All Posts Tagged: Dogwood Canyon

Branson Fall Activities

By: Michael Ayo

Summer in Branson has officially ended and the colors and flavors of fall are starting to take over. Pumpkin-spiced everything has hit store shelves and cold fronts are starting to appear on weather forecasts. It’s always exciting when seasons change, and the best way to celebrate is to try a few activities that are different than what you have normally been doing. Get in the seasonal spirit by trying out some of the following festivities during fall in the Ozarks.

Hiking

Some of the best fall activities are the ones you couldn’t do in summer because it was too hot. One in particular would be taking a stroll on your favorite Branson hiking trail. There are plenty of places to go hiking around town, from small waterfall trails to large state parks with miles and miles of scenery. Dogwood Canyon is always a favorite among visitors to the Branson area. With its six and a half mile trail, combined with the beautiful wildlife and entertaining amenities, hiking here should be at the top of anyone’s fall to-do list. If you want to hike inside the Branson city limits, check out trails at the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area or the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area.

Sycamore Creek Family Ranch

If your fall vacation to Branson takes place during the month of October, be sure to take a trip out to the Sycamore Creek Family Ranch for their Fall Roundup at the Ranch. This festival takes place each Sunday during the month of October from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free and there will be plenty to see and do such as family games, a gunny sack slide, farm animals and a hay bale fort. For purchase, you can pick your own pumpkin, take a ride in a tethered hot air balloon and go on a hay ride. There will also be bonfires, s’mores, concessions and fall décor to shop through.

McKenna Family Farm

You wouldn’t fully be engulfed in the fall spirit if you didn’t visit the McKenna Family Farm to see a fall harvest up close and personal. However, there is so much more than just pumpkins, tomatoes and cucumbers to sift through here. For a small admission fee you can visit the McKenna Family Farm that is basically a fall-themed amusement park. There are pumpkin patches, hay mazes, bounce houses, baby farm animals, a tricycle race track, hay rides and so much more. If you’re not interested in the attractions, there is also produce, pumpkins, baked goods and fall decorations available for purchase.

Halloween Festivities

There is much to celebrate during the fall season, and that is especially the case for Halloween. There are plenty of things going on during this spooky time of year and it’s highly recommended to experience as much of it as possible. If you’re vacationing to Branson at the end of October, but still want to take the kids trick-or-treating, try making your way to either the Branson Landing or Tanger Outlets. The Landing will be hosting their 10th annual Safe Street Trick or Treat where kids 12 and under can safely stroll down the waterfront boardwalk in costume while interacting with businesses giving out candy. There will also be a Monster Mash Street Dance beginning at 6:30 p.m. that day.

Similar to the Landing’s event, Tanger Outlets will be hosting their Trick-or-Treat TangerStyle. Select Tanger stores will be passing out candy to children 12 and under dressed in costumes from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For adults, TangerStyle coupons will be given out so they can shop after the Halloween festivities have concluded.

Zombie Hunt

Keeping with the Halloween spirit, one fascinating activity to try out this fall is the Paintball Zombie Hunt. Located at the Branson Cedars Resort in Ridgedale, this interactive and slightly spooky attraction allows you to hunt the undead with a paintball gun mounted on a customized zombie assault vehicle. No protection or eyewear is necessary, and you won’t be getting shot back at. All you do is sit down in the vehicle and shoot some zombies with their “flesh eating” paintballs. Branson Cedars Resort hosts this event each weekend in October from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and the cost is $22 for ages 13 and up and $18 for kids 12 and under.

Shows

One other fall activity you can’t try anywhere else but Branson is seeing all the fall-themed and customized shows. TheHughes Brothers Theatre and their “It Show” have shows that cater toward Halloween and Thanksgiving during the fall season. Taking place on Oct. 22 and 26 and Nov. 23 and 24, the Hughes brothers will give Branson visitors incredible shows customized to the holidays. Their “Howling Fun Show” will give attendees a $5 discount if they wear a costume to the show and prizes will be given out for the best costumes. Bags of treats will be given out as well. For the “We’re Thankful for You Show,” the cast will put on a special 10 a.m. show that combines a Thanksgiving theme with their popular Christmas show.

