Harold Bell Wright’s bestselling 1907 novel, “The Shepherd of the Hills,” about love, forgiveness, and life in the late 1800’s Ozarks was the real beginning of tourism in the Branson area. Since the publishing of the novel, the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead and its surrounding environs, where Wright wrote his novel and whose people and life it was about, has been bringing tourists to the Ozarks and Branson.
It was made even more so when the spectacular outdoor production, The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama started performing in the Ole Mill Theatre in a hollow on the Homestead in 1960. The drama presents Wright’s novel in an exciting action packed production with a cast of more than 90 performers; dozens of animals including, horses, donkeys, mules, and sheep presented in an outdoor amphitheater, covered by the stars, and surrounded by the very hills Wright wrote about. This legendary tale of love, Ozarks life and heritage is something that inspires as it entertains and will be remembered for a lifetime.
Today, thanks to the innovation of its owners, both current and past, the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead is a multifaceted entertainment complex offering a variety of excitement entertainment from an adventure park to ziplines, historical tours, and more with something for every member of the family. These include:
The Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead Tour: A fantastic daytime activity touring the historic Homestead and set where one of Branson’s favorite nighttime shows happens! The tour sets the stage for the outdoor drama, The Shepherd of the Hills, and gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into this legendary production and much more. You’ll take a tram across the trail of the homestead with an experienced guide, learning interesting details about a number of different landmarks, including Old Matt’s Cabin, the original home of the story’s main characters. It visits Inspiration Point, the site is where Wright compiled the notes for his book, and see statues of the key characters in the story and a monument honoring Harold Bell Wright, the author of ” The Shepherd of the Hills.” The tour includes visits to the site of Old Matt’s Grist Mill, where the “Old Mill Theatre” was carved into its wooded setting, as well as a visit to Jenning’s Still for an authentic, and comical, look into the lost art of making moonshine! The Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead Tour is a great way to set the stage for seeing the spectacular outdoor production of The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Play and discover a bit about the historical past of the Ozark’s hill folk of the Branson Area.
Shepherd with the Hills ATV Adventures: An ATV experience like no other, with two different “adventures” from which to saelect. Beginners to ATV’s can take a single hour excursion. The first 30 minutes includes instruction, tips, and practice on how to operate the ATV on pavement. The last 30 minutes is fun and adventure into the backwoods trails of the Homestead. If one hour’s not enough there is an hour and a half excursion including one “hour of deep off-roading that’ll make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.” All the off road trail rides, excursions, are a guided and led by Shepherd of the Hills staff.
Shepherd of the Hills Inspiration Tower: This iconic tower is 230 feet tall and sits on top of an Ozarks’ mountain high above beautiful Ozarks scenery and Branson. Constructed in 1989 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of famed author, Harold Bell Wright, the impressive structure incorporates more than 92,000 pounds of steel, can withstand a continual wind of 172 miles per hour or gusts of up to 224 miles per hour and includes more than 4,400 square feet of glass; enough to cover a third of a football field.
A glass elevator takes you up to the spacious, enclosed observation deck where you will see panoramic views that’ll leave you breathless! In any season, the view is spectacular, but there’s just something extra special about the spring and fall. On clear days you can see over 90 miles away! Its ground floor has a great gift shop filled with souvenirs and handy travel items, to a snack bar, and restrooms.
The Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park features a Zipline Canopy Tour, Rope Course, and Lil Pete’s Playland. They offer a choice of fun and adventure for every member of the family.
For more information on all the fun, excitement, adventure, and entertainment that the Shepherd of the Hills offers or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. BTC has sold over 5 million Branson show and attraction tickets; is proudly located in Branson, and is a BBB A+ accredited business. It and may be contacted by calling 1-800-785-1550 or visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.