Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is a beautiful and scenic park located in Lampe, Missouri. Spread over 10,000 acres, the park boasts stunning views of the Ozark Mountains. The park stretches across the Missouri-Arkansas border and is found along highway State Highway 86. Activities at the park include walking and biking, fishing, horseback riding and tram tours. Dogwood Canyon’s mission is to be the outdoor destination adventure of choice for families, individuals and groups of all ages. Their commitment is to preserve, promote and protect the natural environment of the canyon’s wildlife and plant life.
Start your canyon experience by hiking the round-trip trail that runs through the park. Great for hiking and biking, the trail covers 6 ½ miles. The path is ideal for bikers of all ages because it is paved and fairly level. Bikes can be rented on a first come basis and include trail a bikes and kid cart rentals for young riders. Limestone bluffs, waterfalls and a covered bridge can be seen along the way as well as trout swimming under the native stone bridges. To see the park on wheels, try one of the park’s round-trip Segway Tours to the Glory Hole. The Glory Hole is just one of the many waterfalls that can be seen throughout the park. Reservations are required and are reserved for park guests ten years and older.
Dogwood Canyon is home to large, rainbow trout that swim in the beautiful spring-fed water. With no license or trout stamp required, fishing is a popular attraction at the park. Self-guided catch and release half-day tours and fly-fishing and casting clinics are held daily. Tackle and rods can be rented on site. Hours and availability vary by season and by individual activity.
Tram and Jeep tours are another relaxing way to experience the park. Tour guides offer an informative look at the history of the land and the wildlife as you ride in an open-air tram. The Wildlife Tour runs about two hours and takes guests past the Glory Hole and to an up close and personal look at the bison, elk and longhorn pastures. The 2-hour Evening Dinner Tram Tour takes guests past the pastures into Arkansas and to a campsite complete with evening entertainment and a full meal. For one to three guests, there is a private Jeep tour. This tour takes guests on the more rugged back-country roads through the park. Reservations are highly recommended for all tours as availability is limited.
From March through October, Dogwood Canyon offers Archery demonstrations and competitions. On Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9:30am, guests that are 12 and older can participate on the 3-D course offering five life-like animals worth a range in points. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be awarded and all participants will receive a t-shirt.
To experience more of the park that cannot be seen from the walking trail, Dogwood Canyon offers horseback riding tours for guests 8 years and older. The one hour trail tour is known as the Straight Shooter. The two hour tour offers rides up the ridges to showcase 360 degree views of the Ozark Mountains. There is a six hour ride known as the Little Indian Advanced Trail Ride. Families will also get a kick out of the Cattle Drive tour. Riders will wrangle the Texas longhorns to another pasture and once there served a meal. This tour runs from March through November at 10:00am.
Lunch can be enjoyed at the parks Outdoor Café. Menu items range from bison burgers to hot dogs and sandwiches. The Café is open for lunch from 11:00am to 4:00pm from March to November. And don’t forget to stop by the park’s gift shop for a souvenir. The shop is full of a variety of items like books, toys, clothes and custom artwork from artist Edward C Robinson III.
To enjoy multiple activities at the park, a special Adventure Pass can be purchased. At only $49.95 per person, per day, the pass includes hiking, biking, tram tours, trout fishing and $10.00 of the Segway tours. Season passes are also a great purchase at only $75.00 for adults and $35.00 for kids. With all that the park has to offer, see why visitors have rated it as one of the top attractions of Lampe, Missouri.
Photo courtesy of Dustin Baker