Dewey Short Visitor Center
Posted on March 8th, 2011
On your next visit to Branson, be sure to schedule a stop at the Dewey Short Visitors Center at Table Rock Dam, named after a former U.S. congressman and Assistant Secretary of the Army who was born and is buried in nearby Galena.
Visitors of all ages will enjoy the free natural history exhibits and films that provide great background and materials for vacation memories and scrapbooks. There’s also a well-maintained, gentle 2 1/2 mile paved hiking trail that meanders through dense woods along the lake’s shoreline. It extends from the Center past the Branson Showboat landing and ends at the State Park Marina. Along with squirrels, waterfowl and other wildlife, you’ll see plenty of boats and people enjoying fishing and other water sports. The Table Rock Trail also takes hikers close to the put-in site for the Ducks, amphibian boats that make dramatic, splashing entrances into Table Rock Lake. ( For more on this trail and other hiking trails, click here.)
The popular site, which has ample parking for cars and buses and a courtesy dock for boaters, is a great location for “bank” fishing, sunbathing, having a picnic or just relaxing for awhile on one of the many park benches. Don’t be surprised if you notice scuba divers taking advantage of the deep, clear waters. It’s an ideal site for the divers, as the lake here reaches a depth of 180 feet and is home to huge catfish as well as many other varieties of fish!
To reach the Dewey Short Visitors Center, take State Highway 165 for about six miles from Branson’s 76 Highway. The Center is at the south end of Table Rock Dam on the right. Construction of a new, 15,000 square foot center that will allow for more exhibit space is underway and is projected to be completed by late summer.