Interpretive Programs

at Roaring River State Park

a kid holding up a fish he caughtInterpretive programs provide interesting and informative messages about the park and the history, geology, natural communities and animals of the area. Programs are held every day during the summer season and on weekends during spring and fall seasons. Many are held in the scenic setting of the amphitheater. Special nature hikes focus on specific topics of interest like native wildflowers and bald eagles.

Kids Fishing Day

Roaring River State Park has a reputation as a family-friendly park. This is very evident on many busy weekends when the park is filled with families coming together to make new memories. For many, this tradition starts on the bi-annual Kids Fishing Day when kids 15 years and younger can fish free and are offered fishing instruction. More than 1,000 young anglers regularly attend these special fishing days and experience the thrill of catching that first fish.

Programs for Groups

The park also features the opportunity to earn a Missouri State Park Explorer patch with special classes and projects. Field trips during regular school and summer school are offered. The programs listed below are offered to school and other groups. Reservations are required.

Explorer School Program

This program is tailored to 4th-6th grades to cover the core science requirements. To participate in the program, a park naturalist will present a program at your school. Your students will have to do a research paper about some native Missouri plant or animal, and then make a picture of that plant or animal out of natural material. (This will be done according to the teacher’s schedule.) Once these two activities are done, the class will make a field trip to Roaring River State Park (there may be grants from the Missouri Department of Conservation to help offset these costs). On the field trip, there will be a tour of the hatchery, a hike, a visit to the nature center, and a community service project. After this is all completed, each student will receive a Missouri State Park and Historic Site Explorer Patch.

When making your reservation online, select the AM time slot for a morning program and the PM time slot for an afternoon program. You will need to contact the park after the confirmation letter arrives to schedule the appropriate time.

Reservations may be made online or by calling 417-847-3742.

School Field Trip

Roaring River is a very popular park for schools to take field trips. What is usually requested is a tour of the fish hatchery, a short hike and a visit to the nature center. Tours are given usually from April 1 until schools are out in May, and then again Sept. 1 through Oct. 31. A rough estimate of time would be 45 minutes for each activity, or three hours if you did all three, including travel time.

When making your reservation online, select the time closest to when you think you will arrive at the park. You will need to contact the park after the confirmation letter arrives to schedule the correct time of arrival.

Field trip reservations may be made online or by calling 417-847-3742.

Summer School Field Trip

Summer school field trips are also becoming very popular. These field trips will include a tour of the fish hatchery and a visit to the nature center; the hike will be on your own.

When making your reservation online, select the time closest to when you think you will arrive at the park. You will need to contact the park after the confirmation letter arrives to schedule the correct time of arrival.

Field trip reservations may be made online or by calling 417-847-3742.

Self-guided hatchery tour information and Deer Leap Trail information is available at the Ozark Chinquapin Nature Center.

Wildflower Workshop

These workshops are timed for an educational study of native wildflowers in various habitats found throughout the park at different times each spring. Interesting folklore and medicinal purposes as well as structure of the flower will be discussed. Wildflower lovers will be identifying various wildflowers found in their habitat by driving and hiking around the park. Wear sturdy shoes and bring your camera for a time of fun and education.

Reservations may be made online or by calling 417-847-3742.

group getting ready to go on a guided hikeWild Area Hike

Come and enjoy the cool air and crisp colors of fall on a guided hike. Join an interpreter for a five-mile hike into the 2,075-acre Roaring River Hills Wild Area that will include visits to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) lookout tower, the state champion downy serviceberry tree and the Roaring River Cove-Hardwood Natural Area. Sturdy shoes or boots should be worn, as you will be hiking off the main trail. Also bring along a lunch, daypack, canteen, camera and binoculars. Wear clothing that is suitable for the weather. 

Reservations may be made online or by calling 417-847-3742.

Bald Eagle Viewing

Take advantage of the opportunity to view bald eagles as they come in to roost at Roaring River State Park. The park hosts eagle-viewing events throughout the winter. Join a park naturalist at the park’s nature center for a short video on eagles. Following the video, visitors will head outside to watch as the eagles fly into the park to roost for the evening. A spotting scope and a few binoculars will be available, but guests are encouraged to bring their own along with their cameras. Dress appropriately for the weather.

Reservations may be made online or by calling 417-847-3742.