Tourists from all over the country flock to Branson, Missouri, for its first-class entertainment, unique shopping, and one-of-a-kind restaurants, but did you also know that there are many outdoor adventures to be had in this Ozarks hotspot? There are so many fun opportunities that the only trouble you’ll have is deciding what to do!
You’ll experience the beauty of the Ozarks in a whole new way at Branson Zipline. Located just north of Branson off Highway 65, this adventure park is located at the scenic and tranquil Wolfe Creek Reserve and is one of the premiere ecotourism locations in Branson. The folks at the Wolfe Creek Reserve and Branson Zipline are devoted to conservation and education and provide lots of interesting information about the history and environment on each of their zipline tours. There is a wide variety of tours which means groups of any size and type can find plenty to do! The Blue Streak Fastline & Freefall Express is the shortest tour consisting of one blindingly fast zipline and a heart-pumping freefall at the end. The Flying Prospector Tour is perfect for families and clocks in at around two hours. This tour spans several different ziplines and your well-trained guide will tell you all about the ecology of the area. For parties that want to experience the beauty of the Wolfe Creek Reserve but who would prefer to keep both feet on the ground, the Wolfe Creek Photo Safari Guided Walking Tour is just the excursion for you. Your group will ride up the mountain in an authentic, vintage Swiss Army Troop Pinzgauer and then walk down at a leisurely pace, snapping photos of Ozarks wildlife and scenery along the way. Branson Zipline even has some night tours available for groups who already have a busy day planned with Branson shows. Best of all, they are open year round, assuring that you’ll be able to enjoy their exciting tours in any season.
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is one of the Ozarks’ true unspoiled gems. This 10,000 acre nature preserve sits south of Branson and spans the Arkansas border. The park is run by the Dogwood Canyon Foundation, a non-profit devoted to preserving the land and educating the public on conservation and the environment. There are so many things to do at Dogwood Canyon that no matter how you want to experience the park, there will be something for you. For walkers and hikers, a 6.5 mile walking trail spans the park. On your walk, you’ll cross hand-wrought, cast iron bridges, visit the rainbow trout at the beautiful pond, and stroll across an authentic, Amish-built covered bridge. If you’d prefer to see the park at a faster pace, you can bring your own bike or rent one from the park. Dogwood Canyon also has their own stables located on the shores of Little Indian Creek where you can make a reservation to take a guided tour of the park on horseback. The park also offers a two-hour long tram tour. On this tour, you’ll cross the border into Arkansas and see herds of elk, American bison, whitetail deer, and Texas longhorn cattle. There’s even a dinner tram where you can take the tour, see top-notch entertainment, and have a delicious dinner at the park’s Mill and Canyon Restaurant.
Animal enthusiasts will enjoy the National Tiger Sanctuary. This non-profit exotic animal preserve is the only one of its kind in the country making it a truly unique experience. The staff at the sanctuary is devoted to caring for the big cats who live there and offer several different guided tours geared towards educating the public about the cats. On the Awareness Tour, you’ll get to meet several of the cats and learn all about their distinct personalities. The guides also give you lots of information about the amazing big cats. If you choose one of the feeding tours, you’ll learn all about the cats’ special diets and maybe even feed the big cats yourself! If your group wants a truly in-depth look at the inner workings of the National Tiger Sanctuary, sign up for the Behind the Scenes Tour. On this tour, you’ll see twice as many animals as the other tours and feed the cats like you’re one of the crew.
Anglers from all over the country travel to Branson to take advantage of some of the Ozarks’ best fishing spots, and trout fishermen love Lilley’s Landing. This scenic, locally-owned fishing hotspot is located on the shores of beautiful Lake Taneycomo and is known for it’s friendly staff and world-class fishing. They also rent fishing and pontoon boats for a couple of hours to a full day. Also, if you’re new to the area and are not sure where the best fishing holes are on Taneycomo, inquire with the crew at Lilley’s Landing about their guide service. They will show you the best place to cast a line.
Branson, Missouri, is about fun. So, take in some shows, but also be sure to head outdoors to enjoy the beauty of the Ozarks.