at Bennett Spring State Park
Located in the central Missouri Ozarks, Bennett Spring State Park features many different natural communities, including rich bottomland and stream habitats associated with the spring valley and oak-hickory woodlands in the upland areas. Bennett Spring, one of the largest springs in the state, provides an average supply of more than 100 million gallons of water to the stream branch and the nearby Niangua River.
Many animals native to the Ozarks make their homes here. They include numerous minnows, darters, pickerel frog, northern water snake, pileated woodpecker, belted kingfisher, muskrat and bobcat. Some recent additions include the nine-banded armadillo and river otter. The Missouri Ozarks offer a rich diversity of flowering plants, from trees, vines and shrubs to grasses and herbaceous plants. Wildflowers such as bluebells and Dutchman’s breeches brighten the woodland floor in the spring, and pale purple coneflowers color the hillsides in the summer.