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“Lookouts & trails galore”

Reviewed July 5, 2013

We came here to go Geocaching. Don't know what Geocaching is? If you like being in nature and are looking for a fun, fairly inexpensive family (or adult) activity, look it up. This park starts off with a nice observation deck right off the parking lot overlooking Branson. There are plenty of loop trails to choose from varying in length & terrain. There are spots that open up to view the valleys & "balds." The Dewey Bald Trail is completely paved with only minor grades. At the top is a steel observation tower about 50 ft. tall (requires some stair climbing) and offers another great view in all directions. Was hoping to see a scorpion or tarantula, but no luck. My son was quite thankful for that. Nice place to stop for a quick look off the parking lot observation deck, or a longer hike to be with nature.

1  Thank tab1075
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 30, 2013

Though rated "difficult" at the Missouri Dept of Conservation web site, the 3.7 mile Homesteaders Trail was a moderately easy summer walk (for a pair of 60-ish couples). Just make sure to wear some sturdy shoes; some sections of the trail have rocks and roots. Other sections are abandoned roads -- quite wide and airy, yet shaded. At the trail head we found some 8-page guides to the trail; these have 15 "selected sites" identified and described, along with the distance from the trail head. The sites are well marked on the trail. It's nice to have your progress measured using the markers and guide.

I suspect that in spring there may be some wet sections, but the waterfalls and creeks were low or dry in late June. We saw a few ticks on our clothes, but the breeze kept the other flying insects at bay. The bird songs were delightful.

The walk took us three hours at a leisurely pace.

1  Thank doug_03053
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

You will need to bring your camera for this one. If your physically capable, do the whole thing, including climbing to the top of the lookout tower. You will not regret the view!

The trail up to the lookout tower is paved. We went in the fall the first time, and it was really glorious, leaves all over everything underfoot, and the view with all the trees changing colour was well worth it. Easy trail to walk, very hard to climb up and down, not for anyone scared of heights.

The second part of the trail takes you out into the balds. There is a lot of dolomite rock everywhere, and while it's fairly flat for the most part, it is not for anyone with balance issues. On my first trip here I saw a tarantula crossing the path, and a spotted skunk. Tons of wildflowers grow on the balds. Still easy level hiking here.

The third part of the trail is very short, just links you up to the fourth part. Totally worth going for, lots of little streams rushing over rock. Beautiful in the fall and the spring, especially when the dogwoods are blooming, it's full of them here. The trail is a little harder in areas, a little steeper.

The fourth part of the trail has a few open areas that are flat and easy to travel, quite beautiful. Tons of cedars twisted into weird shapes over the years. Some areas are very narrow, hilly, awkward to climb. Some trails are difficult to see, and you can easily find yourself following a stream bed instead of the trail. This is the most difficult part of the trail, but still just moderate.

A fun all day hike! Bring water, and take only pictures, leave no trace!

2  Thank Greenfireflygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

We drove up here to the outlook and got some great pictures. Lots of parking, and nice and quiet too!

Thank Eriisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2013

Was a great hike away from the hustle and bustle of Branson. My husband and I enjoyed getting out of the city and enjoying nature. The hike was easy the last part is uphill but not to hard. This was one of our favorite parts of Branson. Plus it's FREE can't beat that especially in Branson!

1  Thank Lunatrix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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