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Roaring River State Park Travel Guide

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Roaring River State Park is an enchanting oasis nestled in the heart of the Ozarks region of Missouri. If you’re seeking a nature-filled getaway where tranquility and adventure harmoniously coexist, Roaring River State Park is the perfect destination.

From its pristine, fast-flowing Roaring River to its sprawling forests and rugged bluffs, this park offers a breathtaking natural landscape that will captivate your senses. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a fishing aficionado, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat amidst nature’s embrace, Roaring River State Park has something to offer for everyone.

The park has a rich history, awe-inspiring natural features, and a myriad of activities for the whole family, including trout fishing, thrilling hiking trails that unveil stunning vistas, and simple pleasures of camping beneath a starlit sky.

Where is Roaring River State Park?

Roaring River State Park is located at:

 

Park Office: 417-847-2539

Lodging/Dining: 417-847-2330

Store: 417-847-4971

Nature Center: 417-847-3742

Things to do Near Roaring River State Park

Beebe's Waterslide

Details

Season runs from Memorial Day until Labor Day
Admission: $10/Hr Per Person
Hours: 11am to 6pm, Wednesday through Monday
Closed on Tuesdays
Cash Only - No Credit Card Payments Accepted

Why We Love It:

Constructed in 1978, BeeBe’s has become a landmark family fun spot near Roaring River State Park. 

BeeBe’s waterslide is a 300 foot long waterslide.

In addition to the slide, there are picnic areas with plenty of seating and shade, and outside food and drink are allowed! 

If you don’t want to pack food – you’ll be in for a treat with their high quality food options including, corn dogs, burgers, and their legendary ice cream cones.

History of Roaring River

Historic Timeline of Roaring River State Park

Roaring River State Park has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. The park’s story begins in 1928 when the Missouri Department of Game and Fish acquired the land, recognizing its exceptional natural beauty and potential for outdoor recreation. The area was originally inhabited by the Osage Native American tribe, who recognized the significance of the Roaring River and its abundant resources.

Prior to its establishment as a state park, the land surrounding Roaring River had already attracted settlers and entrepreneurs. In the late 19th century, a grist mill and a dam were built along the river to harness its power for various industries, including a flour mill, sawmill, and electricity generation. These structures added to the allure of the area, drawing visitors who marveled at the beauty of the rushing waters.

In 1933, as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal initiatives, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) arrived at Roaring River. The CCC was tasked with transforming the land into a recreational haven while providing employment opportunities during the Great Depression. The young men of the CCC worked diligently to construct the park’s infrastructure, including the iconic Lodge, cabins, trails, bridges, and picnic areas. Many of these structures, built with native stone and timber, still stand today as a testament to the CCC’s craftsmanship and enduring legacy.

Roaring River State Park was officially dedicated in 1936 and quickly gained recognition as a beloved natural retreat. Throughout the years, the park has undergone various improvements and expansions to enhance visitor experiences while preserving its pristine environment. It remains one of Missouri’s most cherished state parks, attracting nature enthusiasts, campers, anglers, and families seeking solace and adventure in the great outdoors.

Today, Roaring River State Park encompasses over 4,000 acres of protected land.

It continues to be managed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which is dedicated to preserving the park’s unique ecological and historical heritage. The park’s commitment to environmental stewardship is reflected in its educational programs, wildlife conservation efforts, and ongoing maintenance of its facilities.

As you explore Roaring River State Park, take a moment to appreciate the storied past that has shaped this natural wonder. From its origins as a Native American gathering place to the industrious days of the grist mill, and the transformative work of the CCC, each chapter of history has left an indelible mark on the park’s identity. So, as you venture along its trails and cast your line into the roaring waters, remember that you are part of a legacy of exploration and appreciation for the captivating beauty of Roaring River State Park.

Roaring River Eagle's Nest Trail 2

Stunning Landscapes and Natural Features

The natural features of Roaring River State Park are a testament to the mesmerizing beauty of the Ozarks region. From the moment you step foot within its boundaries, you’ll be immersed in a picturesque landscape that showcases the wonders of nature.

At the heart of the park lies the Roaring River, a pristine waterway that meanders through the rugged terrain, giving the park its name. The river’s crystal-clear waters originate from underground springs, creating a captivating sight as it rushes over rocky ledges and forms small cascades along its course. The constant sound of the rushing water adds a soothing ambiance to the park, enveloping visitors in nature’s symphony.

