Here’s the deal.  Running in Branson could kill you.  I’m not trying to morbid when I say that…have you even drove around this town?!  I’ll give you $20 if you can find a flat stretch of road that’s a mile long.

I’m waiting.

Fortunately, there’s a some very kind people who saw the need to create a few paved running trails for our fleet-footed (or not so fleet…) friends.  Not only are they runner friendly, they are scenic and beautifully maintained. 
 

 
  • North Beach Park touts a solid flat-as-your-back stretch of sidewalk that connects to the Branson Landing Boardwalk.  Park on the north end of the Landing (at the Belk end) and you’ll see the sidewalk along Taneycomo Lake.  In the summer, this is the coolest place to run.  The breeze coming off of the 48-degree water is like air conditioning!  This stretch of pavement is great because the scenic Taneycomo Lake views and the wild life that you’ll see on your run, including geese and ducks.  


 
  • Stockstill Park is owned by the city of Branson and is a beaut!  Park your car and you’ll spot the trail to the north.  The trail takes off to the left and follows the base of a hill and winds back through a field and then into a shady section of woods.  Be on the lookout for wildlife, such as deer and turkey!  This trail also runs in the vicinity of Roark Creek, which rolls into Taneycomo Lake to the north of the Branson Landing.  It runs beside a clinic and then forks to the right.  Take this fork to the right and you’ll cross under 65 and then climb up behind Cox Hospital (how fitting…) and find yourself at the roundabout by the Landing.  Which means…if you’re needing some miles for a long run, starting at Stockstill and connecting at the Landing might be your best bet!
 

  • At the Dewey Short Visitor’s Center, you’ll find the trailhead for the Lakeshore Trail.  This is a rolling (but not steep) 2.2 miles, out and back trail.  Let me explain why this trail is a 5-star trail!  This trail is thoughtfully placed along Table Rock Lake.  A majority of the trail is within eye shot of the lake.  Have you ever gone for a hot summer run and then jumped into the lake?  It is HIGHLY recommended!  The trail also runs through the Branson Belle parking lot and along Tablerock State Park Campground and Marina!  

    Enjoying a run or walk while in the Branson area is doable and there are a lot of great options.  Pack your running gear and get out there!  Also, all these trails are bike friendly too!  Nothing like getting home from vacation and telling your friends about your run in the Ozark Mountains!