Branson Horseback Riding
The expansive landscape of mountains, hills, valleys, lakes, and forests found in and around the Branson area is not only a stunning sight to behold, it's accessible to visitors in a wide variety of ways. An excellent way to see the beauty of Branson is on horseback!
If you have your own horse, a nice section of the extensive acreage of Busiek State Forest is accessible by trail, with 18 miles of maintained trails shared by hikers, horseback riders, and bicyclists. This gorgeous, multi-use state maintained forest is just a few miles north of Branson.
The Branson area also features several horseback riding services; including Bear Creek Trail, Dogwood Canyon, Shepherd of the Hills, and Uncle Ike's.
Bear Creek Trail Rides
A one hour guided ride is available at Bear Creek Stables in Walnut Shade, a small picturesque community just 10 minutes from Branson. Using gentle, well-trained horses, they'll guide you on a relaxing walk that crosses pastures, meanders through wooded areas, and climbs up and down a few hills. You'll even see a pretty waterfall when you venture along Bear Creek.
Dogwood Canyon Horseback Riding
Dogwood Canyon will have a wrangler guide you on a two-hour trail ride where you'll enjoy incredible views of the breathtaking Ozark Mountains. You'll travel to ridge tops that afford you a 360 degree view of the Ozarks, and make your way down winding valleys and across rolling pastures. On most trails, you'll encounter some wildlife; on this journey, you'll actually see buffalo and longhorn cattle! You can also discover what it's like to be a cowboy. The ultimate cowboy experience has you gathering the herd of colorful Texas Longhorn and driving them to greener pastures. Following that new adventure, you'll settle in for a hearty meal at the chuckwagon site.
Ozark Mountain Trail Rides at Shepherd of the Hills
Ozark Mountain Trail Rides is located on the gorgeous and historic Shepherd of the Hills Homestead. The same property where you'll find the long-running, famous outdoor drama based on the best-selling book, The Shepherd of the Hills, and the Inspiration Tower, from which you can zoom down on the Extreme Vigilante ZipRider. The Homestead offers a one-hour horseback trail ride through the lovely Ozark hills. It's a mostly shaded area, so even summer-time riding can be pleasant, and the horses are exceptionally gentle and well cared for, and expertly trained. Your journey will include seeing the Old Mill Theater where the outdoor drama is performed, and you'll even be riding one of the drama's featured actors. Yep, that's right; you'll be riding a horse used in the show!
Uncle Ike's Trail Ride
Probably the area's oldest trail you can explore on horseback is available through Uncle Ike's Trail Rides. They've taken riders along these trails since 1970, and many of the trails date back to the 1800's; fitting for Lee Morrill, the only real-life character portrayed in Harold Bell Wright's world-famous novel, The Shepherd of the Hills; a story in which Wright gave Postmaster Morrill the name Uncle Ike - it stuck. Uncle Ike was the postmaster of Notch, a tiny community just a few minutes from Branson and Indian Point, where Silver Dollar City is located. In his day, the mail was delivered on horseback, thus the creation of trails you can still travel along today. These shaded trails are cut through more than 150 acres that you'll enjoy on the back of a healthy, well cared for and much loved animal, in the hands of a capable guide.
As you can see, enjoying Branson and the Ozarks on horseback is easy for the seasoned rider and novice alike!
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