Surrounding the Roaring River are the park’s lush forests, which are dominated by a mix of oak, hickory, and pine trees. These towering giants provide shade on hot summer days and display vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold during the autumn months. Exploring the park’s hiking trails will lead you through enchanting woodland areas, where you may encounter an array of flora, such as wildflowers, ferns, and mosses that thrive in the moist, shaded environment.

Roaring River State Park is also home to a variety of wildlife, both big and small. As you wander through the park, keep an eye out for white-tailed deer gracefully grazing, wild turkeys roaming the forest floor, and squirrels playfully scampering among the trees. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the diverse avian population, including woodpeckers, bluebirds, and various species of songbirds.

Throughout the park, you’ll find scenic overlooks that offer breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. From elevated vantage points, you can marvel at the expansive vistas of rolling hills, dense forests, and the winding Roaring River below. These viewpoints provide the perfect opportunity to capture memorable photographs or simply take a moment to appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty of nature.

Whether you’re seeking solace in the tranquil sound of flowing water, embarking on a hike through dense forests, or simply immersing yourself in the rich biodiversity of the park, the natural features of Roaring River State Park are sure to leave a lasting impression. It’s a place where the harmony between land and water, flora and fauna, creates an extraordinary tapestry of natural wonders that beckon you to explore and embrace the enchantment that lies within.

Prior to its establishment as a state park, the land surrounding Roaring River had already attracted settlers and entrepreneurs. In the late 19th century, a grist mill and a dam were built along the river to harness its power for various industries, including a flour mill, sawmill, and electricity generation. These structures added to the allure of the area, drawing visitors who marveled at the beauty of the rushing waters.

In 1933, as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal initiatives, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) arrived at Roaring River. The CCC was tasked with transforming the land into a recreational haven while providing employment opportunities during the Great Depression. The young men of the CCC worked diligently to construct the park’s infrastructure, including the iconic Lodge, cabins, trails, bridges, and picnic areas. Many of these structures, built with native stone and timber, still stand today as a testament to the CCC’s craftsmanship and enduring legacy.

Roaring River Fire Tower

Roaring River State Park was officially dedicated in 1936 and quickly gained recognition as a beloved natural retreat. Throughout the years, the park has undergone various improvements and expansions to enhance visitor experiences while preserving its pristine environment. It remains one of Missouri’s most cherished state parks, attracting nature enthusiasts, campers, anglers, and families seeking solace and adventure in the great outdoors.

Today, Roaring River State Park encompasses over 4,000 acres of protected land. It continues to be managed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which is dedicated to preserving the park’s unique ecological and historical heritage. The park’s commitment to environmental stewardship is reflected in its educational programs, wildlife conservation efforts, and ongoing maintenance of its facilities.

As you explore Roaring River State Park, take a moment to appreciate the storied past that has shaped this natural wonder. From its origins as a Native American gathering place to the industrious days of the grist mill, and the transformative work of the CCC, each chapter of history has left an indelible mark on the park’s identity. So, as you venture along its trails and cast your line into the roaring waters, remember that you are part of a legacy of exploration and appreciation for the captivating beauty of Roaring River State Park.

Roaring River State Park Activities

Things to do at Roaring River State Park

Roaring River State Park offers an array of activities and attractions that cater to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Whether you’re an avid angler, a hiker seeking scenic trails, or a family looking for a day of recreation, the park has something to captivate everyone’s interests. Here are some of the top activities and attractions you can enjoy at Roaring River State Park:

Fishing

Roaring River State Park is renowned for its excellent trout fishing opportunities. The Roaring River is stocked regularly with rainbow and brown trout, attracting anglers from near and far. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, you can cast your line into the cool waters and try your luck at landing a prized catch. The park provides designated fishing areas, and a fishing license is required.

Roaring River Missouri

Hiking and Nature Trails

Lace up your hiking boots and explore the park’s scenic trails. Roaring River State Park offers a variety of hiking options, ranging from leisurely strolls to challenging treks. The Fire Tower Trail takes you to an observation tower, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The Deer Leap Trail is a shorter hike that leads to a natural rock formation offering stunning vistas of the Roaring River Valley. Along the trails, keep an eye out for native wildlife and admire the diverse plant life that thrives in this natural sanctuary.

