Lebanon, MO and Bennett Springs State Park

To get away from the city and enjoy a day of relaxation, pack up and head to Bennett Spring State Park. It is just eleven miles west of Lebanon, MO on highway 64.

 Bennett Spring offically became a state park on December 27, 1924 when the first 8.5 acres were purchased from Josie Bennett Smith. Weeks later over 560 acres were purchased from William Sherman Bennett (Josie's brother). These two purchases make up the land that now holds the park's store, office, dining lodge and trout hatchery.
Jerry Brice was on of the original settlers of the Bennett Spring area. Around the spring he built a mill for local farmers to bring their grain to for grinding.
Years later the Bennett family settled around the spring. Peter Bennett built a mill there as well to replace the one built by Brice that had washed away in a storm. This mill became a central trading post for farmers. Business was so strong Peter build 2 more mills.
It is thought that in the early 1900s William Sherman Bennett (Peter Bennett's son) emptied cans of young trout into the spring and found out the fish thrived in the cool waters of the spring.
Throughout the years the state purchased more land to surround the original 570 acres to turn it into the 3216 acres the park has today.

There is a conservation fish hatchery and a state park with a lot of interesting things to see and do. They allow trout fishing up and down the spring fed stream which puts out 100,000,000 gallons of cool clear water every day into the river. At the source of the river is Missouri's third largest spring. It provides the river with nearly 100 million gallons of 57°F water every day. At the spring's base is where the trout are stocked daily from the parks own trout hatchery. The stream is stocked with over 320,000 rainbow trout yearly. It attracts over 150,000 fishermen yearly.

Fishing Season (catch and keep): March 1st through October 31st.
Catch And Release: 2nd Friday in Nov. through the 2nd Monday in February (Friday - Monday).
If hiking is your thing than they have trails that lead through the rugged terrain. A natural bridge is on one of the trails. You can rent a canoe for a trip down the Niangua River.

They also have campgrounds. The campgrounds are close to all the activity and there are full hook-ups, water, electric and sewer, the basic tent sites are also available.

There is a camp store that has most of your needs and of course your fishing tags, there is a nature center to visit. This park also has camping cabins and motel rooms if you don't want to take your camper. The campsite pads on the lower level are paved and the upper levels are gravel with toilet and water available in areas. They have about 500 campsites.

There are plenty of restrooms at various points and the roads are all paved. There are covered picnic shelters and a playground for children. There is a swimming pool.
If you don't want to cook they have an excellent dining lodge. You can get breakfast, lunch and a great dinner.

On Fathers day weekend the park has "Hillbilly Days". It is a time when all sorts of craft makers come out and display their crafts. They have a car show and a bluegrass singing event. It is a time for fun for all ages.

In the town of Lebanon, you shouldn't miss the Route 66 Museum and the old Laclede County Jail. The Route 66 Museum is located in the Peggy Palmer Summers Library, inside is also Django's coffeehouse. Located on S. Jefferson Ave and the old jail is in front of the new government center on Adams Street.

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