St. Louis + Destination


Travel & Nature Photojournalism

Table Rock Lake and the Cottages at Fair Haven Cove

As part of our combined birthday celebration this year, we decided to retreat to Southern Missouri for a long weekend getaway on Table Rock Lake and Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. Thanks to Airbnb, we found the perfect lake-side accommodation at The Cottages at Fair Haven Cove. A small community of duplex cottages located in Cape Fair, Fair Haven Cove provides all one would need to unwind, decompress and disconnect from the outside world. Each unit comes with a full kitchen, an outdoor grill, a community pool, RV parking, boat slips, kayaks, paddle boards and more.

Our newly-updated cottage provided every convenience, allowing us to enjoy a very comfortable stay on the lake. Our cottage offered every amenity we could have possibly needed, for both a weekend or an extended stay. Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by our hosts, owners Jeff and Andrea Mertz. We had wonderful stay at Fair Haven Cove. Thank you for your kind hospitality!

Matt at Table Rock Lake

Happy to finally relax on the lake.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Preserve

You may recall a post I wrote in late 2018 about the new Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium located in Springfield, Missouri. Just like WoW, Dogwood Canyon Nature Preserve is an extension of the Johnny Morris’ Conservation Attractions group.


Relaxing to watch, isn’t it? There are numerous water displays at Dogwood Canyon.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park Main Building

The entrance to the park is a large stone building built into the adjoining cliff side along Indian River. Inside the Visitor’s Center are various historical and archaeological items that visitors can view and learn more about. Also inside is access to Mill & Canyon Grill Restaurant, a great place to relax after a long hike.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Diorama Dogwood Canyon Visitor's Center InteriorCanoes Long Pine Crossing Covered Bridge

There are 25 points of interest along the 6.5 mile walking trail. Each point of interest at Dogwood Canyon is numbered and more information can be found on the park map. Point of interest #3 (pictured above) is the Long Pine Crossing covered bridge.

Blue Water near Park Entrance Paved Walking Path

The walking path is paved for easy walking and bicycling. There are various offshoots from the main path to explore, including additional wooded hikes and horseback trails.

Dogwood Canyon Waterfalls Box Canyon Trail

Just a short hike off the beaten path lies Box Canyon, which can be accessed along the out-and-back Box Canyon Trail.

Shiny waterfall at Dogwood Canyon. Glory Hole, a Visitor Favorite

A visitor favorite, Glory Hole is home to protected Giant Rainbow Trout. Located near the mouth of the falls is the cave entrance, which extends approximately 300 feet into the mountain behind the waterfall.

Seven Falls

One of my favorite scenes, Seven Pools (pictured above, right) is a great spot for fishing! I enjoy the serene depth to the short falls.

Welcome to Arkansas
Yes, you can be in two places at once.

Towards the turnaround point on the trail you will cross over into Arkansas. Matt wanted to put one foot into Arkansas and kept the other back in Missouri.

Water Drip GIF

This is a GIF created from approximately nine still images. This water flows down into Blue Spring, which is located at the turnaround point.

Green algae against blue waters.

I love this shallow pool. The brilliant blue colors of the water with the mossy green aquatic plants look very nebular to me.

Visitor's Center Waterfall

Near the Dogwood Canyon Visitor’s Center is the mouth of Indian Burial Cave. A beautiful waterfall is located here, a nice point of interest for visitors at the main building or diners just across the pool at the park restaurant.

Front of Dogwood Canyon near sunset.

We enjoyed our visit to Dogwood Canyon Nature Preserve and hope to visit again soon. There are so many activities for the individual and the family, and there were many things we did not explore due to time constraints. The next time we visit, we may indulge in the park’s Jeep Tours or perhaps, a horseback ride through the wooded trails.