Picnicking

Enjoy a peaceful picnic amidst the park’s serene surroundings. Roaring River State Park offers numerous picnic areas equipped with tables and grills, allowing you to relax and savor a meal while immersed in nature’s tranquility. Take advantage of the beautiful scenery and bring a blanket to spread out on the grass for a memorable outdoor dining experience.

Wildlife Viewing

Roaring River State Park is home to a rich variety of wildlife. Bring your binoculars and embark on a wildlife viewing adventure. Keep a lookout for white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, and an array of bird species that call the park home. The park’s diverse ecosystems provide a haven for wildlife, offering you a chance to observe these creatures in their natural habitat.

Camping

Spend a night under the stars in one of the park’s camping areas. Roaring River State Park provides both tent and RV camping options. Wake up to the soothing sounds of nature, surrounded by the park’s serene ambiance. The campgrounds offer various amenities, including restrooms, showers, and electric hookups. Camping at Roaring River allows you to fully immerse yourself in the park’s beauty and enjoy a tranquil outdoor experience.

How much are campsites at roaring river state park?

2023 Camping Rates:

Site Type On-Season (Feb. 25 – Oct 31) Off-Season (Nov. 1 – Feb 24)
Basic $16 $15
Electric – 30 AMP $26 $22
Electric – 50 AMP $28 $24
Family/Basic $29 $27
Family/Electric – 30 AMP $47 $41
Family/Electric – 50 AMP $51 $45
Family/Sewer/Electric/Water – 50 AMP $62 $52

*Reservation fees do apply for advanced reservations.

2024 Camping Rates:

Site Type On-Season (Feb. 25 – Oct 31) Off-Season (Nov. 1 – Feb 24)
Basic $16 $15
Electric – 30 AMP $26 $22
Electric – 50 AMP $28 $24
Family/Basic $29 $27
Family/Electric – 30 AMP $47 $41
Family/Electric – 50 AMP $51 $45
Family/Sewer/Electric/Water – 50 AMP $62 $52

*Reservation fees do apply for advanced reservations.

How much are cabins at Roaring River State Park?

There are multiple cabins to choose from at Roaring River State Park that range from $139/night up to $199/night.

Cabin reservations can be made online, here.

Nature Center

Visit the nature center to learn more about the park’s flora, fauna, and geology. The nature center offers educational exhibits, interactive displays, and knowledgeable staff who can provide insights into the park’s natural wonders. It’s a great opportunity to expand your understanding of the park’s ecosystem and its significance in the Ozarks region.

Roaring River State Park Nearby Points of Interest

Nearby Points of Interest

In addition to the natural wonders within Roaring River State Park, the surrounding area offers a variety of points of interest and attractions that can enhance your visit. Here are some nearby points of interest to explore:

Mark Twain National Forest

Located just a short drive from Roaring River State Park, Mark Twain National Forest offers an extensive network of trails, scenic drives, and opportunities for outdoor recreation. With over 1.5 million acres of public land, the forest provides a diverse range of ecosystems, including forests, rivers, and rocky bluffs. Explore the trails, go camping, or simply enjoy the serenity of this vast wilderness.

Table Rock Lake

Situated to the west of Roaring River State Park, Table Rock Lake is a popular destination for water-based activities and relaxation. The lake spans over 43,000 acres, offering ample opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and kayaking. Enjoy a day on the water, take in the scenic shoreline, or indulge in a picnic by the lake.

Branson

Just a short drive south of Roaring River State Park, the vibrant city of Branson awaits. Known as the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World,” Branson offers a plethora of live music shows, theaters, shopping, and dining options. Explore the famous Branson Strip, visit Silver Dollar City amusement park, or take a scenic boat ride on Table Rock Lake.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Just a short drive southwest of Roaring River State Park, the charming town of Eureka Springs beckons with its Victorian architecture and picturesque streets. Explore the unique shops, art galleries, and museums, or take a leisurely stroll through the town’s hilly terrain. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Thorncrown Chapel, a stunning architectural gem nestled in the Ozark Mountains.

Big Sugar Creek State Park

Situated northeast of Roaring River State Park, Big Sugar Creek State Park offers another opportunity to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. This park is known for its clear streams, lush forests, and stunning bluffs. Explore the hiking trails, go fishing or canoeing in the creek, and soak in the peaceful ambiance of this lesser-known gem.

These nearby points of interest provide a chance to expand your exploration beyond Roaring River State Park and discover the diverse attractions of the region. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or a change of scenery, these destinations offer something unique to complement your visit to Roaring River State Park.

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