The Woods Fork Creek at the Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area has an area of 2,704 acres that offers a wide variety of outdoor activities such as bird watching, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. Busiek State Forest is located 18 miles south of Springfield, Missouri off highway 65 and about 14 miles north of Branson. Other activities in the area also include camping (with permit only), hunting and target shooting that are allowed only on the west side of the Busiek State Forest. Woods Fork Creek is mainly forest with glades, woodlands, old fields, and a permanent stream of Woods Fork. The area also features primitive camping (by special permit only), picnic areas, and firearms range.
Woods Fork Creek is a beautiful stream that features crystal clear waters. The trails are wide and nice but can be rugged and rough sometimes, so hikers are advised to wear good hiking shoes or boots. The area features a bountiful wildlife, so you can have the chance to see bobcats, deer, boars, squirrels, and turkey. Wood Fork Creek provides multiple recreational opportunities and features a well marked trail system that spans approximately 18 miles. This trail system is ideal for hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders. The area also features an unstaffed firearms shooting range and allows hunting in the park.
Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area doesn’t have spectacular rock formations or any breathtaking waterfalls, but it does offer free camping and amazing hilltop view of the Ozark Mountains and wooded valleys. A small stream runs through the middle of Busiek State Forest. When you pull through the parking lot, you can head south and cross Woods Fork Creek. After crossing the creek, follow the path that leads a steep hill that is quite vast, so you need to be in great shape to join the adventure. At the top of the hill, you will find a forgotten cemetery, most of the headstones are no longer legible as they date back as far as the Civil War.
The Busiek State Forest features two hiking trail systems, one is an 8-mile “West” trail system, and the other is a 10-mile “East” trail system. Each trail system has a span of 2 to 4 miles each with three color-coded loop trails. The trails are of mixed use, which means open to hiking, mountain-biking, and horseback riding. It is advisable to wear orange blaze if you take a hike or camp in the state forest.
The state forest features 18 miles of hiking trails, 9 campsites, and unsupervised shooting range. The area is accessible through US Highway 65. There are about nine primitive designated campsites in the park, all close to the “East” trail system. Busiek State Forest is actually close to the Mark Twain National Forest but is separated by several private property lands.
If you want to take a fantastic vacation that is filled with nature-friendly activities such as biking, hiking, and horseback riding, visit the Woods Fork Creek at Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area in Branson.
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