Roaring River State Park: The Perfect Trout Fishing Vacation Destination

If tying a fly and casting a line is a favorite vacation pastime, fishermen from around the world will enjoy a stay in Missouri’s premier trout fishing destination, Roaring River State Park. With an on site trout hatchery, a rustic yet elegant lodge, cozy country cabins, a park store, hiking trails, swimming pool, and more, Roaring River can be fun for the entire family. Fishermen – and women – can while away the hours fishing for trout in the clear and cold waters of Roaring River.

Roaring River State Park is nestled in a narrow valley in the Missouri Ozarks on the edge of the lush, remote Mark Twain National Forest. The river’s source is a deep spring, Roaring River Spring, that issues from beneath a majestic limestone bluff and produces twenty million gallons of water each day, more than enough to supply the trout hatchery and flow into the river which is lined with sportsmen from March 1 until October 31 each year.

The land was first acquired by Dr. Thomas Sayman, a St. Louis entrepreneur who bought the land as a fishing retreat. He donated the land to the state of Missouri in 1928 and during the Great Depression; Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) groups built the original park. Many of the stone and timber buildings date from those years but new additions – like the Emory Melton Lodge – have been added over the decades. One of the CCC boys who built the camp later served as a guide for notables including President Harry Truman who loved to visit Roaring River to relax and fish. Ask locals about the legend of the Mountain Maid, Jean Wallace, or take in the show performed during the summer season in which the reclusive woman is brought to life again by a skilled actress.

Missouri fishing license and a daily trout tag are required to fish at Roaring River but both are available at nominal prices in the park store, housed within one of the original buildings. Trout fishing begins early and the banks of the small but mighty river are alive with fishers casting lines and reeling in rainbow trout.

For those who want to make Roaring River a vacation destination, there are several options. Campers will find 187 campsites scattered through the park that range from basic tent sites to all-electric sites ready for a recreational vehicle. Families may want to book one of Roaring River’s twenty six rustic cabins, each tucked away into a beautiful wooded area with full kitchens where the day’s catch can be fried to perfection.

The beautiful Emory Melton Lodge offers twenty six guest rooms with all the comforts of a fine hotel and beautiful views of the river as well as the surrounding forest. Other lodging options exist in the nearby city of Cassville.

From the deep pool at the foot of the bluff to the river banks, trout can be seen swimming through the cold waters. Tours of the fish hatchery are available so it’s possible to view trout in each stage of development. For those in the family who may not want to fish, there are hiking trails through the woods and above the spring. The park swimming pool is large and well-maintained. Shaded picnic areas offer a place to take a break or enjoy a meal in the great outdoors.

Roaring River State Park is located seven miles south of the small city of Cassville, Missouri on Highway 112. The remote and breathtakingly beautiful location is about an hour away from the bright lights and attractions of Branson, Missouri’s top resort city so families staying at the park can opt for a day trip to places like top notch amusement park Silver Dollar City or any of Branson’s other attractions including the new Titanic museum featuring a half scale replica of the original ship along with artifacts recovered from the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

Few locations offer the rural, unspoiled charm as Roaring River State with world class trout fishing and family lodging. The fishing is always fine at Roaring River and it’s one of the best kept fishing vacation secrets in the Midwest

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