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Bennett Spring State Park

Bennett Spring is a 3000-acre state park in Dallas and Laclede Counties near Lebanon.  The park's namesake is Bennett Spring, which flows into the Niangua River.  More than 100 million gallons per day flow from Bennett Spring and the most popular activity in the park is fishing.  One of the first settlers in the area was James Brice, who built a mill near the spring in 1846.  Brice's son-in-law, Peter Bennett, built one of the most successful mills in the area and the spring was named for him.  In 1924, the state purchased the spring and surrounding land for a state park.  Many of the park's amenities were built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Contact Information:

26250 Hwy 64A
Lebanon, MO 65536-6797

Phone: (417) 532-4338

Map:

Trails:

Natural Tunnel Trail:

Length: 7.5 miles (loop)
Blaze: Blue

Natural Tunnel Trail is the longest trail in the park and leads to the amazing Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel.  The trailhead is at the end of Country Road 00123, past the cabins.  At the start is a split and since it's a loop, you can hike either way.  Going left, the trail follows a dry creek bed and passes below some bluffs.  After a mile and a half, there is a split, where right makes a loop back to the parking area and left leads to Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel at the terminus of the trail.  Turning back from here, go left at the split to make a loop back to the parking lot.  The last section of trail follows the Savanna Ridge Trail to the trailhead.

Spring Trail:

The Spring Trail is just over a half-mile long and runs from Bennett Spring along the west side of Bennett Spring Branch to the hatchery.  Fishing is prohibited on this side of the creek.

Points of Interest:

Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel:

Bennett Spring Natural Tunnel is a nearly 300-foot S-shaped tunnel, located at the end of Natural Tunnel Trail.

Wildlife:

We found some Pennsylvania smartweed (Polygonum pensylvanicum) blooming along an open area.


American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)


I'm not sure what species of mushrooms these were.


Plains garter snake (Thamnophis radix)

Blog Entries:

11-Oct-2018: Tunnels and Caves

External Links: