One of the best things that Branson is known for is its great outdoors where you can find many exciting activities such as hiking, mountain biking, boating, camping, horseback riding, and many other outdoor adventures. Located on Fall Creek Road, just south of Hwy 76 (The Strip), The Lakeside Wilderness Hiking Trail in Branson offers a 5-mile (roundtrip) hike. Most trails are steep and difficult to hike but like other challenging trails, it is full of fun and excitement. The trail will take you down a 315-step decent to Lake Taneycomo shoreline. It then extends another 2 miles along the lake. You will be seeing a couple of small caves as well as sightings of eagles and other wild animals.
One of the exciting things that you can easily enjoy in Branson is in the entertainment district where you will find several theaters offering live shows, exciting attractions, museums, shopping and dining opportunities, and many other interesting tourist spots. Just a few yards away from the heart of Branson, you’ll find the beautiful outdoors of the Ozarks with pristine sceneries and unspoiled wilderness offering plenty of outdoor activities. If you want to breathe some fresh air, take a leisurely walk at the Lakeside Wilderness Hiking Trail which is just a short distance from The Strip. In this beautiful hiking trail, you will see a picturesque view of the Lake Taneycomo and the spectacular campus of the College of the Ozarks.
The Lakeside Wilderness Area which is just within the city limits of Branson is beautifully maintained and offers plenty of parking areas at the trailhead. It is behind Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater and just off Fall Creek Road. The first half-mile of the Lakeside Wilderness Hiking Trail is wide and perfect for adventurers of any age level whether inexperienced or seasoned hiker. You will find several benches in the area where you can take a rest if you feel tired. Pets on leashes are allowed on this area of the trail. After walking a few minutes on this trail, you may hear the rustling of the wind through the trees which makes you forget that you are a few hundred yards away from The Strip.
A half-mile hike along the top of the ridge, will let you see some wooden steps and the entrance to the Cliffwalk Stairway, the most difficult portion to hike on the trail. The stairway has about 315 stone steps that bring you down the hillside till you reach the shoreline of Lake Taneycomo. The concrete stairway was built in 1937 and 1938 and remarkably survived for seven decades. The descent on the stairway offers some of the best photo opportunities, with a spectacular view of the lake below. This part of the lake is underdeveloped and offers a very fascinating view of the beautiful natural scenery.
The Lakeside Wilderness Hiking Trail is a perfect place to enjoy a great hiking adventure after a day of fun and excitement from Branson’s shows and other fun activities.
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