Lakeside Wilderness Hiking Area is a 2.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Branson, MO that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area is in the heart of Branson and offers a nature escape with 140 acres of wooded and rugged hill country. Highlights include the 1911 Owen homestead, grotto, two small caves, and 315 stone steps. Trail 1 starts through an upland forest where mature trees dominate and the fairly level 3/10 mile trail makes for an easy walk to the steps. Along this portion you can relax on one of the rough hewn benches built by local the Boy Scouts. A set of 315 stonework steps lead down toward Lake Taneycomo. Fairly steep in design, this part of the trail takes some agility, along with a good pair of lungs and comfortable walking shoes. Many spots allow passage for only one person. The steps were built from 1937-1938. Inscribed in mortar on a step near the bottom are the building dates and the names of the workers, along with this testament of their hard work, Let those who tread here not forget, that these steps were not made of stone and mortar alone, but of sweat, blood, and agony. While walking the steps, you will see the first of two caves located in the wilderness area. At the bottom of the steps, the 1/5 mile Bluff Trail will take you by a grotto and waterfall and end at the Old Soldier's Cave. The total mileage for Trail 1 is 7/10 mile (one way). Trail 2 winds its way through forest and glades, making a 1 3/10 mile loop. This fairly level trail best suits families with small children and folks who desire an easier stroll. About halfway down the trail is a picnic area with tables. Oak-hickory forest makes up much of the woodlands, and during the spring, blooming eastern redbuds and flowering dogwoods enhance the landscape with their striking contrast to the stark forest. Also, note the large cedar-like trees with multiple trunks called Ashes Junipers. These uncommon trees are unique to the glades.
If you are the girl from Alaska with a puppy named Abby that I met at the box turtle, I would love to re-connect. Text me 316-670-2828 :)
Very nice and interesting trail system that is much quieter than expected. We basically followed AllTrails dashed lines which includes all of Bluff, Bent Tree and Owen Drive trails and part of South Loop and smaller part of Ridgetop. What is not shown on AllTrails is most of the 1.3 mile Ridgetop trail, the other half of South Loop, and none of the .4 mile Stone Wall trail (which I was informed is chigger infested). To find out more, go here
for trail info and here http://www.bransonparksandrecreation.com/files/
for map and some info. As a note, the Owen home burnt in September of 2015 after much volunteer renovations were completed, the stone walls were removed, and just 2 stone pillars remain along with a few out buildings. Very unfortunate.
Nice close and convenient multi level trail. Some easy and some challenging. Pleasant views and many birds and other wildlife.
Best hike in the Springfield Branson area so far. Great Lake, homestead, small winding trails through woods, caves, etc
good hike. few trails that go in all directions and loop back around. the waterfall is only seen during or right after a storm. plenty of places for a picnic or just to relax and enjoy nature
Great hike! A lot of trails. Easy to hard and various routes to take. Great views of the lake, Cabin and picture spots. Kid and pet friendly
I've walked, hiked n run these trails.
Great train. The stairs were killer.
Very beautiful! But must be careful with children.
It was really green and beautiful! I went early in the morning and steam was coming off the river very gorgeous! I would 10/10 recommend this hike for people who love nature!
Nice waterfall down flight of 200 plus stone stairs, good hike....
it was nice, but pretty commercial. could hear traffic and people...
Nice views and tough climb.
We are just starting to get in the woods great hike for the beginner to find out if this is what you want to do. The stairs will make or break you. we loved it.
Took the long loop through the forest on the red trail. It started off nice and easy and about halfway around to the river went full Oregon Trail on us. Rocky steep slopes, almost slippery declines. The trail was the water run off in some spots and we had to haul ourselves up with seemingly conveniently located vines and small trees. A total blast! And did I mention the stone stairs!
Enjoyed this trail in mid March on a warm day. Started with the Ridgetop Trail then joined with the South Loop Trail then on to the Bent Tree Loop Trail along the river/lake. Because much of the trail(s) are along/near the river, there are some big elevation changes. The South Loop Trail is through some low spots that can be wet/swampy after a rain. The highlight is the grotto and waterfall area and the cave at the end of the Bluff Trail. The 350 steps back up to the top from the waterfall area is a good climb but can leave you winded at the end of the hike. The walk along the river on Bent Tree Loop and Bluff Trail were my favorite.