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Enjoy 'Outdoor Paradise' By Horseback

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park Offers Ozarks Beauty And History

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is an “outdoor paradise” located in Lampe, Missouri, close to Branson. This one-of-a-kind experience highlights the exceptional beauty of the Ozarks, with 10,000 acres of pristine Ozark Mountain landscape, crystal-clear trout streams, dozens of cascading waterfalls, ancient burial caves, unique hand-built bridges, wildlife and bottomless, blue-green pools.

The Park includes a fully-functioning mill, restaurant, conservation center and a treehouse built by Animal Planet's Treehouse Masters.

Aside from a few amenities to make Dogwood Canyon Nature Park more accessible to guests, the rugged landscape has been left untouched. With just a little imagination, one can travel back to a time when European settlers first entered the area or, even further, to explore the mark that Native Americans left on these Missouri hills and hollows.

Enjoy the 6.4-mile roundtrip tour by walking or biking on mostly level pathways, or even by Segway. If walking, plan on about 3 hours with plenty of stopping to take photos. There are great spots along the way to eat a picnic lunch. For those who aren't up to a big walk, there is a 2-hour tram tour that allow guests to ride over bridges and low-water crossings.

Another way to explore the beauty and serenity of this Ozark Mountain paradise is on horseback. No matter what skill level, this horseback riding experiences allows visitors to explore the Ozarks through the eyes of early settlers, discovering areas of the park not seen by the tram or from walking and biking trails. You can enjoy a 1-hour ride (for all-level riders) or a 2.5-hour ride that is for more experienced riders and includes a break for lunch. Before setting out, guests can visit the new Little Indian Stables with 24 stalls where they can meet the horses.

Experienced wranglers guide guests on a leisurely ride, exploring ridges, hollows, old logging roads and other scenic views. All participants must be at least 8 years old and 48 inches tall, weigh no more than 250 pounds and be able to ride on their own (one rider per horse).

For the more adventurous, there’s the Cattle Drive, the “ultimate cowboy experience.” Riders gather and herd colorful Texas longhorns and eat a hearty meal following the round up at the chuckwagon site. There’s also a 5- to 6-hour advanced horseback ride through emerald pastures, wooded areas and Little Indian Creek with lunch provided. 

The mission of Dogwood Canyon, and its owner Johnny Morris—founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops--is about conservation and education, as well as working hard to protect the land and wildlife. Operated by Dogwood Canyon Foundation, visitors enjoy a carefully maintained landscape, while learning about conservation and interacting with nature up close.

When Johnny purchased the property in 1990, he says he wanted to create a nature park where he could bring back some buffalo and elk that were native to the area and also have a place for people to fish and hike.

It underwent a major cleanup after the Flood of 2017. The reconstruction of the park took a total of five months, 130 laborers, hundreds of dump trucks worth of soil and 10,000 pounds of trout. It reopened on Sept. 30, 2017. Today, 30 years later, it remains a magical place where thousands of visitors to the Branson area can experience the beauty and history of the Ozarks. For more information and tickets: