Hiking near Branson, MO includes plenty of trails that range in degrees of difficulty, from walking paths, to multi-mile trail systems that can easily consume a weekend. Regardless of your experience level, you’ll find plenty of options to get you out into the wilderness around Branson. Here’s eight trails for you to check out!
North Beach Walking Path
While not exactly a hiking trail, the North Beach Walking Path will still get you outside and on your feet. Just ¾ of a mile long, this paved path will take you by Lake Taneycomo. A great choice for a quick stroll!
Ridgetop Trail, Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area
Less than a mile and a half long, this trail has little change in elevation. As stated on the trail’s page on Branson’s Parks and Recreation website, the trail is home to a variety of vegetation, and birds of prey including bald eagles inhabit the wilderness.
Located a little further outside of Branson, but absolutely worth the visit. Dogwood Canyon is owned by Big Cedar and is made up of gorgeous walking trails, waterfalls and so much more! There is a fee to enter, but it is worth it!
Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery Trails
You can either park right by the fish hatchery and start hiking the trails here or continue driving slightly past the hatchery and park in one of the many other small parking lots along the trail and Lake Taneycomo. The trails meander alongside Lake Taneycomo and offer gorgeous views of the water, wild rainbow trout, and heavily forested area.
The Chinquapin Trail gives a hikers a pleasant mix of the area’s natural features, including varied terrain and beautiful flowers. An access points to The Table Rock Lakeshore trail (an easy, paved path) can be found along this sub-two mile trail.
Piney Creek Wilderness Area
Hiking this trail that spans the same distance as a half marathon won’t get you a 13.1 bumper sticker, but will instead grant you scenic Ozark beauty. Don’t be intimidated by the mileage though; the Piney Creek Wilderness Area consists of several smaller trails that can be hiked individually or as a whole. If you’re looking for a hike with decent mileage, look no further than this Mark Twain National Forest trail.
Busiek State Forest
Comprised of two separate trails (the East and West trails) totaling 18 miles, the Busiek State Forest is not only a great hiking and camping destination, but ideal for biking, fishing and hunting as well. More information can be found on the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.
Drury-Mincy Conservation Area
According to the location’s website, the Drury-Mincy Conservation Area was once the grounds for the state’s successful deer repopulation effort in the 1930s. The Taney County is now a great place to birdwatch, camp, and tackle a couple short trails, including Thurman’s Sink Trail and the more challenging 1.5 mile Bear Cave Trail.
White River Valley Trail System
Measuring just under 12 miles and consisting of four different loops, the White River Valley Trail System is ideal for experienced hikers. Whether you set out to tackle the Red Loop (described as the trail system’s most difficult option), or set out to conquer the Green Loop’s elevation and challenging terrain, you’ll find that the White River Valley Trail System to be the most difficult of local hiking options. More information can be found here.
Hercules Glades Wilderness
Another popular Mark Twain National Forest hiking destination, the Hercules Glades National Forest is 32 mile trail system offering it’s visitors a taste of everything that makes hiking near Branson, MO excellent. A wide array of terrain, wildlife and plants are located here, and according to the trail’s website, anything from turkey and quail to roadrunners and black bears can be seen here.
When you stay at an Amazing Branson Log Cabin, you might notice an irresistible urge to explore the beautiful area surrounding our rentals. Strap on your boots, grab your backpack and take advantage of the hiking near Branson, MO. Rest and relaxation will be waiting for you when you return.