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Branson area offers numerous chances to get close to nature

Families can take in nature preserves, horseback riding and even Duck rides on the lake.
by Brandy McDonnell Modified: May 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm •  Published: May 12, 2013

With its plethora of flashy attractions and live shows, Branson has been likened to Sin City — without the sin.

The Missouri mountain town also happens to boast a much better view than Las Vegas, unless you're looking for showgirls.

The Heartland tourist destination sits prettily in the Ozark Mountains, and the stunning Marvel Cave, which Silver Dollar City was built above and around, has been bringing in visitors since 1894. Branson also boasts two beautiful manmade meccas for boating, fishing and other water sports: Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo.

Families eager to explore the great outdoors won't have to go far to find al fresco adventure:

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park: About 45 minutes southwest of Branson in Lampe, 10,000 acres of splendid forests, crystalline waterfalls and mysterious caves have been preserved for woodsy recreation. After hiking and walking the trails as a family, my son Chris, 18, and I took our first Segway rides, zipping after a tour guide up to the Glory Hole, a blue-green pool that's home to some of the preserve's largest trout. Meanwhile, my husband, Patrick, strapped our younger two children — Gabe, 6, and Brenna, 2 1/2 — into a kiddie cart and embarked on a self-guided bike excursion. We reunited for the wildlife tram tour, crossing into Arkansas to roam with herds of elk, bison and Texas longhorns.

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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