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Branson Lake & Outdoor Guide

Branson, MO is home to a cluster of gorgeous lakes and plenty of outdoor attractions that draw thousands of visitors to its location each year. Nestled among the towering Ozark Mountains, lush forests, and sparkling waters, you will find an array of wonderful activities and adventures to enjoy. Get in touch with nature and have a blast during your next trip to Branson, MO!

Branson Lakes 

Known for its stunning lakes, Branson is a hot spot during the summer months. If you are looking to cool off or enjoy great activities like fishing, swimming, and boating, a trip to one of these lakes is a must. 

Table Rock Lake 

Surface Area: 67.34 mi²
Shore Length (Normal Pool): 745 miles 
Fish Species: Largemouth, Smallmouth & Spotted Bass; Long Ear Sunfish; White Crappie; Bluegill
Limited Fish Species: Walleye, Warmouth, Striped Bass. 
Notable Features: Table Rock Dam; Fish Hatchery; Marinas; Campgrounds

Table Rock Lake is one of Branson's most famous waterways. This artificial reservoir is off the White River and was created with the construction of Table Rock Dam in 1958. Since its creation, Table Rock Lake has become a well-known location for a variety of attractions. Visitors can enjoy an array of watersports, including fishing, boating, and swimming. A few of the most popular features on Table Rock Lake include Moonshine Beach and Table Rock Dam. There is also a fish hatchery downstream from the dam which raises trout. As well as these water adventures, visitors can also make use of campgrounds along the lake as well as commercial marinas. 

Lake Taneycomo

Surface Area: 3.247 mi²
Shore Length: 52 miles
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout; Smallmouth Bass; Brown Trout; Largemouth Bass; Bluegill; Cutthroat Trout; Catfish; Bluegill; Walleye; White Bass
Notable Features: Cold-water fishing; Branson Landing; Rockaway Beach

This man-made reservoir runs off the White River and is a great place to go for fishing, boating, and more. Known for its cold water and diverse fishing opportunities, Lake Taneycomo is a fisherman's delight! You will find a variety of fish, but the most popular is rainbow trout which is supplied from a local fish hatchery off of Table Rock Dam. Lake Taneycomo is also home to a variety of great shopping, lodging, and dining opportunities off of its shores. As the most popular lake before the creation of Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo borders Branson's Historic District and places like Branson Landing. Lake Taneycomo is also unique in that it has characteristics of both a river and a lake, making it a must-have fishing location for those who are interested in the sport. 

Branson Boating Opportunities 

Getting out on the water in Branson is easy! Plenty of fun fishing expeditions, cruising opportunities, and boating excursions are offered in the area to make sure you can experience the water in a fun and memorable way. 

Branson Belle Cruises

On Table Rock Lake, the Branson Belle Showboat is the star! Book one of these fantastic lunch or dinner cruises to get some amazing views of the lake. You will also be able to enjoy delicious food and classic Branson entertainment while sailing along. 

Spirit of America Catamaran Cruises

Set sail on Branson's finest waterways with these fun cruises. After checking in at Table Rock Lake's State Park Marina, you'll climb aboard a fun catamaran boat where you'll sail along Table Rock Lake's impressive surface. See some beautiful sights as you learn the ropes from Captain Matt. This sailing adventure is the perfect way for newcomers and longtime boaters alike to enjoy the area. 

Branson Outdoor Adventures

Whether you want to enjoy ziplining, visit Silver Dollar City, or enjoy the challenge of a fun ropes course, there are plenty of great adventures to behold in Branson! 

Branson Sightseeing

Whether you take to the skies, a luxury van tour, or on an off-road safari tour through the Ozark Mountains, you can see Branson in some cool new ways! 

Branson State Parks, Historic Locations, and Hiking Trails

Table Rock State Park
For an amazing camping trip in Branson, there is no better place than Table Rock State Park. Nestled on the gorgeous Table Rock Lake, this state park offers amazing camping grounds, plenty of hiking trails to explore, marinas to get out on the water, and tons of adventures to enjoy. Whether you enjoy fishing and boating or just want to make s'mores with the family, a camping trip here is sure to be a blast. 

Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead
For those who love history and want to enjoy some family-friendly fun, a visit to Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead is a great choice. This site inspired the novel of the same name and encompasses the essence of the Ozark Mountain region. Shepherd of the Hills offers plenty of great tours of its historical sites as well as maintains Inspiration Tower, a vantage point that gives the best views of the area. You can also find an array of outdoor attractions, shows, and plenty of other fun for the entire family. 

Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area
This 1,534 acre preserve features stunning forests with self-guided trails, plenty of resting benches, and an amazing observation tower. 

White River Balds Natural Area
An abundance of streams and gorgeous foliage await at this location. This nature preserve offers 362 acres of grassy glades, hiking trails, overlooks, and wildflower meadows. 

Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area
This lakeside preservation features abundant wildlife as well as 140 acres of nature trails, a waterfall, and picnic tables. It overlooks Lake Taneycomo. 

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
This lovely nature park is filled with gorgeous water features. It also has plenty of trails for biking and hiking as well as great fishing spots, tram tours, and even cabins for rent. 

Notable Hiking Trails in the Area:

  • White River Valley Trail System (in Table Rock State Park)
  • Waterfall Hiking Trail: 1902 Roark Valley Rd

Caves in Branson:

  • Marvel Cave (Silver Dollar City)
  • Talking Rocks Cavern (423 Fairy Cave Ln, Branson West, MO 65737)
  • Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail (150 Top of the Rock Road, Ridgedale, MO 65739) 
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