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Trails in Branson - Everything You Need to Know

by  |  Attractions & Activities
Trails in Branson - Everything You Need to Know

Anyone who’s been to Branson knows about it’s more scenic side, but many people have yet to discover the many great hiking and running trails, as well as the variety of walking paths found around the area.  From carefully maintained trails operated by the City of Branson, to the more rugged hiking areas found in the beautiful state parks and national forests of the Ozarks, both serious hikers, and those looking for some low key exercise by taking a walk in the fresh air, are sure to find a trail to suit their needs.  Trails have become so popular in Branson that many area resorts, including the best timeshare properties, offer trails as a special feature of their amenities-packed properties. 

If you enjoy trails, then you’re probably a lover of the great outdoors in general - here are some helpful posts about the subject:  “Branson Missouri - Discover the Scenic Side of the Live Entertainment Capital!” -- “Ziplines in Branson...Discover 7 Super Ziplines for High-Flying Fun!” -- “Lakes of Branson - Finding 6 Great Ways to Beat the Summer Heat!”  (If you’re still wondering about whether or not to choose Branson for your next vacation…“Branson - The Capital of Live Entertainment...What Really Makes it Special?” -- “Branson, Missouri - The Little Town that Racks Up Big Accolades!”)

City of Branson Trails

Caudill Trail

Location:  792 Caudill Way (can be accessed from Fall Creek Road, which intersects with Highway 76)

Length:  2 miles 

Features:  rugged mulch surface -- adjacent to a picnic area -- winds through a dense wooded area of cedar trees -- park views

Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area

Location:  1550 Fall Creek Road (intersects with Highway 76 - intersection landmarks include Fritz’s Adventure and Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre)

Length:  5.3 miles 

Features:  various levels of difficulty -- 140 acres of wildnerness -- 315 handmade stone steps leading toward Lake Taneycomo -- waterfall -- multiple caves -- grotto -- nature themed playground -- pavilion -- covered porch swing -- stunning views of lake and countryside -- public restrooms

Roark Creek Trail

Location:  1851 Roark Valley Road (accessable from Highway 76 and Fall Creek Road)

Length:  3.1 miles

Features:  2.6 miles are paved -- connects Stockstill Park, North Beach, & Branson Landing -- suitable for bicycles -- scenic Roark Creek & woods views -- Stockstill Park access -- North Beach Park access -- public restrooms at Stockstill

Waterfall Trail

Location:  1902 Roark Valley Drive (near intersection of Roark Valley Road and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway near Branson Woods Resort)

Length: .7 miles (7/10 mile)

Features:  travels up a steep ravine -- scenic terrain with forest canopy & natural pools -- rock outcroppings -- large waterfall -- rugged surface -- 2 creek crossings

City of Branson Walking Paths

Branson Hills Walking Path

Location:  Branson Hills Parkway (exit from Highway 65 and accessible from Highway 248) 

Length:  3.28 miles

Features:  paved surface -- hilly areas -- connects Branson Hills Parkway to Buccaneer Drive -- also used by runners

North Beach Walking Path

Location:  50 North Boardwalk (next to Branson Landing)

Length:  .75 mile (3 quarters of a mile)

Features:  paved surface -- scenic park -- Lake Taneycomo views -- picnic tables -- BBQ grills -- horseshoe pits -- 2 fishing docks -- easy access to Branson Landing

Rec Plex Walking Path

Location:  1501 Branson Hills Parkway

Length:  1 mile (8 feet wide)

Features:  asphalt surface -- bicycle friendly -- park pavilion -- playground -- access to public restrooms -- loops around Branson Rec Plex

Stockstill Park Walking Path

Location:  524 Stockstill Lane (accessible from James F. Epps Road via Highway 248 or Roark Valley Road)

Length:  .5 mile (half mile)

Features:  follows Roark Creek -- loops around softball fields & playground -- access to Stockstill Park and its amenities -- public restrooms at park -- part of larger Roark Creek Trail

Sunset Park Walking Path

Location:  869 Sunset Road (accessible from Historic Downtown Branson via Cliff Drive)

Length:  .6 mile (6/10 mile)

Features:  paved surface -- lighted -- adjacent to Lake Taneycomo -- exercise stations along path -- disc golf located in park

Taneycomo Walking Path

Location:  Between North Beach Park & Sunset Park

Length: .75 mile (3 quarters of a mile)

Features:  paved surface -- incorporates boardwalk of Branson Landing -- views of Lake Taneycomo

State Park & National Forest Trails

Bear Creek Trail

Location:  Drury-Mincy Conservation Area - 3441 Gunnison Road, Kirbyville - less than 10 minutes east of Branson (accessible from Highway 76) 

Length:  1.5 miles

Features:  varying levels of difficulty -- natural surface -- creek crossings -- wildlife -- cave

