The Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area is a Branson city park that covers an area of 140 acres of wooded and rugged hill country. This Wilderness Area offers a great outdoor fun in the Ozarks with features of level and rugged hiking trails, a scenic observation deck overlooking the lake, two miles of shoreline of Lake Taneycomo and a breathtaking 315 steps of hand-laid stone that will take you down to the lake. From the inception of this Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area in 1998, this park in Branson was envisioned to be a showcase of nature and beauty in the Ozarks.
This Lakeside Wilderness Area in Branson is beautifully located near Highway 76 which allows easy access to local residents and visitors alike. With the acquisition of the Owen’s Homestead in 2010, the management of the Wilderness Area devoted more time and energy to improving the park, including the additional feature of a new entrance. The ornamental iron gate beneath the large wooden log archway decorated with native stone veneer welcomes visitors as they make their way to the park.
With more ideas about improving the park, the area developed a plan to create a parking lot that will eliminate surface runoff by capturing the storm water in the underground water harvesting system. The storm water is then pressurized to be supplied to adjoining irrigation system. With the completion of 6,000 square foot parking lot of donated permeable paver stones, will also create a walkway made of trail pavers giving the park easy access to walkers from Highway 76. Inside the park, you will also find Lyle Owen Homestead, originally built in 1911 and features a barn, a hand-built stone walls, and picnic areas.
The Lakeside Wilderness Area in Branson features two wonderful trails both offering exciting outdoor fun to visitors of all ages. The Trail 1 has a length of half mile, a more challenging of the two trails at Wilderness Area. This trail starts from an upland forest and offers a fairly level terrain that allows hikers an easy walk. After you have passed through the woodlands, you will find an observation deck overlooking the magnificent White River Valley and Lake Taneycomo. This portion of the trail takes some boldness and agility along with a comfortable walking shoes.
Trail 2 is less challenging which offers more level terrain in over one mile long. This trail whisks its way through forest and glades where you can see sights of uncommon Ashe Juniper trees. This 1 3/10-mile trail features fairly level terrain which is accommodating for families with children and older ones who desire an easier hiking adventure. Halfway down the trail, you can find a picnic area. During spring season, you will find new blooms of redbuds and dogwoods that enhance the woodlands with their striking contrast to the deep forest.
Whether you want to enjoy an easy or challenging hiking in a level or rugged terrain, you will surely have an ultimate outdoor fun in the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area in Branson this spring season.
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