Busiek State Forest
Posted on March 14th, 2011
The Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Conservation Area covers 2,505 acres of mostly forested, steep and rocky hills about 15 minutes north of Branson. US Hwy 65 bisects the State forest, creating a 10-mile east trail system and an 8-mile west trail system. Each trail system has three color-coded loop trails that range from 2 to 4 miles each, and all are easily accessible from the highway. All trails are designated “mixed use” so they can be used for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. Motorized vehicles are prohibited. There’s also an unattended public shooting range along with nine primitive, designated campsites that require a permit from the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Southwest Regional Office in Springfield (417-895-6880). Busiek State Forest is a fairly typical Missouri forest without any specific main attraction. However, the trails offer pleasant vistas and valley views, with the Woods Fork Creek and the Camp Creek flowing across 2 l/2 miles of the preserve. It’s a good site for backpacking, hunting, fishing, hiking camping, bird watching and just relaxing in an easily accessible forested preserve that receives little traffic.
To get there, take Highway 65 about 14 miles north of Branson or 18 miles south of Springfield. Watch for the well-marked entrance on the East side of the highway.