Bennett Spring State Park, Lebanon

#1 of 7 in Things to do in Lebanon
Bennett Spring State Park is located in Bennett Springs, Missouri, approximately west of Lebanon on Highway 64 and is in Dallas and Laclede counties. The park was established in 1923. It is centered on the spring that flows into the Niangua River and gives the park its name. The spring averages 100 million gallons (380,000 m3) of daily flow. The park offers fly fishing, camping, canoeing, and hiking, among other activities.
In 1837 the James Brice family built a mill at the stream and the spring became known as Brice Spring. The town that built up was known as Brice. The family of Peter Bennett soon settled near the spring and started their own mill. Originally, the families were rivals, but they soon intermarried. Both of these mills were eventually destroyed in a flood.
During the Civil War years, another mill was constructed by Peter Bennett. This Bennett Mill was larger and more successful than the Brice mill. The spring soon took on the Bennett name. Peter died in 1882 and his son William Sherman Bennett took over. The Bennett Mill burned in 1895.
In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) made various improvements to the park. The CCC built the dining lodge, cabins, trails, roads, shelters, gauge station, and the arched stone bridge across the spring branch. The bridge has 3 distinctive sideways ā€œCā€™sā€ to memorialize the men of the CCC who built it. The CCC also channelized the spring branch and constructed the dam just upstream of the stone bridge to make the spring more habitable to the non-native trout. The dam is used to divert water through the fish hatchery and to maintain a constant water level at Bennett Spring to this day.
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Bennett Spring State Park Reviews
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  • First time float trip, first time kayaks. Here are some tips for beginners like us. Youth kayak looked just like ours except that leg length, seat area was shorter. There were canoes, rafts & tubes av...  more »
  • Best place for a family vacation. Fishing is always excellent very clean park. Camping spots in lower campground book very fast. This was my 24th year visiting. Great place for day trip or extended st...  more »
  • Here's pics of the natural tunnel at the halfway point of the 7+ mile hike. So worth it. It was awesome! My pics don't do it justice. Had a great stay in the campground too. Nice shower and restroom facilities. Super reasonable camping rates.
  • This is a very nice trout park! I always enjoy any time I can find spent here. Rearing ponds that allow fish feeding with daily releases into the stream for fishermen. The trout bite best in the early morning hours just after the whistle blows. A trout stamp is required to fish during fishing season. These can be bought at the park store for less than five dollars a day.

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