Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring is Blooming at Thunder Mountain Park

Here in mid-Missouri, we get to enjoy the gorgeous colors of many different flowering trees every spring. The "April showers" help to bring the sleeping trees to life at our scenic Lake of the Ozarks outdoor attraction, and eye-popping blooms begin emerging everywhere that you look. The trees on the trails at Thunder Mountain Park change from dull browns and grays to vibrant greens, pinks, whites, and more! 


Spring Travels North
Southern Missouri actually gets to see these beautiful colors a little earlier than the rest of the state. Spring blooms begin showing themselves in March down there, then slowly travel north, from lower to higher elevation as the average daily temperature rises. The northern cities will see the peak of their flowering trees begin to fade away in May. The last two weeks in April is about the time when it's breathtaking, no matter where you are in the state.   

Flowering Dogwood
The flowering dogwood was designated as Missouri's official state tree in 1955. It is a small tree with graceful branches that produce large, showy flowers, which are often white, but can sometimes be found with pink or yellow blooms. It will spend the summer with rich, green leaves, then develop berries in autumn. Before the leaves fall off as winter approaches, they turn a deep red. 

Missouri flowering tree, spring in Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks, flowering dogwood

Hawthorn
The lovely White Hawthorn Blossom that blooms on this one was designated as Missouri's official state flower in 1923. The woody plant can reach heights of 20 feet, and the tiny, apple-like fruit of the hawthorn not only provides food for birds and small mammals, but it is also collected to make jam. Our state boasts over 75 species of hawthorn, many of which are found right here in the Ozarks. 


Missouri flowering tree, spring in Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks

Downy Serviceberry
This tree is also known by many other names: Juneberry, Shadbush, Sarvissberry, Shadblow, and Sugar Plum, to name a few. Before the summer leaves emerge, silky-hairy, slightly fragrant petals often show themselves. Over the summer, small reddish-purple berries will grow.   

Eastern Redbud
Another small tree that offers a brilliant pop of color to the dreary winter forest is the redbud. The small, clustered rose-purple flowers cover the bare branches before its leaves appear. 


How Do You Enjoy Spring Blooms?
A relaxing stroll through the trails at Thunder Mountain Park is our very favorite way to take in all of the natural beauty that is popping up everywhere that we look. Another excellent way to celebrate spring in Missouri is to take a road trip and marvel at the wild trees that line the roads and highways. Some of the most beautiful photos that we have seen of our nature park were taken in spring. 

Camdenton's 2017 Dogwood Festival will be taking place April 20-22, just up the road a little ways from Bridal Cave. It's a festival full of fun to celebrate our beautiful state tree, which grows abundantly all around this area. Spend a couple of days enjoying the arts, crafts, food, carnival rides, parades, and more, then head on over to our family-fun Lake of the Ozarks attraction and see the dogwoods, as well as many more varieties of gorgeous Missouri trees, up close. A walk through the park to take in nature's beauty is always Family Fun... As It Should Be!  


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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020

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