Cave · Geological Significance · Historical Significance · Lake · Spring · Wildlife
Need to Know
You may experience:
2) Natural Surface-dirt/mud/gravel, shifting rock, slippery surface, etc.
3) Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail 6) Wood or stone steps
7) Steep grades and inclines more than 10%
8) Bluffs or drop-offs next to trail
9) Bridges and/or structural crossings
This trail or a portion of this trail travels through: Ha Ha Tonka Karst Natural Area
Initially Dell Rim Trail goes through a rocky south-facing glade area with an abundance of wildflowers. The first highlight along the trail is a one-way series of steps that lead to the water tower. The tower was constructed in 1905 to supply water to the castle. An interpretive panel gives information about the water tower, including a description of how the water was pumped from the spring below. There is also a picture of the style pump used in those days.
A wooden boardwalk then leads visitors to an overlook above the 150 foot deep Whispering Dell Sinkhole. Another interpretive panel at this overlook provides information on karst topography and sinkholes. This initial section of trail is wheelchair accessible.
The trail continues from the Whispering Dell overlook with a series of steps that connect the trail to Colosseum, Spring and Devil's Kitchen trails. As hikers circle the Whispering Dell Sinkhole, they can look back across to see the overlook and water tower across the void. The trail takes hikers part way down the 316 wooden steps to Ha Ha Tonka Spring, ending at a second overlook into Whispering Dell Sinkhole.
The boardwalk to the first Whispering Dell Overlook, .07 mile, is stroller and wheelchair accessible, but the step portions to the second overlook are steep and can be difficult for some hikers.
The first part of the trail was constructed in 1981 to provide visitors with access to the water tower and Whispering Dell Sinkhole. In the late 1980s, the wooden boardwalk was built to protect the fragile glade and woodland soils and plants growing in these areas.
Shared By: Rick Walker