The Branson Lakes Area Offers Year-Round Outdoor Recreation
BRANSON, MO -- The cool, crisp weather of late autumn and early winter is an appealing time for outdoor activities in the Ozarks. Fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and other pursuits are year-round opportunities for sporting enthusiasts.
Situated between three pristine lakes, many of Branson's water activities are available even during Ozark Mountain Christmas. Table Rock Lake is a popular recreational lake drawing millions of visitors each year. Fishing for bass, crappie and other species, boating, swimming, scuba diving, and many other types of water activities are offered on Table Rock Lake throughout the year.
The lake never freezes so it is ideal for enjoying water activities even in mid-winter. From November 3 through December 31, the Showboat Branson Belle offers lake cruises with a holiday flair. The enormous stern wheeler offers several cruises with live entertainment, festive meals and spectacular views.
Lake Taneycomo, famous for its rainbow and German brown trout, traditionally has a large role in Ozark Mountain Christmas. The narrow lake formed by the damming of the White River, begins at the Table Rock Dam south and west of Branson and winds for 22 miles to Forsyth. During the Ozark Mountain Christmas season, the Lake takes on a new role as center of some of the most popular lighting displays. The nativity scene, with figures up to 40 feet tall overlooks Lake Taneycomo and evokes an awe-inspiring reminder of the Christmas season.
Additional displays are featured on the Taneycomo lakefront opposite the downtown area and on the brightly decorated Taneycomo Bridge. The Polyhedron Music Star sits atop Mount Branson to welcome visitors to the downtown area.
Bull Shoals Lake offers much of the same recreational and sporting activity as Table Rock Lake, but in a more rural and secluded environment. On both lakes, the relatively mild temperatures during Ozark Mountain Christmas usually mean good fishing for largemouth, small mouth, Kentucky and white bass, as well as black and white crappie and bluegill.
Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lakes all have plenty of lakeside resorts to accommodate families who enjoy outdoor recreation. Many of the marinas and docks remain open all year and some lake attractions operate on special holiday schedules during Ozark Mountain Christmas.
November and December are ideal months for experiencing the rugged Ozark hills first-hand. The winter landscape of red cedars, ledge rock, pine and leafless oaks presents an invitation to outdoor enthusiasts who want to truly experience the Ozarks. Established nature trails are offered for hiking and biking and for those who like to hike off-trail, the hills await the exploration.
The Branson/Lakes Area is a perfect hub from which to discover the area state parks and forests. With almost 20,000 acres of land dedicated to green space, the state parks and forests are ideal for hiking, biking, fishing, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, studying nature and exploring nearby caves. Dogwood Canyon, a 10,000 acre privately owned wilderness refuge offers tram tours that allow guests to spot herds of Elk, Bison and Texas Longhorns. Caving has been a popular pastime for Ozark residents and visitors for years. Area caves offer immense rooms and fascinating formations in this subterranean wonderland. Marvel Cave at Silver Dollar City, Cosmic Caverns, Talking Rocks Cavern and Fantastic Caverns in Springfield, all offer tours of the grottos.
The Branson entertainment scene includes dazzling shows, family attractions crystal clear lakes and awe-inspiring natural formations. No matter the kind of entertainment sought, the Branson/Lakes area is sure to deliver with spectacular style.
Information provided by Mandy Schwarz of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau