receiving a certificate of completion with their photo included. The visitor center at Ha Ha Tonka is located at 1491 State Road D, Camdenton. The Great Ha Ha Tonka Scavenger Hunt begins at 8am and continues throughout the day until 5pm.

How about a night hike? On Saturday, July 11th, Ha Ha Tonka is hosting hiking at night beginning at 8:30 pm until 9:30pm. Night Hike, Creep and Crawl introduces visitors to things that run around after dark, and should make for an interesting peek into nocturnal creatures. While racoons, owls, and bats come to mind when thinking of spying on night animals, this hike will be focusing on the main source of night sounds, insects. Identification and their significance in the ecosystem will be explored on this interactive hike with park staff. Participants will meet at the Spring Trailhead on Tonka Spring Road.

On July 14th, Ha Ha Tonka is hosting a Jr. Naturalist Day Camp. Beginning at 9am, children ages 5-12 are invited to join park staff for a day camp themed about the water. Properties of water, the water cycle, karst, and stream systems will be covered. The day camp will last for three days, July 14th-16th, and will meet daily at the Lake Shelter, commencing at 11am. Traveling down State Highway D, the Lake Shelter is located down Tonka Spring Road.

Another night hike will take place on July 18th, with a focus on the Ha Ha Tonka Spring. The Spring After Dark night hike down the spring trail will focus on creatures that come out to play in the water after dark. The guided walk to the spring will explore nocturnal animals. The event is from 8:30pm to 9:30pm beginning at the parking lot on Tonka Spring Road.

An informational meeting will take place with the public on July 25th at Ha Ha Tonka State Park at the Spring Shelter. Meeting time is 10am. Input from the public is important to the department. These informational meetings, which are being held in all state parks and historic sites, help create a two-way communication. The meetings give staff the opportunity to let people know the current status and future plans for the park or site, and they offer visitors the opportunity to comment on the facilities.

All of these events are free and open to the public, with no registration required.