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Roaring River State Park

Roaring River is a more than 4000 acre state park in the southwest Ozark hills in Barry County.  Roaring River forms a narrow valley surrounded by steep walls.  The parks waters are stocked with rainbow trout and its a very popular spot for fishing.  The land for the park was donated by Doc Sayman, a medicine-show man who got rich selling questionable medicines and soaps.  The park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps and several park buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.  Besides fishing, there is a lodge, campgrounds and several miles of hiking trails throughout the park.

Contact Information:

12716 Farm Road 2239
Cassville, MO 65625

Phone: (417) 847-2539

Directions:

Roaring River State Park is located in Barry County in the southwestern corner of Missouri.  From Cassville, head south on MO-112 for about 7 miles to enter the park.

Map:

Trails:

Devil's Kitchen Trail:

Length: 1.5 miles (loop)
Blaze: Red
Difficulty: Rugged

Devil's Kitchen Trail is a rugged 1.5 mile loop that passes through some of the geological points of interest in the park.  There are nine numbered stations along the trail that correspond to a brochure; pick one up at the office before hiking to learn about the landscape.  From the trailhead across the river from the lodge, the trail crosses an intermittent stream and comes to a split.  Go right (counterclockwise) to follow the stations in order.  Going this way, the trail follows along the bench, which is made of dolomite, a more erosion-resistant form of limestone.  A couple of caves are along the bench here, then the trail climbs above through a dry chert woodland and up to the ridge top.  An old logging road goes out to MO-112 here.  The trail then passes through a pine woodland and through the belt where more caves, including the Devil's Kitchen are visible.  After the trail's namesake, it loops back around to the trailhead.

River Trail:

Length: 0.7 miles (one way)
Blaze: Yellow
Difficulty: Moderate

River Trail follows Roaring River downstream from the trailhead just south of the lodge.  About half-way down the trail, it passes by some rock cliffs.  The trail ends at F Road near Campground 2 and the Nature Center.

Points of Interest:

Devil's Kitchen:

Devil's Kitchen is a "room" formed by collapsing rock.  The roof collapsed in 2001 but its still a cool area.  It is located at station 9 along Devil's Kitchen Trail.

Lignite Cave:

Lignite Cave has water running through it after heavy rains.  The cave is more than 32 feet deep, but narrows to 5 inches near the back.  The lignite cave is located at station 3 on Devil's Kitchen Trail.

Shelter Cave:

Shelter Cave is a joint cave formed by rainwater dissolving limestone in the bluff.  There is evidence that Native Americans have been using these shelter caves for thousands of years.  Shelter Cave is located at station 2 on Devil's Kitchen Trail.

Trailside Spring Cave:

A small cave created by a spring whose water is creating a new cave.  It is located at station 8 on Devil's Kitchen Trail.

Wildlife:

The diverse habitats in the park support a number of wildflowers.  We visited in October and even in the fall, there were many blooming, especially asters.  I think these are smooth aster (Symphyotrichum laeve).


I'm not sure what type of aster this is.


Calico aster (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum).


Yellow garden spiders (Argiope aurantia) are known for their signature zigzag pattern in the webs that makes them a little easier to spot.


We spotted a little toad along the trail.


Prairie lizard (Sceloporus undulatus).

Blog Entries:

09-Oct-2018: Roaring River

External Links: