Release Date

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, MAY 24, 2023 – Bennett Spring State Park is set to host a series of events from May 28 to June 3.

Freedom Stroll, 1-1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 28
Participants will meet at the nature center to receive information about the American and Missouri flags to honor those who have lost their lives while defending the United States. Then, a park team member will lead visitors from the nature center to the Bennett Spring waterfall, where they will be able to enjoy the relaxing sights and sounds and improve their energy. During the stroll, guests will hear about an unsung American hero – the Missouri mule – which moved both people and machines during times of war and peace.

Caves! June 1 – June 30
Throughout the month of June, Bennett State Park will have an artificial cave available for exploration during open hours at the park’s nature center. The cave will include information about the Bennett Spring cave that scuba divers explore in the winter, the natural tunnel, other karst geology at the park and information on where they can explore similar features in other Missouri state parks.

Flowers and Bees in an Ozark Fen, 11 a.m. Friday, June 2
Park team members will give a brief presentation about bees and flowers at 11 a.m. in the nature center. Following the presentation, there will be a 1-mile guided hike on Whistle Trail. The trail travels along the spring, goes up a bluff then heads back down, ending at the historic wooden bridge near the Niangua River. Along the way, the naturalist will discuss karst topography and the park's fen, and participants will have opportunities to observe flowers and bees. Participants are encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes that are appropriate for hiking.

During the event, hikers should keep their eyes on flowers like the shooting star, rose verbena and wild geranium, which will all be in bloom.

Vulture Kettle, 2 p.m. Saturday, June 3
The park naturalist will give a presentation from 2 to 2:45 p.m. about the park’s black vultures, along with how anglers and other visitors can better coexist with them.

National Trails Day, 11 a.m. Saturday June 3
Never hiked before? No problem. Join park team members at 11 a.m. at the nature center for a guided hike on Bridge Trail. This trail is a 0.7-mile loop of moderate difficulty that goes upland in a white oak-dominated woodland. After reaching the hilltop, the trail winds downward back to the spring and the stone Civilian Conservation Corps Bridge. Participants will stop frequently to connect with and enjoy nature. The trail consists of natural surfaces such as dirt, gravel and loose rocks with raised obstacles. Hikers should bring water and insect repellent and wear appropriate shoes for hiking.

Bennett Spring State Park is located at 26250 Highway 64A outside of Lebanon. For more information, call 417-532-4338.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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