Veterans Day Festivities

Veterans Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in Branson. A great number of visitors come from all over the country to get together and honor those who have served in the armed forces. From Nov. 5 through 11, various events will be held to celebrate veterans and all their sacrifices made in the past. Those events include special shows from the “Baldknobbers Jamboree,” “Golden Sounds of the Platters” and so much more. The events will conclude at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 with the 83rd annual Veterans Day Parade through downtown Branson. If you are a military veteran or just someone wanting to show appreciation, the beginning of November is a great time to check out what’s happening around the Ozarks.

There is so much to do from September through November in Branson, and the beautiful fall foliage can be seen everywhere around the Ozarks. Those two reasons make fall the perfect time of year to take a Branson vacation. No matter what you decide to do, there is always plenty of fun to be had and memories to be made.

Article courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.

Hiking the Ozarks

By: Michael Ayo

Fall is fast approaching, and with it comes the changing of colors and temperatures. The heat of summer makes it hard to spend hours outdoors exploring the wilderness. However, the cooling temperatures of fall make it the perfect time to do just that. When the weather starts to cool off, know where in Branson you can find hiking trails to fully take advantage of the crisp temperatures.

There are several parks and areas located throughout the Ozarks that feature some of the best hiking trails in Southwest Missouri. With the large amount of parks, trails and nature areas around town, it’s almost impossible to name them all. There are some, however, that are more popular than the others.

Perhaps the most popular area to hike is also the one with the most activities to try out as well. Dogwood Canyon is located just southwest of Branson in Lampe, MO. This park covers 10,000 acres of Ozark landscape and features a six and a half mile trail that winds past waterfalls, limestone bluffs and spectacular wildlife. If you want to get the experience of hiking without walking all that distance, biking, horse rides, Segways, and tram and jeep tours are available at Dogwood Canyon as well. There are also a number of different spots to fish along with an education center and restaurant onsite.

Branson’s most rigorous hike resides inside the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area. This area’s hiking trail is over four miles long, and features a set of 315 stonework steps constructed in the 1930’s. Aside from the steps, the Lakeside Forest has a number of different things to see along its hiking trail. Those who hike the entire trail will see an old homestead and barn, a grotto, waterfall, two caves, and immaculate views of Lake Taneycomo and the countryside.

Another popular area to go hiking is the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area. This four-mile area includes four different hiking trails, each with its own degree of difficulty. The Homesteader’s Trail is the most difficult, spanning almost three and a half miles long. The next longest is the Glade Exploration Trail, a moderate hike just over a mile long. Another difficult hike is Shane’s Shortcut. While labeled as “difficult,” Shane’s Shortcut is only .3 miles in length. The final trail is the Streamside Trail, a moderate hiking trail that is .4 miles long. These trails cut right through the heart of the Ozark Mountains, providing plenty of incredible views along the way.

Another scenic hiking trail is located along Roark Creek in Branson. This trail spans over three miles long and is mostly paved, except for the last half mile. While this trail isn’t as difficult or treacherous as others you may find in the Ozarks, it ends at a bluff overlooking the creek which provides a great view of the surrounding landscape.

Other hiking trails you may want to visit while vacationing to Branson in the fall are the ones inside the White River Valley Trail System. These trails are located within Table Rock State Park and feature various degrees of difficulty and terrain. The four different trails in the system can connect if you wish to hike the entire 10 miles, and there will be plenty of scenic views of Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake along the way.

While exploring the outdoors there aren’t many sights more beautiful than that of a waterfall. Branson’s newest hiking trail, conveniently named the Waterfall trail, features just that. This two-thirds of a mile long trail is unpaved and runs along an unnamed tributary of Roark Creek. Along with the waterfall, there are also two creek crossings, a dense tree canopy and magnificent rock formations to see while hiking this trail.

Part of what’s great about fall is the cooling temperatures. If you find yourself on vacation to Branson this September through November, make time between show schedules to do some hiking and explore the beauty of the Ozarks on one of these trails. From waterfalls and rock formations to roaming wildlife and old homesteads, there’s plenty to see.

Article courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.