The Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Conservation Area is located 14 miles north of Branson and covers 2,505 acres of steep, rocky hills and gravel bottom creeks. Visitors can backpack, enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and bird watching. Visitors may take self-guided hikes on 5 miles of nature trails. Biking and horseback riding are available on vehicle roads and in designated areas. There's also an unattended public shooting range.
So where to begin?! Since we didn't know our way around we followed the trail of cars that flooded in. We ended up on the East side closest to the bridge crossing the creek. There are 3 trails to choose from; the red, yellow and white trail. Our friends Amanda, Michael and their amazing dog Ozzie joined us for the hike. 2 k-9’s and 4 humans off on an adventure!
Busiek was so lively that day, that we decided to take the path least visited which ended up being the Red Trail. The Red Trail is about a 4 mile loop that normally has to begin by wading across the water. Thanks to Amanda, we found an alternative route which consisted of tree climbing. While we attempted that together, Ryan and Michael were convinced of a better way to get across.
Ryan chose to test his skills by taking a giant leap across the water, and yes it resulted in wet socks the rest of the hike. Michael and Ozzie found a fallen tree and fearlessly crossed it. Then there was Bella who not only crossed once by swimming through the water, but decided to attempt the routes the boys had taken as well. The red trail was not terribly challenging. A good hike for those who aren't as serious or want to bring young ones along.
The following weekend while Ryan was teaching swim lessons, Bella and I went to tackle the yellow trail. A little bit longer than the 4 mile red trail, the yellow trail had a steady flow of people with their families, dogs, and horseback riders. What I loved about this trail, was that the creek had sandy beaches with a rock bed and clear green and blue water. The climb up the trail was challenging and had fun twists and turns with many locations to stop and look across the trees. At about the halfway point, there is a beautiful creek that gently flows through the bed of rocks and a campfire pit nearby that I'm sure hosted hundreds, if not more people throughout the years. Nearing the end there is an old cemetery that surprises you around the corner just as you're about to make the journey down the hillside. I was so thrown off my guard that my curious spirit was being a scaredy pants and didn't stop to explore.
So far living in the Ozarks has been so fun and adventurous. Go explore your backyard! Next on the list for Ryan and I....
We are Ryan and Hannah Fullerton. We built a tiny home between fall and spring of 2014-2015. We sold it in may of 2015 and moved into a travel trailer full-time. We love to explore and go on adventures with friends. Our favorite sports are Stand up paddleboarding, and rock climbing. We train hard in the gym so that our bodies are strong and ready for our outdoor activites. Follow us on our journey to live small, but have big adventures!