Submitted by:Prospect

Bennett Spring State Park


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(417) 532-4338


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Green Area Availability : Easy to find
Green Area Access : Typical Access
Green Area Size : Wide open green areas
Congestion : Effort minimizes contact with others
Water Availability : Bring your own H20
Wildlife Alert : If doubt, stay on leash
Walking / Hiking Terrain : Ups & Downs w/ minimal Steep Incline

This is one of my favorite outdoor hiking places.  The trail goes back 3.75 miles to a natural tunnel.  Recently the park staff made great efforts in marking the trail better.  The rough part is about 1 mile back where there's a large hill where you will quickly ascend 150 feet.

 

There is an abundance of wildlife.  In over a dozen visits, I cannot remember a trip here when we didn't jump deer or turkey. Along with rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks there was also the face-to-face standoff with a opossum.

Prospect's SignatureReviewed May 30, 2010

Bennett Spring State Park


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Bennett Spring State Park


Bennett Spring State Park

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Begin Rocky Rough Path


From the trailhead to here, the trail is a mowed grass path.  Starting here the trail becomes  a rocky path.  In places rain has washed ruts in the gravel path making walking rough at times.

Rock Path


This stretch is the roughest walking terrain.

Dry Creek Bed


There will be several dry creek beds (except after heavy rains) to cross but this first one is the largest.  At this point the travelling dog will have traversed to roughest stretch of walking surface.

Steep Hill


The toughest part of the trail is about a mile from the trailhead.  Heading out you will ascend about 150 feet over the course of 1-1 1/4 mile then descend back down in about 1/10 of mile (remember the steep climb in reverse on way back).

Power of Water


Here you find evidence that when the creek does flow it flows with force.  The cliffs have worned holes and there are deep wash holes in the creek bed.  If a rain has been recent there may be water holes for the travelling dog to cool off.

Grassy Incline


Here you will have a mowed grassy path and a long incline of several hundred yards.

Pipeline Crossing


At about the 2 1/2 mile mark you will cross a pipeline.  As you look left and right you will be thankful the trail does not go up and over all the hills.

Into the Woods


When we first started hiking Bennett Spring State Park we had difficulty following the trail.  After several visits we finally noticed the path going straight into the woods.  On this review visit it was obvious the park staff had marked and begun maintaining this point better.  No longer a path option, don't be lured to follow the wider service road up the hill to the left (notice the zig in our path as we attempted to follow an easier route no longer maintained).  Here the path become narrower and rougher for several hundred yards.

First Stream Crossing


The travelling dog will know the Natural Tunnel with spring is close when there are streams to cross.  These stream crossing have large rocks across the water to help you keep your feet dry.  After the first stream the path become mostly dirt and often wet with mud holes.

Natural Tunnel


Plan to spend time exploring the natural tunnel.  This would be a great spot to take a break and enjoy a sack lunch.  And a hot dog will enjoy a quick dip into the cool water.

Bennett Spring State Park


vanessa said on: Jul 28, 2011 - 5:07pm

Loved the pics! Looks like a great place to visit! : )

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