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Last weekend my cousin Sonya and I decided to hike Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area in Branson Missouri. Made up of 140 acres of wooded area it is the first of many hikes that is on my to do list.

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Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area is made up of two main tails with many small trails branching out from the main trail.   At the beginning of the trail there are remains of the 1911 Owen homestead.

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The trail is 2.3 miles of beautiful scenery and is accessible year round.
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The trail is full of hand built walls made out of stone that were picked and hand placed here years ago.

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Hand made benches made by local Boy Scouts make it easy to rest along the trail.

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Also there are many areas along the trail for picnics or just relaxing and enjoying the nature around you.

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Rock cliffs and narrow trails lead to a grotto and the Old Soldiers Cave.

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A message from the builders  is written in the mortar along with dates and names of those who built the steps.  The message says “Let those who tread here not forget, that these steps were not made of stone and mortar alone, but of sweat, blood, and agony.”

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One of the two caves that is along the trail has a small  opening just large enough to kneel down in.
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Over 300 hand made steps leading down to lake Taneycomo is numbered at certain points along the trail to keep you informed how many steps you have already taken and how many there is remaining.

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Taking a rest before I started up another set of steps and just enjoying all the beautiful nature around me.Shop Warby Parker Online

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Wildflowers line the trail along with beautiful scenery of Lake Tanneycomo below.

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Lake Tanneycomo can be seen in many areas as you climb down the steps.  Along on our trip the fall colors were just starting to show.

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Golds, browns and reds, made for such a beautiful hike along with beautiful views.

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The path gets very narrow ,winding and steep in places the trail is rated as difficult. Here you can see how narrow as Sonya stands on the trail.   At the end of the trail there is a wet weather waterfall.

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I loved setting down and just taking a minute to catch my breath and just enjoy everything around me.  DSC_0332.jpg

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Wildlife is abundant along the trail.  A squirrel sets listening as we walk by.

dsc_0399I can only say one bad thing about this trail and that is that there is a lot of traffic and boat noise because of where the trail is located. You just can’t hear and enjoy the silence of nature.

Leah

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