Roaring River State Park has a natural beauty that is breathtaking. Located 7 miles south of Cassville, on Highway 112 in the Ozark hills of Missouri, it’s deep blue spring, narrow valley, and mountain like terrain paints a colorful setting for the history and folklore associated with this part of Southwest Missouri.
The area where the park is located was created by the White River as it cut into the flat plateau landscape creating an unusual variety of rock formations in such a small area. More than 600 species of plants grow in the rugged landscape of the Roaring River State Park, many of which cannot be found in any other region of the state.
Settlers in the early 1800’s discovered the beauty of the Ozarks and began to populate the area in small cabins. Roaring River was an established community by the outbreak of the Civil War, and the rugged terrain provided excellent hideouts for Civil War bushwhackers. A series of mills were located on the river from 1836 through the late 1800’s. In 1905 the last mill was converted into a hotel.
The river that runs through the park originates in a deep canyon like gorge beneath a high cliff. The trickling spring falls from the bluff into a deep pool at an average of 20 million gallons of water daily. The beautiful blue pool draws crowds daily who come to feed the large trout that live in its depths.
About The Park
Roaring River became known in the early 1900’s as a great place to go fishing. Thomas Sayman, a St. Louis businessman, bought 2400 acres in 1928 that is now the state park. This property surrounded the river, and shortly after he purchased it he donated the land to the state. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built many of the existing park facilities including many of the buildings that make up Camp Smokey, the parks organized group camp. Currently the Missouri Department of Natural Resources administers the park.
If you like to hike, there are some beautiful remote parts of the park that can be accessed by trails that lead to beautiful Ozark streams, hardwood forests, and lovely scenic views. Fire Tower Trail offers access to the Roaring River Hills Wild Area that houses the now rare Ozark Chinquapin Oak tree. This trail is a nature lover’s dream of deep hollows as well as chert – covered ridges. The Devils Kitchen Trail leads hikers to a rock shelter known as Devil’s Kitchen giving them a chance to see the unusual and beautiful geology of the park.
Roaring River is renowned for its premier trout fishing attracting fly fishing enthusiasts from across the country. The river is filled on a regular basis by the park’s hatchery, which is handled by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Fishing licenses and tags can be found in the park store, which offers fishing equipment, tackle, camping supplies, and groceries. Bring your catch-of-the-day to the park’s cleaning and filet station and enjoy fresh fish for your next meal.
Camping and Lodging
Cool off in the Parks swimming pool or enjoy a nice picnic lunch in one of the shaded picnic areas. Over 180 campsites are available ranging from basic to electric hookups. The camping areas feature modern restrooms, shower areas, laundry facilities, and sanitary dumping stations for RVs. Lodging is available at Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center in one of their 26 guest rooms, or rustic secluded cabins with kitchens are located throughout the park. A park store is available and offers camping supplies, fishing supplies, firewood, fishing permits and tags, ice, souvenirs, and apparel. Whether your looking for a weekend getaway or a family vacation, Roaring River State Park is a great place to consider taking your family this year.