Busiek State Forest Trails

Location:  Highlandville - about 15 minutes north of Branson (accessible from Highway 65)

Length:  18 miles

Features:  well-marked trails -- trail bike friendly -- horseback friendly -- varying levels of difficulty -- beautiful forest scenery -- creeks -- varying sections of trail of different lengths -- wildlife

Chinquapin Trail

Location:  Table Rock State Park - 5272 Missouri Highway 165 

Length:  1.1 miles

Features:  natural surface -- mostly flat -- wildflowers -- crosses creek beds & bridges -- connects to Lakeshore Trail

Hercules Glades Wilderness Trails

Location:  Mark Twain National Forest - trailhead access at 3 locations: on Highway 125, 8.5 miles south of Bradleyville -- 9.5 miles south of Bradleyville off Highway 125 on Forest Road (about 2 miles) -- 9 miles east of Forsyth on Forest Road (about 4 miles)

Length:  32 miles

Features:  maintained trails with varying levels of difficulty -- beautiful forest views -- wildlife -- open glades -- forested ridge tops

Piney Creek Wilderness Area Trails

Location:  Mark Twain National Forest - accessible near Cape Fair or Shell Knob - just under an hour west of Branson

Length:  3.1 miles

Features:  mostly rough surfaces -- difficult terrain -- wildlife -- creek crossings -- horseback friendly -- camping areas with view of Table Rock Lake

Ruth & Paul Henning Conservation Area Trails

Location:  Highway 76 (access Homesteaders Trail from Sycamore Log Church Road via Highway 248)

Length:  Dewey Bald Trail is .40 mile -- Glade Trail is 1.1 miles -- Homesteader’s Trail is 3.4 miles -- Shane’s Shortcut Trail is .30 mile -- Streamside Trail is .40 mile

Features:  varying terrain and levels of difficulty -- largely wooded -- known for bird-watching -- Homestead & Shane’s rated as challenging in some areas -- Dewey Bald, Glade, & Streamside rated as mostly moderate

Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery Trails

Location:  483 Hatchery Road (accessible from Highway 165)

Length:  White River Corridor Trail is .4 mile -- Canebrake Trail is just shy of .5 mile -- Fisherman’s Trail is .4 mile -- White River Bluffs Trail is a 1.6 mile loop

Features:  gravel or dirt surfaces -- fishing spots along some sections of trails -- variety of wildlife -- scenic bluffs -- public restrooms available at the Hatchery (a free attraction that includes a small museum)

Table Rock Lakeshore Trail

Location:  Table Rock State Park - 4600 Missouri Highway 165 (accessible from Showboat Branson Belle/White River Landing and Dewey Short Visitor Center)

Length:  2.2 miles

Features:  follows Table Rock Lake shoreline to Dewey Short Visitor Center -- pretty lake views -- asphalt surface -- wheelchair friendly -- inline skate friendly

White River Valley Trail System

Location:  Table Rock State Park - 5272 Missouri Highway 165 -- trailhead entrance across the street from Park entrance -- second trailhead at the end of Trophy Run Road

Length:  10.25 miles 

Features:  trailheads include posted trail system maps -- Red Trail route accommodates off-road cycling -- trail loops are labeled red, blue, orange, & green -- varying elevations and levels of difficulty -- geocaches along trail -- red loop rated as most difficult section -- natural surface for all trails

Although fairly comprehensive, this list doesn’t include all of the many trails found throughout the greater Branson area.  You’ll also find several trails located in private resorts and attractions, including Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, where paid admission to the Park is required.  

If all of that hiking, biking, and walking works up an appetite: “Branson Buffets - 16 Places for Belly Fillin’ Fantastic Food!” -- “Dining Downtown - Finding 11 Excellent Eateries in Branson’s Historic District!” -- “Breakfast in Branson - 23 Places for a Delicious Morning Meal!” -- “Branson’s 10 Best Diners - Finding Comfort Food Favorites!

And, for more helpful information while planning a visit to the area:  “Branson - 11 Good Things to Know Before You Go!” -- “A Branson Trip in the Works? Let’s Find the Lodging That Fits You Best!” -- “Branson MO - Your Guide to Saving Money in Your Favorite Destination!” -- “Visiting Branson? We’re Planning Your Perfect Day!” - “In Branson, We’ve Found 5 Ways to Help You Stay Fit!

For other things to do in Branson while you’re here:  “Branson’s St. James Winery - Discover What You’ve Been Missing!” -- “Extreme Rides - Finding Branson’s 10 Biggest Thrills!” -- “Discovering Branson’s Nightlife - 10 Great Places to Hang Out!” -- “FREE in Branson - 20 of the Best No-Cost Things to Do!” -- “Your Branson Shopping Center List of Stores & More!