Skywatch Friday – Dogwood Canyon Nature Park


We went on a little Spring Break trip this past weekend to southwest Missouri. Monday we visited the Dogwood Nature Park near Lampe, Missouri. It is a 10,000 acre private preserve owned and operated by the nonprofit Dogwood Canyon Foundation. The land was originally acquired by Johnny Morris, owner of the Bass Pro Shops and the branding is very familiar. The park has a very nice, affordable restaurant, wildlife museum, and a gift shop.


The Park has a beautiful tree house built by some famous television tree house guy. It is nice, very cozy with two levels, a deck and would be a perfect place to sit and read and get away from it all.


What is about a treehouse that is so peaceful?


The park offers walking, bicycling, tram tours, segway tours, trout fishing, and horseback riding. They even have a wedding chapel. They don’t have any accommodations or camping. Do your research before you show up. It costs $10 per person to enter which gets you access to the restaurant, museum, and gift shop and a short trail. If you want to go walking on into the canyon it will cost you and another $10 per person. Personally, I think it is worth it, but I understand others may differ.


The park has about 10,000 acres organized up and down a canyon with a nice stream that has a lot of waterfalls feeding it. The water is crystal clear and you can see lots of big fat trout swimming around. For a fee you can go fly fishing on the property.ย  Apparently the best spot is right behind a wedding chapel.


The stream is dammed up behind a series of weirs. The water pools up behind the weirs and spills down into the next pool. Bring your camera, there are lots of opportunities for photos. The trail is paved so I don’t know if you can really call it a hike or not but at least it is all weather. There a few side trails that are dirt but we didn’t take them.


There are several waterfalls coming off the canyon into the stream. They are really beautiful. I think the walking trail is about six miles out and back. We didn’t get quite to the endย  but close and turned back. It is uphill going into the canyon and downhill coming out so the second half was a lot easier than going in.

So are walk/hike was about 5.6 miles and we went a steady 20 minutes per mile including taking lots of photos and stopping to look at the sights. We finished up with a nice meal at the restaurant on site. It was a great family outing.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday


23 thoughts on “Skywatch Friday – Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

  1. Driller's Place

    Glad you got the chance to get away for a couple of days. We haven’t been to Dogwood Canyon since all of the new construction was completed. I don’t mind paying the $10 for access to the trails, but I do have a bit of an issue with the $10 fee just to park on the premises. Still, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon.

  2. Gaelyn

    This looks delightful. Glad you guys got to feeling well enough to go play. That tree house looks like the perfect size for me to live in but can it be put at ground level so no stairs. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Sallie (FullTime-Life)

    It is a very pretty place and well kept! I would go there if we were in that area — and since paved trails are certainly good for our demographic and would definitely be worth the price. The way the price structure is reminded me of our visits to the Royal Gorge in Colorado. It is a city park, not private, but it charged one fee to enter and an additional one for the trail hike into the gorge.

    PS: We enjoyed your story about snorkeling in Grand Cayman and the rain. We’ve noticed before that Caribbean people don’t like rain at all — sounds like most of the tourists on your boat didn’t either. (Being from Oregon, we’d never have gone outside in the winter if we’d been afraid of rain…. )

  4. Stan

    Wow! What a grand park for ma family excursion … just love all the sources of water [a photographer’s field day].

  5. Eileen

    Hello, looks like a wonderful park. I like the treehouse. The waterfall and covered bridge are beautiful. I wonder why don’t they just charge one price for everything. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

  6. Angie

    I think the price is pretty reasonable for the scenery and the treehouse! I love waterfalls and trout and … well, all of it! Thanks for the super tour!

  7. Alana

    My “hiking” consists of paved walks nowadays, so this would be perfect for me. “Lots of photo ops” sold it. Too bad I’m a thousand miles away, but I will store this away in my mind if we ever decide to visit Arkansas again (where we lived many years ago).

  8. Kay L. Davies

    I’d say this park comes pretty close to perfection, doesn’t it? From the wandering water to the architectural treehouse…all good stuff!
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

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