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Bennet Spring State Park
Lebanon, Missouri

Bennett Spring has a reputation for being one of the most
popular camping destinations in Missouri. It pays off
camping in a popular spot, (if you go during the week,
that is). It truly is a destination campground,
with many things to do.

We arrived during an unseasonable heat wave, which helped us
make use of the perfectly clean swimming pool (until the
thunderheads moved in). My son and I took a "leisurely" float trip
down the Niangua river which usually takes 4-5 hours to complete;
due to the very heavy rains the area had a few weeks ago,
the river was in excellent condition and the trip took
only 2 and a half hours! And that was without paddling very much!
It was quite a scenic trip, but Missouri does have nicer riverways.
But, as hot as it was, for the most part it was shady.
We only got stuck on gravel once, thanks to the increased flow.
But, we had to wait two hours for our shuttle
to pick us up from the take-out. Anyway,
we caught many a crawdad that afternoon.

We had planned to go hiking on one or more of the
trails that lead around the stream and woods but got
rained out. I mean, according to our unofficial rain gauge,
(a plastic cup left out on the picnic table) we got
about 3 inches of rain the second evening there.
The Yahtzee dice were really rolling that night! And thanks to
the fact that the local Springfield TV stations broadcast
five channels, we were plenty entertained, given the weather.

We spent our first evening here at the dining lodge.
And aside from the fact that our waitress seemed
pretty annoyed at having to be at work that day,
the food actually was pretty good. Being a trout park,
we couldn't resist ordering the trout. Only, it came out plated whole,
that is, eyeballs and all! The kids got a kick out of that, especially
when pretending to make my fish talk or eat french fries.
Jim didn't have much luck with catching any trout, though.
But then again, we didn't have much of the right equipment
for it either. It's not like it's very hard to catch them, though.
We saw lots of folks with stringers loaded with fish.

The park store was very impressive; not only did they have the
grocery staples, but a fair amount of inexpensive souvenier
items which the kids just had to have. Heck, isn't that what makes
a vacation fun? This trip seemed more like a vacation, actually,
than a trip to a state park, even if we did get rained out.
Bennett Springs Photos

For more information about Bennett Spring
State Park, click here

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