Fall is a great time to visit the Branson Lakes Area. The leaves are just starting to turn, so we thought that we would take a driving tour to scope out some of the beautiful scenery. There are three driving tours, and one walking tour available on ExploreBranson.com that highlight some of the most scenic spots in the Branson-area Ozarks.
We decided on the driving tour that went around Table Rock Lake and through Kimberling City. We started at the Branson Chamber Welcome Center and turned left on Highway 248. At the stoplight at 248 and Gretna Road, follow 248 to the right, and continue straight through the next stoplight.
We stayed on 248 as it turned into a winding 2-lane road and climbed the ridge overlooking the city and the Branson Hills area. There are several spots to pull over to see the scenic mountain views.
When 248 crossed the Ozark Mountain Highroad, we turned left onto Highway 465. The four-lane highway is a scenic byway, and affords you spectacular views of the tree-covered mountains.
The Highroad ended, and we looped onto Highway 76 and turned left going west. Along the highway, we noticed some beautiful trees lining the road leading up to the Indian Point highway. We continued on 76, but you could take a side trip down Highway 265.
We continued down 76 into Branson West, and turned left onto Highway 13. As we left Branson West, we entered the Mark Twain National Forest, and were treated to some of our first views of Table Rock Lake. We then entered Kimberling City and quickly descended from mountaintops to lake level. We crossed the Kimberling City bridge and continued on Highway 13 through Lampe.
Highway 86 merges with 13. We stayed on Highway 13, unless you want to take a side trip to Dogwood Canyon. After a few miles, 86 and 13 split near Blue Eye. We turned left onto Highway 86 and continued along the south side of the lake.
We crossed the lake again at the Long Creek Arm bridge. We continued on 86 until it intersects U.S. Highway 65. We turned left and followed 65 back into Branson.
To learn more about fall foliage driving tours, visit here: http://www.explorebranson.com/fall/drivingtours