Branson For Nature Lovers

Branson’s scenery is nothing short of breathtaking. There are many ways to see and experience this unique landscape. Here are a few of our favorites.

Dogwood Canyon

2038 W. Hwy 86

417-779-5983

www.dogwoodcanyon.org

 

This 10,000 acre wilderness preserve is filled with stunning picture opportunities. Waterfalls, clear fish-filled ponds and streams, natural rock bluffs, prehistoric burial caves and hand-carved bridges make this a must-see outdoor destination.

 

Dogwood Canyon can be explored by all ages and ability levels. Spend the day hiking on foot or travel the trails on bicycle, horseback, even on a segway! The popular two-hour tram ride takes visitors over the state line into Arkansas for an up close (very close) look at American bison, elk and Texas longhorns. An even more personal jeep tour is offered for up to 3 people. A newly built treehouse and education center features hands-on activities focused on conservation.

 

There is a small cafe offering lunch and snacks. Log cabin accommodations are also available. Charges are associated with each activity; an adventure pass covers several.

 

Lakeside Wilderness Hiking Trails

 

Located just behind Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre, these trails offer the sense of absolute isolation in the midst of a 140 acre nature preserve.

 

There are two trails. The first, a mile round-trip, starts off with level terrain and picture-worthy scenery. There’s even a deck overlooking Lake Taneycomo. This trail becomes more challenging with 300 steps which lead to a natural waterfall. The steep stairs, built by Dr. Lyle Owen in the 1930’s, take a little more effort - and a good pair of shoes.

The second trail is a little longer but is a more leisurely option. A picnic area is a nice stop at the halfway point. It’s a beautiful, peaceful opportunity to enjoy another side of Branson before your evening show.

 

Moonshine Beach

3778 S Hwy 165

417-335-8383

Who says you can’t go to the beach in Missouri? And there are no sharks - guaranteed.

 

Located near the Table Rock dam, this sandy swimming hole offers covered picnic areas, volleyball, a playground and even a boat launch. Bring a cooler, some sand toys and floaties to relax and enjoy the lake. (Bathrooms and outdoor showers are available to wash off all the grit before going home.) There is a small entrance fee per vehicle.

Just before heading to the beach, stop by the Dewey Short Visitor center at the dam. There are interactive exhibits and a film about the area and construction of the dam.