Branson is considered by many tourists as one of the most popular vacation spots in the Midwest.
This is because of its world-class entertainment shows and it attracts nature enthusiasts due to its proximity to the three pristine lakes and the spectacular Ozark Mountains. Autumn hiking in Branson is a great way to enjoy the colorful foliage once you take a fantastic hike at some of the best trails in Branson such as Waterfall Trail, Table Rock Lakeshore Trail, Ruth, and Paul Henning Conservation Area, and White River Valley Trail System.
Waterfall Trail is a great place to enjoy autumn hiking in Branson as you can find here spectacular views of rock formations, a waterfall, and a dense tree canopy. The trail is only 2/3 of a mile in length which features unpaved footpath, rugged in some locations, and runs along a natural creek. It is located about 300 feet north of the intersection of Roark Valley Road and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. Waterfall Trail allows every hiker to enjoy a scenic and convenient hike in Branson.
The trail is connected to Roark Creek and features a fairly level hike. When there’s rain, the creek swells, so you may experience a muddy hike during the autumn season. The trail crosses several creeks, and some trails are muddy, so it’s a good idea to wear shoes. Along the way, you’ll find waterfalls and some bluffs. After you finished hiking, you’ll know why this trail is called waterfall – there are many foot-high waterfalls. This trail is beautiful from several angles, you can take a hike to the top of the falls and you can even sit on a rock nearby and see the beautiful landscape.
Table Rock Lakeshore Trail is a 4.4-mile moderate trail that offers several activity options and is a great place to enjoy autumn hiking in Branson. The trail offers an easy, paved pathway where every hiker will find it awesome to enjoy nature. When you take a hike on this trail that follows the lake’s shoreline, it winds through Table Rock State Park where you see a lush tree canopy for just over 2 miles. You will find it great to begin at the Dewey Short Visitor Center and continue your hike to the State Park Marina.
As you enjoy fantastic hiking on this trail, you can have the opportunity to see a picturesque view of the redbud trees and dogwood. You may get the chance also to experience wildlife sightings such as bald eagles in the tall oaks or fox and deer on the ground. If you want to enjoy more fun other than hiking on the trail, you can easily think of any water fun activity you want to enjoy the lake.
Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area is located in the White River Hills of western Taney County on the west side of Branson. Autumn hiking in Branson can be greatly enjoyed in this conservation area as the place is also home to five hiking trails that include Dewey Bald, Glade Exploration, Streamside, Shane’s Shortcut, and Homesteaders that course through the heavily-forested areas of the vast land.
The Dewey Bald Trail can easily be seen upon reaching the parking lot of the conservation area, just off Highway 76. This is the first trail that hikers can easily see. Stretching only 0.4 miles in length, this paved uphill trail leads to a 40-foot observation tower which offers visitors a panoramic view of the beautiful landscape of Branson.
Next to Dewey Bald Trail is the 1.1 mile Glade Exploration Trail which offers an easy and moderate hike. Next to it is the Streamside Trail which stretches only 0.4 miles and offers an easy and moderate trail. The Shane’s Shortcut Trail which also has a length of
0.4 mile is a bit more difficult to hike. This trail is connected to Streamside Trail and Homesteader’s Trail. The longest and the most difficult to hike of all the five trails is the Homesteader’s Trail which stretches 3.4 miles with a hiking time of 3 hours.
White River Valley Trail System features rugged areas which provide a challenging and enjoyable experience for hikers and mountain bikers. Scenic spots of the trail include small waterfalls, views of Table Rock Lake and LakeTaneycomo. The Trail System consists of four loops that include the Red Loop, Blue Loop, Green Loop, and Orange Loop.
The Red Loop on this trail system is the most technically challenging loop and contains several obstacles for the experienced hiker or mountain biker. There is a notice about the obstacle areas along the main trail and you should not try it if you aren’t sure of your skill level. This loop runs through upland and woodland areas with an easy hike for about 120 feet.
The Blue Loop is the longest and the most diverse loop among the trails. Some sections of this loop run along Lake Taneycomo before climbing to the glades of Baird Hill with an elevation of nearly 400 feet. This loop runs through the glade, grassland, and wooded areas and has great views of the surrounding area. This can be accessed from the trailhead at Trophy Run Road or white connector 5 on the north side of the loop.
The Green Loop has the highest elevation point on the trail system at nearly 1,200 feet. The loop runs through grassland, glade and wooded areas and has great views of the area. Trail hikers should take extra care to stay on the trail in this area as dangerous features such as loose rock, falling hazards and private property are nearby.
The shortest loop with an elevation of only about 110 feet is the Orange Loop. This loop meanders through some small waterfalls on Baird Mountain Creek. Orange Loop can be accessed only by white connectors 4 and 5. White connector 4 comes from the Blue Loop to the north, while White Connector 5 goes through the south of the Orange Loop and connects to the Green Loop.
Autumn hiking in Branson is a fantastic activity that locals and visitors alike want to enjoy as the weather during this time of year is not too hot and not too cold.