“Git yer bod on a quad!” One of Branson’s more unique outdoor attractions is Triple-G ATV Rides, which is located about 10 minutes north of Branson near Walnut Shade.
The 500-acre Triple-G Ranch is a working farm that has rugged ATV trails and offers some great views of Ozarks wilderness, including creeks, ridgetops, forests and more. The ranch is actually only a short drive from the Branson Zipline, so this is a great activity to do before or after zipling or hiking in the Buseik State Forest!
After checking in and getting sized for our helmets, we were assigned bikes (as the ATVs are called). Our tour guide drove a “mule” ATV and each of us got 4-wheelers to drive. The equipment was relatively new, comfortable and appeared to be in good mechanical shape.
Two of us in the group had never driven ATVs before. After a briefing from our guide, Ben, on how to operate an ATV and a safety class, we started the engines and took off for Triple-G’s “training course.” We quickly got the hang of driving ATVs under some real world conditions, including making tight turns between trees and operating the bike on uneven ground. Within a few minutes, we were all pros and ready to hit the trail.
It might sound a bit boring to have a guided ride … why not just let us drive whereever we want? But we found it was actually a very good thing. Our guide led the ATV caravan and was able to show us the best places to stop and take pictures. We had to admit that we would have quickly gotten lost or into bad situations without his guidance.
Ben led us through the woods down a steep, well-worn trail. This was the steepest part of the ride, and required us to take sharp turns and drive through a dry creek bed. We drove over a bunch of large rocks and a few natural stone steps, so quickly we had to get used to driving the vehicles under bumpy, “all terrain” conditions. But our guide never got out of eyesight, so if anybody got stuck on a rock or in a muddy spot, he was there to help.
It had rained the morning of our tour, so we drove through some muddy and water-filled spots. But the vehicles are pretty good at keeping their drivers dry and away from the mud that the tires sling up. We also crossed Bear Creek at a gravel bar, which gave us an opportunity to drive directly through running water.
We stopped at several spots to take pictures, survey a mountain crest or to take our helmets off and rest for a moment. Most of the trail was rugged and very bumpy — so the going was slow — but there were a few open fields where we were able to get the bikes up to about 20 MPH.
The two hours passed quickly, and within moments of returning our ATVs to the Triple-G barn, we were already talking about our next trip. In all, the course was challenging and very fun! There’s something really addictive about ATV riding, and this beautiful ranch is a great place for this activity.
7698 State Hwy 176
Walnut Shade, MO 65771
Cost: $50-$65 per driver for a two-hour guided ATV tour; passengers can ride for $25 (Plan to tip your guide)
Gas and safety helmets are provided
Wear closed-toe shoes and plan to get a little dusty or muddy
Drivers must be at least 16
Drivers carrying a passenger must be at least 18
Pregnant women are not allowed to drive or ride