Off The Beaten Path

Looking for unique things to do around the Branson area? Check out some of our favorite hidden secrets! These lesser-known and unusual destinations are interesting places that most people miss when visiting Branson.

Fall Fun in the Ozarks At Prairie Hollow

We love to celebrate Fall in the Ozarks with a variety of outdoor activities that will entertain the young and the young at heart!

Feel the crisp Autumn breeze on your face as you venture through the woods on an authentic hayride.

Challenge your navigation skills with every twist and turn of an Ozark Corn Maze, go after 8 PM and there may be a ghost or two hovering about the maze!

Take a stroll through the Pumpkin Patch, choose your favorite pumpkin, and then let your true artist emerge while painting your pick of the pumpkins.

Snuggle up with your loved one in front of a crackling bonfire while enjoying a steeping cup of Hot Cocoa!

All of these activities and more are available at Prairie Hollow Pumpkin Patch on Prairie Hollow Rd in Ozark, Mo.

Fall in the Ozarks is a time of magnificent color, beautiful weather, and fantastic activities for the entire family!

Roaring River State Park

Roaring River Spring flows from the base of a shady limestone bluff and produces an average of over 20,000,000 gallons of water each day.  This  clear sparkling spring is stocked full of trout, and provides some of the best fishing in the Ozarks.

The Park covers 3,358 acres and includes a rustic lodge, swimming pool, cabins, motel, conference center, campground, restaurant, nature center, hiking trails, and more!

The spectacular stone and timber lodge has 26 spacious guest rooms and suites, some with private balconies.  There are also 26 secluded rustic cabins spread throughout the park.

The conference facilities feature three meeting rooms, restaurant service, and a fabulous staff that will help you plan themed events.

If sleeping with nature is more to your liking, there is a beautiful campground nestled in the middle of the park.

Activities for the whole family are abundant at Roaring River. There is bicycling, golf, hiking, swimming, nature programs, fly fishing schools, and some of the best trout fishing in the region.

Opening day of trout season is March 1st and runs through October.

Eureka Springs

Victorian Mansions in Eureka SpringsNot far from Branson and nestled in one of the most rugged areas of the Ozark Mountains lies the unique town of Eureka Springs, AR. Secluded and peaceful with winding mountainside streets, Eureka Springs has a flair all it’s own. Historic hotels, unique bed and breakfasts,country inns, boutiques, fine art galleries, one-of-a-kind shops, craft emporiums, spas, museums and restaurants combine to make Eureka Springs an unusual and charming place to experience.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Eureka Springs  as one of its “Dozen Distinctive Destinations.” Streets are lined with Victorian homes hugging cliffsides, and the entire downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the 1800’s, the natural springs around the Eureka Springs area had a reputation as a destination for people seeking health remedies. Several old Native American legends tell of a Great Healing Spring in the waters of  Eureka Springs.

Eureka Springs, AR.This reputation continued as Europeans arrived and the waters of the springs gained a reputation of having magical powers. Within a short time Eureka Springs was transformed into a flourishing city, spa, and tourist destination.

Eureka Springs has a unique and  eclectic mix of people and lifestyles. The city is proud of its reputation as a diversity haven for those of all walks of life. The town is a popular destination for artists, motorcyclists, poets, church groups, and sculptors from around the world.

Eureka Springs is about 50 miles from Branson. For driving directions, or for more information on Eureka Springs, give us a call at

Berry Picking at Persimmon Hill Farms

Shortly after moving to Branson in 1987 just before the big “boom,” I began crossing trails with Martha Bohner, a delightful lady who was managing editor of the Branson Daily News.  One day she explained that she and her husband, Earnie, were developing a  “pick your own” berry operation on their small farm southwest of Branson to attract tourists coming into Ozark Mountain Country. They already had two acres of blueberries but planned to someday add fields of blackberries, raspberries and gooseberries.  The news soon came that Martha had resigned from her newspaper job to dedicate her energies to the berry farm.

Picking Blackberries in the OzarksThose early and continuing efforts by the Bohners have resulted in Persimmon Hill Farm, now a thriving berry, fruit and mushroom farm near Lampe that has become a highly popular destination point for Branson vacationers and local residents. Visitors to the Bohner farm can pick their own organically grown berries and also enjoy hot muffins, cobblers and other tasty treats from the gift center. It’s comfortable picking too. To the delight of berry pickers, the blueberries grow in clusters on 7-ft tall plants, and the blackberry plants stand in neat rows with berries exposed.
Persimmon Hill Berry FarmJim and Linda Adams, Indian Point residents, head to Persimmon Hill Farm when it’s blueberry time. “We love those tasty berries,” explains Jim, “and we always look forward to our Persimmon Hill journeys. The fields are well kept and the berries are in rows and easy to reach. There’s also a tree-shaded picnic area where you can relax with coffee and cold drinks or have a snack from the gift shop. We especially like the huge Thunder Muffins they make from their commercial kitchen.”
The Bohners have taken their “berry patch” dream much farther than originally planned. After winning first place with their Blueberry Barbecue Sauce at the American Royal International Barbecue Contest in Kansas City in 1994, a Blackberry Glaze for grilling and other sauces with additional awards soon followed. Adding log-grown shitake mushrooms initiated a gourmet product line, and a new Cream of Shitake Mushroom Soup will be introduced this year. There’s a wide offering of jams, muffins, sauces, mushroom products, fruit spreads, butters, syrups and specialty foods. More than 30 gourmet food products and gift items including a Persimmon HillFarm cookbook are shipped to customers from around the world. The Bohners also host a music-supported Blueberry Festival each year in June that raises money for a local charity.
To reach Persimmon Hill Farm, take Missouri 86 south and west of Branson and Kimberling City as if going to Dogwood Canyon, turn north onto Trace Hollow Road (Lake Road 86-63). Follow signs to the farm. During June and July, the farm is open daily from 7 A.M.-7 P.M., noon to 7 P.M. on Sundays. August, 7 A.M.-5 P.M. Monday-Saturday; September, 8 A.M.-5 P.M. Monday-Saturday; October, 8 A.M.-5 P.M. Monday-Friday. The blueberry season arrives in June, with the blackberry season running from late June to mid-July. Buckets and bags are provided.
For more information, call 417/779-5443 or
By Dave Rawson, Writer

The Buffalo River

A little more than an hour south of Branson lays the first designated National River in the US. The crystal clear waters of the Buffalo National River flows past towering limestone bluffs, through forested hills and mountain cliffs, to its concurrence 150 miles downstream with the White river. The upper Buffalo River wilderness is some of the most remote, rugged and beautiful in the entire Ozark Mountain region. This pristine region is a popular sightseeing, canoeing, camping, fishing, and hiking destination. This dramatic topography includes whitewater rapids, waterfalls, caves, sink holes and numerous scenic views. Popular sites include “Hemmed In Hollow”, the highest waterfall between the Appalachians and the Rockies, “Lost Valley”, “Alum Cave Natural Bridge”, Whitaker Point known as “Hawksbill Crag”, and numerous beautiful riverside campgrounds and hiking trails.

There are several areas of historical and cultural interest. One of the most notable of these is the Collier Homestead. There are Native American bluff shelters known as Indian RockHouse as well as pioneer communities like Erbie and Boxley. Scenery is outstanding with each season displaying its own colors and blossoms. Wildlife is abundant in the region including over 400 Rocky Mountain elk.

There is a visitor information center centrally located at Tyler Bend in northern Arkansas.

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