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.
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.
Great hike! We took the blue trail that goes down by the lake and along the bluff. Great for adults and older kids but I would be nervous about taking anyone under at least age 8. There are some pretty steep drop offs where the path is very narrow.
fun little hike. nothing to difficult except for figuring out what trail your on.
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