Your Guide To Bennett Springs State Park (Local Tips)

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Nestled in the heart of Missouri, Bennett Spring State Park is a magnificent destination for visitors seeking an outdoor adventure. The park is well-known for its clear spring waters, making it a premier spot for trout fishing. Alongside fishing, the park offers a myriad of activities and attractions catering to adventurers, nature enthusiasts, and families alike.

The park’s rich history dates back to the 1800s when settlers were drawn to its natural spring, which now flows at an average rate of 100 million gallons per day. Today, Bennett Spring State Park boasts a range of amenities including hiking trails, picnic areas, campsites, and cozy lodging options. The Nature Center provides visitors with a wealth of information and interactive exhibits showcasing the park’s diverse ecosystem and local wildlife.

Whether you are a seasoned angler, an avid hiker, or simply looking for a tranquil escape, Bennett Spring State Park is an ideal destination for all ages and interests. Immerse yourself in its natural beauty, historical significance, and recreational opportunities as you explore this remarkable park.

Bennett Spring State Park Overview


Bennett Spring State Park, located in Missouri, is one of the earliest state parks in the area. The park has a rich history dating back to the 19th century when James Brice built the first mill near the spring in 1846. The Civilian Conservation Corps played a significant role in the park’s development during the 1930s, constructing various park amenities and infrastructure that visitors continue to enjoy today. Over the years, Bennett Spring State Park has become a popular destination for anglers and nature lovers alike.

Park Features

The main attraction in Bennett Spring State Park is the remarkable spring itself, which releases over 100 million gallons of clear, cool water each day. This spring branch is stocked daily with rainbow trout, making it a haven for fishing enthusiasts.

  • Fishing: Bennett Spring State Park is famous for its trout fishing, with anglers coming from far and wide to take advantage of the spring’s bountiful waters. The park offers fishing access points and rental equipment, ensuring a convenient experience for visitors.
  • Trails: The park features a variety of hiking trails, showcasing the diverse flora and fauna within the park’s boundaries. Trails range from easy to moderate difficulty, catering to visitors of all skill levels.
  • Lodging: Accommodations within the park include cabins, motel rooms, and sleepers, providing a range of options for visitors looking to stay overnight. For more information on lodging options and online reservations, check the official Bennett Spring State Park site.
  • Outdoor Activities: In addition to fishing and hiking, Bennett Spring State Park offers a range of other outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. This includes picnicking, canoeing, and bird watching, among others.

Activities and Attractions

Fishing Experience

Bennett Spring State Park is renowned for its trout fishing opportunities, attracting both experienced and novice anglers alike. The spring branch is stocked daily with rainbow trout, and the park offers a fly fishing school to hone your skills. To fish, you’ll need a Missouri fishing license and a daily trout tag. Remember that fishing hours vary by month and pets are not allowed in buildings.

Hiking and Trails

The park features several well-maintained hiking trails, providing visitors with a chance to explore the natural beauty of the area. Lace up your hiking boots and traverse the trails through diverse landscapes, including lush forests, grassy meadows, and alongside the spring branch.

Nature Center and Exhibits

Discover more about Missouri’s springs and the natural environment surrounding Bennett Spring State Park at the park’s nature center. Learn through engaging exhibits and full-time staff offering various nature programs, guided nature walks, and year-round school programs to enhance your knowledge of the park’s ecology.

Swimming Pool and Picnicking

Cool off on a hot day in the park’s swimming pool or enjoy a leisurely picnic with family and friends amidst the picturesque surroundings. There are designated picnicking areas throughout the park, perfect for relaxing and spending quality time with loved ones in the great outdoors.

Events and Programs

Bennett Spring State Park hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year, catering to nature lovers and enthusiastic anglers. Whether you’re interested in participating in a fly fishing event or seeking a fun family activity, there is something for everyone to enjoy during their visit.

Lodging and Dining

Cabins and Motels

Bennett Spring State Park offers a variety of lodging options for visitors, including motel rooms, duplex cabins, individual cabins, and remodeled four-plex units. Motel rooms are equipped with refrigerators, heating/air-conditioning, linens, and TVs. Some motel rooms also feature microwaves and coffee makers.


If you prefer a more rustic experience, Bennett Spring State Park offers campgrounds for tent and RV camping. It’s an excellent option for fishing enthusiasts to be close to nature and catch rainbow trout within the park. Make sure to check the park’s regulations and guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable stay. Reservations can be made online.

Dining Lodge and Restaurant

Feel the rustic charm and experience good food at Bennett Spring State Park’s dining lodge. Operated by Carmen and Jim Rogers, the restaurant is conveniently located next to the park store. Their menu includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to satisfy your cravings after a long day of exploring the park. For reservations or more information, contact the dining lodge at 417-532-4547. The address of the park is Lebanon, MO 65536.

Visitor Information

Bennett Spring State Park is a popular destination for fishermen and nature enthusiasts alike. The park is home to Missouri’s third-largest spring, attracting visitors with its cool water, scenic surroundings, and rich history. Established in the early 20th century, the park was named after Peter Bennett, who built one of the first flour mills in the area. Today, the park offers various activities and amenities to make your visit enjoyable and memorable.

Fishing Regulations and Tags

Bennett Spring State Park is known for its excellent trout fishing opportunities. Anglers flock to the park to experience the thrill of catching fish in the cool waters of the spring-fed stream. To maintain the quality of the fishing experience, there are specific regulations that apply to the park.

Trout fishing is limited to certain areas of the park, which are divided into different zones. Depending on the zone, different types of bait and tackle are allowed. All anglers are required to have a valid fishing license and purchase a daily trout tag from the park’s official website or at the park’s hatchery. This tag must be visibly displayed while fishing.

Park Tours and Services

Bennett Spring State Park offers a variety of services and amenities to cater to the needs of its visitors. The park’s Nature Center provides park information, educational displays, and guided tours that showcase the history and natural beauty of the area. The rustic dining lodge, constructed in the mid-19th century, offers a taste of the past with its vintage ambiance and delicious meals.

In addition to the dining lodge, the park also has a general store, offering bait, tackle, trout tags, and other essential items for a day of fishing. For those who prefer to stay overnight, there are various accommodation options available, including motel rooms, cabins, and campgrounds.

If you’re looking for other recreational activities during your visit, the park features hiking trails, picnic areas, and a swimming pool. With its serene atmosphere and diverse activities, Bennett Spring State Park is the perfect place to relax, refresh, and create lasting memories.