Lakeside Forest Trails

Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area is located in the heart of Branson and offers a nature escape with 140 acres of wooded and rugged hill country and 5.3 miles of trails. Both visitors and local citizens can enjoy this unique park with its two woodland trails that wind through forest, along bluffs and across glades. A set of 315 stone steps lead down toward Lake Taneycomo along a path that features a waterfall and cave. The property also features almost 2,000 feet of hand-built stone wells. An entrance feature with a large wooden log archway over an ornamental iron gate with a decorative native stone veneer welcomes visitors to the park. Other features include a nature playground and pavilion near the entrance. A covered porch swing that utilizes stone columns and rock from the original home site, established in 1911, can be found near a picnic area that provides beautiful views of Lake Taneycomo.

Park Videos

Click here to view a video of Lakeside Forest.

Click here to view a video of the Owens Homestead site.

Click here to view a video on how to utilize the GPS integrated map.

Park Maps

Click here to view a brochure and map of the park.  

Click here to utilize a GPS integrated map while hiking in the park.  

Click here to view the trail marker map. 


  • 140 acres 
  • 5.3 miles of hiking trails featuring a waterfall, caves and grotto
  • Views of Lake Taneycomo 
  • Nature playground
  • 315 stone steps
  • Pavilion and picnic tables
  • Public Restrooms

Park Hours

The park is open during day light hours only, dawn to dusk. 

Parks Rules and Regulations

  • Be considerate of other park users.
  • Please place all trash in receptacles, do not litter.
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
  • Smoking is not allowed in parks.
  • Pets must be on leash.
  • Please pick up after your pets.
  • Weapons are prohibited.  
  • Advertising, selling, or solicitation is prohibited.
  • No groups or individuals shall use the park for business purposes without permission.
  • Please stay on trails at all times.  These trails have been designed to discourage erosion and harm to natural communities.  
  • Please stay within park boundaries.  Respect land owner's rights and private property signs.
  • No fires.
  • Day use only.  
  • Destroying, cutting, or removing vegetation, including wildflowers, is prohibited.
  • Foot traffic only.  No motorized vehicles allowed.
  • Leave the park better than you found it. Enjoy!

Hiker's Guide

The Bluff Trail involves a strenuous one-hour hike which includes 315 stone steps to the bottom and a difficult return climb.  Be aware that surfaces may become slippery during inclement weather or depending on the season.  Please follow the instructions below:

  • Stairway Rules
  • Use handrail at all times.
  • Children under age 8 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Stay on the established trail at all times.
  • Running is not allowed.
  • Throwing or dropping objects is prohibited.
  • Footwear suitable for wet walking surfaces is recommended (sandals, slick-soled shoes, and high heels are not recommended).
  • No animals are allowed on steps, except service dogs.
  • Hiking the steps is not recommended if you have heart or breathing difficulties, have had recent surgery or illness, you are pregnant, you have a fear of heights, or any condition that may prevent you from strenuous exercise.


412 Owen Lane, Branson, MO  65616


Lakeside Forest trail
Lakeside trail
Lakeside Swinging Porch
Lakeside Playground