Dogwood Canyon National Park, a 10,000-acre, heavenly haven on the Missouri-Arkansas line, offers a lively experience when you visit during the spring season.
The First Steps of Spring…
…are when the park awakens from winter repose like nature itself. Closed January and February, Dogwood Canyon greets early March visitors with an unparalleled silent pop-pop-pop of floral fireworks. During this time, the dogwoods are all opening up, the rosebuds are in bloom and the wildflowers are sprouting up around stream banks.
Maybe you spring to life simply by walking or riding a bicycle. You can safely explore streams, waterfalls and bridges—natural and man-made—on a paved, 6 1/2-mile trail on foot, a rented bike or even a Segway®. Segways have become so popular at Dogwood Canyon that since their introduction, the park fleet has doubled. The tours last 1 1/2 hours and traverse the roundtrip loop, covering countless points of interest including the Glory Hole, the great turquoise pond that’s home to the ruling class of trout.
But even in early March, it isn’t too soon to fish. Guides are available but not required. Neither are licenses, and you can either bring your own spinning or fly rod or rent one. And it’s keep-or-release in the first half-mile of stream. “The weather’s a little cooler and the fly fishing schools haven’t started yet so it’s not as busy,” Phillips explained. “It’s a great time to fish.”
The Second Spring Season…
…is filled with families with schoolchildren who descend on Bluegreen Wilderness ClubTM at Big Cedar®, The Falls VillageTM , The CliffsTM at Long Creek and Paradise Point. You will find visitors of Dogwood Canyon fishing, hiking, cycling, horseback trail riding or taking the tram tour, which Phillips said might be the most popular family activity at the park.
The two-hour, open-air tours offer sights not available from the trail, including the archeologically significant Indian Burial Cave. The tour also crosses into Arkansas for close-up views of bison, elk and other wildlife.
Spring in Full Swing…
…is the beginning of the fishing season in earnest. The park’s signature two-day fly fishing classes, offered through the fall, begin filling up in a hurry.
And if you come in May or later, you can go on a cattle drive. On horseback, you can help prod 30 Texas longhorns 6 to 8 miles across pastures before hitting the chuck wagon for lunch.
Pull Back Spring…
…and hit the bullseye. The archery demonstration and competition at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park takes place on a 3D course. Participants will take aim at five lifelike animals. Each target hit will have a different point level. First, second and third place finishers will all be crowned. All participants will receive a DWC Archery T-shirt.
If you’re coming to one of Bluegreen Vacations resorts near Branson this spring, and love the outdoors, you probably already know about Dogwood Canyon. But if you’re visiting Branson for the indoor music and shows, come see why the outdoors is a show in itself. Discover why spring at Dogwood Canyon is greater than the sum of its parts.