Branson's Shepherd of the Hills - Oh, the Fun You Can Have!

by  |  Shows & Entertainment, Attractions & Activities
Branson's Shepherd of the Hills - Oh, the Fun You Can Have!

Both Historic and Brand-New Attractions and Adventures Await!

Whether you’re seeking soft adventure, high excitement, or a nostalgic show experience, you need look no further than Branson’s Shepherd of the Hills Homestead!  Under new ownership for the first time in several decades, the beauty and historic experiences at the expansive homestead have been preserved, while new, fun-filled activities have been added, giving everyone something to enjoy in one legendary location.  

ATVs have become one of the most popular features at the new and improved Shepherd of the Hills.  With the exciting Off Road Ozark ATV Adventures, you can now see much more of the Homestead’s extensive and beautiful acreage.  Offering technologically advanced ATVs (all terrain vehicles) and UTVs (utility task vehicles,) Shepherd of the Hills features one-hour and 90-minute excursions in their CanAm Commander and CanAm Maverick vehicles.  For first-timers, the one-hour adventure includes basic instruction time, like learning to drive the vehicle on pavement prior to hitting the hills.  For more experienced drivers, the 90-minute trek will get you deeper into the property on off-road trails that offer bigger thrills.  All adventures are guided by experienced Shepherd of the Hills staff members. (ATV/UTV drivers must be 21 years-of-age unless accompanied by a parent, with a minimum age of 18 for adult-accompanied drivers.)  Other exciting new outdoor activities soon to be offered at Shepherd of the Hills include rock climbing and a ropes course, as well as tamer pastimes, like a fishing pond and petting farm.  

Everything loyal fans have always loved can still be enjoyed at Shepherd of the Hills, including the Historic Homestead Tour that gives guests an up-close-and-personal look at Branson’s only outdoor theater production, and the legendary homestead it calls home. The tour is taken on Jeep-drawn trams and visits the theater, Inspiration Point, Old Matt’s Cabin, and the Morgan Community Church.  The day-time tour of the Homestead makes seeing the live night-time show in the outdoor theater all the more enjoyable!  And, of course, the foundation of the Homestead has always been the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama, the historic production that shares the passionate tale of life in the Ozarks in the late 1800s, as seen through the eyes of author, Harold Bell Wright, in his epic novel of the same name.  The book was first published in 1907 and saw several reprints and more than one movie made about the story of the hardscrabble life of the area’s hillfolk; the most popular version being one that starred John Wayne as Young Matt.

The outdoor drama features a huge cast of both human and animal performers, and includes gunfights, an actual burning cabin, a sweet love story, and humorous moments that lighten it up from time to time.  In production on the outdoor stage for nearly 60 years, Shepherd of the Hills is often a family and friends affair; many of today’s actors had siblings, parents, grandparents, neighbors, and friends who held roles in years past, making the beloved show nearly a right of passage for locals looking for a career in theater.  The exciting and heart-warming story of Shepherd of the Hills takes place on a stage the size of a football field, and includes a cast of approximately 90 actors, horses, mules, donkeys, and sheep.

Another Branson landmark - literally, because you can see it for miles around America’s entertainment capital - is the Shepherd of the Hills Inspiration Tower.  Reigning over the Homestead from atop its mountain peak, this stunning attraction is aptly named, it’s presence on the horizon is truly an inspirational sight!  Constructed in 1989, it’s an impressive 230-foot-tall sturdy building of steel, glass, stone, and concrete that can withstand a constant wind of 172 miles per hour.  It contains 92,000 pounds of steel, and the entire structure weighs in at around 3 million pounds!  With more than 4,400 square feet of glass, it’s easy to understand why Inspiration Tower is the ideal location for viewing the scenic Branson hills and valleys. The Tower is currently being remodeled; when that project is complete, everyone is looking forward to its reopening, as well as that of the phenomenal Vigilante Extreme ZipRider.  This unique zipline is fast enough to give you the thrilling ride-of-your-life, yet zips along at a pace that allows you to enjoy the gorgeous view from heights of up to 170 feet in the air.  Speeds reach up to an exciting 50mph, and a group of four can all ride together side-by-side with each in their own’s a zipping trip of a race to the bottom!

Ozark Mountain Trail Rides is also a long-time Branson favorite; another one of the amazing activities you’ll discover at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead!  During a full one-hour ride through the peaceful Ozark hills, you’ll experience a trail that’s mostly shaded as it winds through cedar glades and forest land filled with towering oak trees.  You’ll even venture across the set of the Old Mill Theater where The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama is performed, all while riding one of the same gentle horses used in the show.

When Branson’s favorite holiday rolls around at year’s end, there’s nothing more entertaining than a visit to the Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills!  Featuring the area’s most dazzling display of Christmas joy, the drive-through makes for the best kind of family entertainment.  And, for 2018’s holiday season, the Trail is being revamped, so look for an updated, and even more exciting, drive-through display!  When the newly enhanced attraction debuts, it will deliver a Winter wonderland of tradition, trees, and timeless displays reflecting everything from the reason for the season to the jolly old elf himself...Santa Claus!  The Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills reminds us how twinkling brilliance and this holiest of holidays go hand-in-hand!

As you can see, the change of ownership hasn’t taken away the legendary experience treasured by longtime guests and residents alike, it’s just added new things to the fun lineup of activities and adventures found only at the Historic Shepherd of the Hills Homestead!  For more information, or to purchase tickets for Shepherd of the Hills’ activities, give us a call at 877.688.3179, we have vacation planning specialists standing by just for you!