Lakeside Wilderness Hiking Area

HARD 90 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
27 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of options on this hike, you can hike through this area without taking the steps but taking the steps is an adventure. They are definitely a workout, but doable if you allow yourself to take breaks when needed. This can be a scary hike for someone afraid of heights. The views are great and this is a park that has very easy access. You'd never know you were in the middle of Branson! If this hiking area had more rails on the steps (some parts were without rails) and if the waterfall was not dried up, I would have given it a 5.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

This was a fun trail. Not super easy with lots of down then up but nice scenery. I'm a fan!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous views at the top and the waterfall and rocks at the bottom are really cool!

2 months ago

great trail.

2 months ago

Nice hike. Kids really liked it.

2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

I really enjoyed these trails. Some were quite easy, on the other hand, some were quite challenging.
The hard ones were the most scenic, beautiful, and interesting.
I took the hard trail up out of there; skipping all those stairs.
This is at the top of my favorites.
The negative is that the trails are not marked well. You definitely need a map; this is the link.
http://www.bransonparksandrecreation.com/page.php?id=16

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Not impressive. Trails not marked well.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months 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.