Branson Hiking: Table Rock Trail Hiking Guide

October 7, 2022

The great outdoors are calling! This lakeside trail is the perfect path to wander for spectacular nature sightseeing.

In addition to hiking, Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, is a gem of the Ozarks known for boating, fishing, and swimming. The Table Rock Lakeshore Trail is a little over two miles long and is considered easy. Hikers of all skill levels are welcome! So lace-up your hiking boots to take your own Table Rock hike today.

Visit from March to October for the best exploring. Spring means a burst of bright green and vivid flowers. When the season moseys into summer, bright sunshine bathes the trail in magnificent light (however, you won’t want to forget the bug spray during this time of year!). Fall brings with it a swirl of deep colors that peak in October.

No matter the time of year, hiking near Branson ensures you’ll come across plenty of great views. Ready to hit the trails? Keep reading for everything you’ll need to know on your Lakeshore Table Rock hike!

ground view of Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area in the autumn with orange leaves in Branson, Missouri, USAWhat to Bring on Branson Hiking Trails

Pack your hiking backpack with all the essentials before embarking on Branson walking trails. At the top of the list? Water! Especially if you’re hiking in the summer, you won’t want to leave the house without plenty of H2O.

Next, we recommend some comfortable hiking shoes or boots. The trail surface is asphalt, so you won’t need anything heavy-duty. However, you will be logging some miles -- so make sure you’re not wearing shoes that cause blisters or discomfort.

Of course, you’ll probably want to bring some snacks along. Trail mix is an obvious choice. Or, pack some flavorful beef jerky. Another option is to save your appetite for one of Branson’s fan-favorite restaurants!

Other considerations when packing include:

  • Wear layered clothing. If the day begins on the warmer side, pack a light jacket for later, just in case. If it’s cooler at the start of the day and then heats up as the day goes on, you’ll have space in your backpack to store extra layers.
  • Bring a first-aid kit to err on the side of caution. You never know what may happen on an outdoor hiking adventure. Preparation is key.
  • Don’t forget your camera! Whether you’re a full-on Instagram influencer or just want to capture memories, a camera is essential. Get some landscape shots as well as some shots of your crew!

Pro Tip: Remember to run a quick Google search for a Branson hiking trails map before you set off. While Table Rock Lakeshore Trail is pretty straightforward, it’s still a good idea to have a map on hand in case of any confusion.

For a complete guide to packing for a Branson trip, check out our post, Branson Packing List: What to Bring & What to Skip!

Close up photo of the sign for Table Rock Lakeshore Trail in Branson, Missouri, USA

photo credit: NWA Indian hike/trek via Facebook

Parking at Table Rock Lake Trails

You’ll find the main trailhead at the Dewey Short Visitor Center at the top of Table Rock Lakeshore Trail. The visitor center offers a parking lot in addition to restrooms.

Two additional Table Rock trailheads provide parking, too. One parking area is the Showboat Branson Belle Trailhead, which is typically only open during the operating hours of the Showboat Branson Belle. Therefore, parking may be sparse during this time. The other option is the Table Rock State Park Marina Trailhead.

Pro Tip: The trail is wheelchair accessible! We suggest parking at the paved lot of the Dewey Short Visitor Center. The trail’s surface is smooth pavement with a width of about five feet. 

exterior view of the Dewey Short Visitor Center in Branson, Missouri, USABranson Hiking Flora and Fauna

Wildlife run-ins are abundant on the Table Rock Lake Shore Trail in Branson! Keep an eye out for deer, foxes, and squirrels. Look up for a chance to spot bald eagles, cardinals, and bluebirds! 

On the upper side of the trail, you’ll encounter oaks over 200 years old. This forest heritage is a sight to behold. Peer between the trees to catch a glimpse of the lake! It will be easier to see the lake through the forest depending on the season.

Most of the trail is shaded by towering trees. In spring and summer, this leafy green canopy will help shield you from the sun (although it’s still probably a good idea to pack sunscreen!). In autumn, watch those same leaves softly drift to the ground like falling glitter.

Additionally, keep your eyes peeled for wildflowers in all shades of vibrant color!

aerial view of Table Rock Lake along the Lakeshore Train in Branson, Missouri, USA

photo credit: Table Rock Lake via Facebook

More Branson Fun

Don’t just walk the trail and leave. Spice up your hiking excursion! If you’re visiting in the warmer months, bring along a swimsuit to take a refreshing dip in Table Rock Lake. Jump into glassy water for a break from the hot summer sun.

Additionally, pack a picnic. Enjoy a smorgasbord of cheese, crackers, and deli meats for the perfect hike day lunch!

If you’re really digging the Table Rock Lakeshore Trail, consider making it an all-nighter. Table Rock State Park is home to various camping sites!

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for more hiking, Branson lays claim to numerous trails. The Roark Creek Trail is another one to check out! For those who love hiking, Branson is the place to be.

Once you’re ready to make the approximately 10-mile drive back to the city of Branson, there are many more vacation activities in store! 

If you’re trying to go easy on the budget but still pack in plenty of entertainment, grab discounted tickets for one of these popular attractions:

Need a place to crash for the night? Make a reservation at a Branson hotel on the cheap! Savings don’t have to mean sacrificing luxury, either.

Finally, if the budget is even more restricted, you can still enjoy Branson! Check out these free things to do in the charming city.

Take a Table Rock hike today!

The Table Rock Lakeshore Trail is a hiker’s hotspot. Pack your backpack for a day in the gorgeous outdoors! A mix of colorful leaves, bird sightings, and sparkling lake views make this a must-hike trail. 

Once your hike is over, take the chance to explore the rest of Branson. This tourist town has an endearing personality filled with seriously fun attractions. Whether you’re up for more outdoor adventures or ready to come inside for a show, Branson delivers!

Have You Hiked the Table Rock Lakeshore Trail?

Leave us a comment below!


michaela smiling holding magazine with body of water in background

Written By Michaela

Michaela is a journalist who views every story she writes as an adventure, leading her to explore new places and meet new people. She is based in the Midwest ...

Want to write for Tripster?

Have something to add? Post it here:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>