Ha Ha Tonka State Park

5 April, 2021.

We ended a later than usual Spring Break with nicer than usual weather by trekking south to Ha Ha Tonka State Park for a couple of days of hiking, and to explore the castle ruins around which the park is fashioned. The “castle” – a turn of the century mansion, actually – was built from stone quarried from nearby limestone outcroppings, and built by Scottish stonemasons. It must have been quite something to see, and I wish I’d been able to do so. Unfortunately, as seems to have oddly been the case with so many stone buildings, the castle burnt. And that, as they say, was that.

The view from the grounds is magnificent, overlooking the lake below. There are miles of trails – in fact, as a youth they were the only way up to explore the structure. These days, you can drive right up. But due to the crumbling nature of the walls, visitors are fenced off from entering. One must enjoy the architecture from a safe distance.


  1. So nice to see these bold graphic bits of Ha Ha Tonka! Last time I was there, in 2009, the ruins weren’t fenced off, and I’m sad to see the restrictions while totally understanding them.

    • azorch · April 5

      It had been many years since my last visit, Cathy. I seem to recall having to hike a pretty good way to get there once upon a time.

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