Table Rock State Park
Our relatively short drive from the previous campground was gorgeous. The rolling hills were filled with blooming trees, flowers, green pastures, and shelf rocks. Stunning scenery!!
Missouri itself offers an abundance of things to do, the “Show Me” state. Branson specifically, seems to be the center of a tourist mecca with a plethora of whatever you need or want to do. It’s there! We rode our bikes, did a couple of nice hikes, and poked around.
Historical Branson and what is called “the strip”, visited the College of the Ozarks, rode the Branson famous “Mountain Coaster”.
We spent the day at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, a rugged landscape that has been left untouched and, with just a little imagination, you 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. Today, the park includes a fully functioning mill, restaurant, conservation center, bike barn, a treehouse built by Animal Planet's Treehouse master's and a horse stable facility. We took a guided tram ride through the park. Johnny Morris CEO of Bass Pro Shops owns the land. Every turn was more breathtaking the last.
We have been partaking in way too much local food – LOL! Good stuff here!! Oh well….we’ll walk or ride off all those extra calories……
The first highlight of this portion of the trip was a tip we received from a volunteer at the Table Rock Army Corps of Engineers visitor center (very nice place FYI). He spotted Mikes camera and knew with that equipment, he wasn’t your ordinary tourist. He told us of a small park in town that had a large Bald Eagle nest. So….we headed there and hit gold…..Mama, was in the nest – Daddy showed up with more nesting material and food………and then…….we saw one of the baby’s head pop up. Wowzer! What a fantastic moment!
The second highlight was a tip from our camping neighbor who’s lived in this area all his life. He told us of a “must do” hike. We headed back to Arkansas (about an hour’s drive) to a place called Hawksbill Crag. It’s noted on the web as one of the top 10 hikes in the US and number 1 in Arkansas. It did not disappoint! The hike was scenic and when we got to the Crag (a large rock that overhangs a valley), the views were breathtaking!!! The only other hike we can compare it to was when we lived in San Diego, we hiked “Potato Chip Rock”.