BRANSON, Mo., September 15, 2012 –From the first tint of color to “leaf fall,” the foliage of the Ozark Mountains in Branson provides a beautiful canvass for the colorful show that takes place each Fall as it changes color. Greg Cassell, Resource Forester, for the Missouri Department of Conservation said that the foliage color typically comes with warm days and cool nights and, in the Branson area, peaks during the third week in October.
“Even during this hot dry summer, the Branson area was blessed with key rains, and although the Fall foliage will not be as spectacular as it has been during some years, it will still be a one of a kind sight to behold and a Branson show not to miss,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “One of our most asked questions is, ‘What’s the best way to see the foliage?'” Johnson responds that there really is not just one best way and points out that the neat thing about the Fall foliage in Branson is that it’s simply there at just about every turn.
That said however, Johnson suggests that the following should be near the top of anyone’s list in terms of a “unique panoramic” view of the Fall foliage. It would be hard to get a more unique, up close or better a panoramic view of the Ozark’s foliage than from the decks of Main Street Cruise Lines’ Lake Queen. At first blush it might seem inconsistent to use the terms “up close” and “panoramic” together, but in the case of the Lake Queen it is an accurate depiction.
Lake Taneycomo, is a long narrow impoundment of the White River, with its shorelines being much closer together than Table Rock Lake. A typical sightseeing cruise on the Lake Queen provides an up close chance to view the Eagles, Great Blue Herons, other birds, deer and see panoramic vistas not available through any other means except water. As the foliage changes color, these panoramic vistas turn into a a magnificent “canvas” of natures painting that has to be seen to be believed.
Another unique view comes from the lofty heights of the 230 foot tall Inspiration Tower located on top of Inspiration Point, one of the highest points in southwest Missouri, at The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead provides an unparalleled panoramic view of the Ozark’s foliage from a different, but unique perspective. Glass elevators transport guests up to the enclosed Observation Deck from which, on a clear day, they can see over 90 miles and hundreds of square miles of foliage presenting a spectacular view of the Fall foliage that is not available anywhere else.
There are a number of “Scenic Lookouts” that provide a superb panoramic view of the Ozark’s Fall foliage. These include the Lookouts on State Route 165, about a mile south of its intersection with State Route 265; the Table Rock Dam Overlook, located on the south end of Table Rock Dam across the road from the Visitors Center and the Henning Conservation Area Lookout located about a mile west of the junction of State Route 76 and State Route 376 on the north side of the road.
Another excellent panoramic view is provided at “Point Lookout” on the campus of the College of the Ozarks. Located on top of a bluff overlooking Lake Taneycomo it provides a unique view of Branson’s Fall foliage not available anywhere else with Lake Taneycomo winding through it. It is simply breath taking. While at the college you might want to plan to eat at the Keeter Center and visit the “Edwards Grist Mill” and the “Ralph Foster Museum,” called the “Smithsonian of the Ozarks.”
Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson also points out that a cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle, on Table Rock Lake, or ride on the Branson Scenic Railway also provide unique panoramic views of Branson’s Fall foliage.