Lakeside Wilderness Hiking Area

HARD 75 reviews

Lakeside Wilderness Hiking Area is a 2.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Branson, Missouri 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.

DISTANCE
2.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
396 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

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.

hiking
10 days ago

13 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

Not impressive. Trails not marked well.

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

Nice set of trails that have small caves, a waterfall (rainy season), some history and a nice view of the lake. I was hoping for a longer off the beaten path trail system, but it was good 2 hour hike. I just wished that AllTrail had the same colored path system as the park map since phone GPS was spotty.

21 days ago

My cousin and I had a great time exploring out here. It was beautiful. We went out a little further and had fun climbing some of the different terrain. The scenery was beautiful, especially the waterfall.

23 days ago

Wonderful caves and waterfall!

hiking
24 days ago

A hidden gem right in the middle of Branson! My husband and I, and our 9 year old son loved it.

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

We take the dotted trail down along the cliffs. There are two or three small caves and waterfalls. We park a car at sunset park if we don't want to go back to the main entrance. Kids (9&11) love it!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

great views. be prepared for alot of stairs! made 100 years ago. I quite enjoyed this stop!

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago