What to do in Roaring River State Park

**This information provided by www.mostateparks.com**

With its narrow valley, rugged, mountainlike terrain and deep blue spring, Roaring River State Park is breathtaking.

Roaring River is known for its premier trout fishing. Young and old alike will enjoy feeding and watching the fish in the spring pool or taking a tour of the trout hatchery. Other park features include a swimming pool, shaded picnic area and store.

Explore the natural wonders of the park on foot or bicycle via one of seven trails totaling over 10 miles. Ozark Chinquapin Nature Center exhibits interpretive displays and park naturalists present programs on the park's natural history.

Overnight guests have a variety of options. Campers will find 187 campsites ranging from basic to electric hookup. The elegant Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center features 26 guest rooms, a restaurant, gift shop and meeting rooms. Twenty-six secluded, rustic cabins with kitchens are perfect for families. Reservations for the inn and cabins are required.

Whether coming to fish, hike or relax by the pool, Roaring River State Park has something for everyone that will whet their appetite to return again and again.

Roaring River State Park offers basic and electric campsites. Services available include reservable sites, a dump station, showers, water and laundry.

Campground 1 is open year-round. Campgrounds 2 and 3 are closed November through Feb. 24.

For reservations, there is a required two-night minimum stay for weekends and major holidays from May 15 through Sept. 15.

LodgingEmory Melton Inn is a stunning facility consisting of large, elegant, yet comfortable rooms and suites. The rooms are decorated with rustic flair and a few feature a spectacular private balcony view of the river valley below. Rooms are available March through October. Reservations are required. For more information, rental rates or to make a reservation, please call (417) 847-2330. Reservations are not accepted by e-mail.

Dining Roaring River Restaurant is located inside the Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center and offers the finest in casual dining experiences and a breathtaking view of the park. The restaurant offers a wide variety of delicious entrees in a rustic outdoor atmosphere. Full-service breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered. In addition to restaurant service, they provide specialty catering for events such as weddings, parties, banquets and family reunions.

Park Store The store in the CCC Lodge offers tackle, camping supplies, fishing rods, fishing licenses and tags, souvenirs and apparel.

Meeting Rooms The conference facility is made up of four separate meeting rooms located inside the Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center. It is ideal for any type of banquet including conferences, weddings, retreats and family reunions.

Recreation
TrailsIf it is the more remote and less-used portions of Roaring River State Park you wish to visit, you are invited to do so by using one of several hiking trails through the area. The trails are open year-round for a hike on a snowy day, tour of the spring wildflowers or a trek through the colorful autumn forest. Regardless of the seasons, you are sure to have an enjoyable experience.

River Trail - .7 mileRunning parallel to Roaring River between the CCC lodge and Campground 3, this trail is an example of the trail work done in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Wildflower displays are outstanding along this trail in the spring.

Devil's Kitchen - 1.5 milesThis trail's name is derived from an odd rock outcrop that formed a roomlike enclosure. This room, which has since collapsed, according to legend was used as a hideout by Civil War guerrillas. Entry and exit points for the trail are located near the junction of Highway 112 and the hatchery road, and in the small picnic area across from the CCC lodge. The trail is marked with blue and yellow arrows. A self-guided interpretive brochure for this trail is available at the nature center and the park office.

Pibern Trail - 1.5 milesA variety of different habitats, including both dry and moist limestone forests, tall bluffs, north- and south-facing slopes, and a small Ozark stream are traversed by this trail. Access points can be found at the north end of Campground 1 and on the right across the bridge to the private campground. The trail is marked with orange arrows.

Eagle's Nest Trail - 2.3 milesThis trail is located on the south side of Roaring River near Campground 2. It begins behind campsite 81 and follows the river for some distance before ascending to one of the highest points in the park. An old homestead was located where the lilac bushes and yucca are growing along the ridge. The trail is marked with yellow and green arrows.

Deer Leap Trail - .2 mileThis short trail leads to an overlook and boardwalk above the fish hatchery and the spring that is the head of Roaring River. From the overlook, you may be able to see the axle from an undershot waterwheel that powered a gristmill operation in the mid-19th century. Access points to the trail are located next to the waterfall and near the sidewalk that leads to the spring.

Fire Tower Trail - 3.5 milesThere are three access points to this trail: one from near the nature center along Hwy. F, one at the wild area parking lot on Highway F, and one off Deer Leap Trail. The old lookout tower, about 1.5 miles from the nature center, was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s as an observation platform. The entire trail is located in Roaring River Hills Wild Area. This area offers rugged Ozark terrain, dense hardwood forests and open dolomite glades. The trail is excellent for birders and photographers. The trail is identified with yellow and brown arrows.

Springhouse Trail - .5 mileAccess to this trail can be found in the southwest corner of the Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center parking lot. The trail passes through a dry-mesic forest with a variety of trees and wildflowers. The trail passes by an old homestead site, below the upper level, with a springhouse that was used to keep food cold by using the natural cool temperature of the spring water that passed through the rock layer structure.

Fishing Roaring River, stocked regularly by the park's hatchery, which is managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, is known for its premier trout fishing. Fishing licenses and tags are available in the CCC Lodge, which also sells fishing equipment, tackle, camping supplies and groceries. Take your catch-of-the-day to the park's cleaning and fillet station and enjoy fresh fish for your next meal.

Picnic Area/Playground There are over 50 picnic sites scattered throughout the park and a children's playground facility located in the main picnic area. Two picnic shelters can also be reserved for large family gatherings or special outings. Both shelters are covered and can accommodate up to 75 guests. The shelters include outdoor grills, picnic tables, electrical outlets and restroom facilities. Contact the park office at (417) 847-2539 in advance to reserve the shelters at a rate of $35 per day. If not reserved, the shelters are available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis.

Swimming The swimming pool, located across from the park office, is open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. The pool is open to all park visitors at a nominal fee.

Location
Route 4, Box 4100Cassville, MO 65625

Climate
Missouri experiences four distinct seasons with an average yearly temperature of 54 degrees F. Summer temperatures reach 90 degrees F often and are plagued with high humidity levels. Nighttime lows during the summer dip slightly near 70 degrees. September brings cooler fall weather with less humidity. By October nights begin to cool significantly and the fall foliage changes to brilliant hues of orange, red and yellow. Winter months bring an average of 24 inches of snow and normal temperatures average between 20 and 45 degrees F. Spring is characterized by wet weather with temperatures reaching between 32 and 60 degrees F.

Address
Route 4, Box 4100
Cassville, MO 65625

Phone: 417-847-2539

  • Roaring River State Park Travel Q&A

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