We spent a few days in Branson, Missouri which is about 4.5 hours from St. Louis. Branson is a very commercialized area focusing on festive shows and flashy entertainment. But, if you look closely, you can find a bit of tranquility. Just a minute off of the famous “strip”, is Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area. The area has a nice parking lot with restrooms.
From the parking lot, the trails start out to the right. We started out on the yellow trail and then hopped on the red trail to head down to the “Grotto & Waterfall”. This area was really neat since the trail leads to on top of the waterfall.
We noticed on the map that there was a cave on the red trail so we decided to hike the red trail to the cave. This is where things got difficult! The trail follows a bluff ridge high above Lake Taneycomo. The trail is not very well defined and after hiking quite a ways, we turned around.
Once we got back to the waterfall area, we continued on the red trail where we arrived at the “steps”. There is a neat cave to your right.
Tip: Be sure to hike down towards the lake first before going up! The trail winds around the bluff to the base of the waterfall! This area is really neat! I would have loved to see it after a good rain!
On a side note, we shared a hike with an older lady who was very kind and took our picture! If you happen to see this post, thank you for hiking with us and making our day!
From here, the trail ends so we backtracked and started to climb the stairs. There are 338 stone stairs and I loved the little signs that tracked your progress along the way! 😂 The steps were built during 1936-1938!
Once back at the top, the foundation of the historic Owen homestead is visible. We hiked the green trail that follows the stone wall around the homestead. The barn still stands today.
There is also a nice overlook!
From here, it was back to the parking lot for us. We took a nap and then headed off to Silver Dollar City! Stay tuned for more Branson adventures!