For a limited time, Branson’s shows won’t be the only live entertainment in Branson! From the first tint of color, until the last leaf falls, the fall foliage of the Ozark Mountains provide one of Mother Nature’s most amazing and beautiful shows. If the past is any indication, and everything keeps on going like it’s been going, visitors to Branson can expect a spectacular fall foliage show this year!
Frances Main, a Forester with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said that the moisture this summer, all the good leaves on the trees, and the weather thus far portends a good foliage season that should peak during about the second week in October. She points out that it’s the cool nights followed by bright sunny days that really help bring out the brilliant colors; it starts in mid-September when species such as Walnut and Hickory start changing and really coloring up; the Oaks, Maples, Persimmon, and other trees and bushes start to change shortly thereafter. Click here for more information on “Why Leaves Change Color” from the Missouri Department of Conservation.
“It will be a magnificent, one-of-a-kind sight to behold,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “One of our most asked questions is, ‘What’s the best way to see the foliage?'” Wood says that one of the neat things about the fall foliage in the Branson area is that there really is no one best way to see it because just about everywhere one turns they will be surrounded by its vibrant, colorful beauty.
That said, however, Wood points out that it’s hard to top the magnificent view of the Ozark’s foliage from the lofty heights of the 230-foot-tall Inspiration Tower. Located on top of Inspiration Point at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead, one of the highest points in southwest Missouri, it provides a unique and unparalleled panoramic view of the Ozarks’ countryside. Glass elevators transport guests up to the enclosed observation deck from which, on a clear day, they can see over 90 miles covering hundreds of square miles that presents a spectacular view of the fall foliage 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 of Branson’s beautiful fall colors 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 the lake as a backdrop, it’s simply breathtaking. While at the college, you might want to eat at the Keeter Center, visit the Edwards Grist Mill, or enjoy the Ralph Foster Museum.
Branson Tourism Center’s Wood also suggests two other ways to enjoy the fall colors in Branson: from the vintage dome cars of the Branson Scenic Railway, and from the deck of the Showboat Branson Belle on Table Rock Lake. They both provide unique panoramic views of Branson’s fall foliage.