Best Hiking Trails to Explore Around Branson, Missouri in 2024

This article has links to products that we may make commission from.

Branson is the gateway of the Ozarks and a very famous destination on its own. It’s the home of music, theatre shows, circus acts, and festivals galore. It’s also nestled in one of the most beautiful regions in the United States, and you’d be remiss not to get out and enjoy it. Some people even make the natural elements of Branson and the surrounding areas the highlight of their trip.

Thanks to the sheer number of hikes and trails around the area, you can easily go for a day outing and come back with enough time for dinner. This means you don’t need to camp (unless you want to) and can split your time between getting down with nature and treating yourself to a high-quality resort all in the same trip.

Branson Missouri

This is great news, especially considering how affordable resorts like Westgate are in the area and the great amenities they offer to make your vacation that much more special. Just have a look at their official resort site to see what you can get for your trip, and choose between their lake or woods locations based on the activities you want to get up to during your getaway.

Once you’ve booked your stay at the resort or any of the other great options in the area, plan out which hikes are closest to you. To help you narrow down from the hundreds of options to choose from, here’s the top picks for 2024.

Top Hiking Areas Near Branson

If you want to be able to pick and choose the hike you go on based on how you feel on the day, you’re better off heading to one of the nearby trail areas. These conservation spots are home to so many hikes that you will be spoiled for choice, and they’ll all be clearly marked out and cataloged based on difficulty and level of experience needed so you can safely pick the hike that’s best for you and your family.

Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area

Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area
Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area

This conservation area is a massive 1,500-acre forest preserve where you can go on your own self-guided trails. There are benches along many of the more popular routes and even an observation tower you can climb up to see the entire area from a bird’s eye view.

If you’re someone who loves chasing sunrises, then you’re in luck. This area is open from 4 am every day and closes at 10 pm. This way, you can plan your hike to catch a truly spectacular sunrise with minimal other hikers on the trails.

White River Valley Trail System

Another great area to explore if you want to have your pick of trails is the White River Valley Trail System. There are over 10 miles of hikes and mountain biking trails through the stunning forest area, with many amazing viewpoints along the way.

White River, Branson

Famous Hikes Around the Ozarks

If you want specific hiking trails, here are a few of the most popular and famous options around Branson:

Table Rock Lakeshore Trail

If you’re after a trail you can complete in the morning or afternoon, try out the Table Rock Lakeshore Trail. It’s 8.5 miles, so it will take you a few hours to complete and even longer if you take your time to enjoy the many views along the way. You’ll see great views of the lake and will end up at Table Rock, which is a great destination to spend the rest of the day (first and foremost, where you can get a meal).

Table Rock Lake waterfall
Table Rock Lake waterfall

Bluff, RidgeTop, Brent Tree, and South Loop Trail in Lakeside Forest Wilderness

If you want a loop that will take you back to the parking lot, then this loop trail is a must. It’s a shorter 4-mile hike that will take you through the woods and over bluffs and will also give you some great vista views of Lake Taneycomo.

Roark Creek Waterfall Trail

If you love waterfalls, then try out the Roark Creek Waterfall Trail. It’s been voted as one of the best child-friendly hikes in all of Missouri and for great reason. It’s a very easy 1.5-mile out-and-back (so 3 miles in total) that takes you past several waterfalls, including one massive one that’s 45 feet tall. Keep in mind that while there are stairs, they tend to get slippery, so be careful.

Lakeside Bluff Trail to Caves

If you want to add some beautiful caves to your hiking experience, then this 2-mile trail is for you. Not only will you see limestone bluffs and forests along your walk, but you’ll also see a beautiful hidden trail at the end, from which water falls.

Homestead Trail

If you are a big history buff and want to explore on your hike, then try out the Homestead Trail. It’s just 2.5 miles, and it takes you through Ruth and Paul Henning’s family homestead. You’ll see remnants of an apple orchard and vestiges of their property. The fields themselves are beautiful and a great spot for a picnic.

Branson Scenic Railway Trail

There are many old and unused railway tracks in the Ozarks, and this one in Branson is just one of them. The Branson Scenic Railway Trail is 4 miles long and will take you on a beautiful and winding path through the woods.

Sunset Park Loop

If you want a very easy walk, head over to the Sunset Park loop up on Table Rock Lake. The trail itself is just 1 mile, it’s well maintained, and it’s paved, making it ideal for those of all fitness levels and ages. Plus, you still get to explore woods and meadows, and it ends with a beautiful panorama that’s great for watching sunsets.

These hikes are just a peek at what Branson and the surrounding areas have to offer. The Ozarks is a nexus of bike paths, hiking paths, and more, with some routes even taking you across state lines. With so many available, you’re sure to find something to suit your trip and your fitness levels.

Best Hiking Trails to Explore Around Branson, Missouri in 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *