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Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area

Just North of Branson Missouri you will find Busiek State Forest Park. I had ran here 4 years ago and all I could remember was that it wasn't something that I super enjoyed, so this past weekend I decided to head back that way and see why...I hear from others that the park has some of the better running trails in the area (if you like technical...which I do). The most technical trail, as listed, in the Park is the Purple and Orange trail. It is 8.6 miles long. Perfect! I was suppose to run an 8 miler.

I was totally psyched and dancing to some music while driving my truck onto the dirt road that was suppose to lead up to the trail head. Pretty soon I was at the end of the road and in a parking area right next to the gun range. "BAM"! Where is the trail? "BAM"! Did I miss it? "BAM"! Come on, are you serious?! The trail starts on the Gun Range?! "BAM"! I made the decision to come back at a later date to run the Purple trail. I was wearing all black...I think bright orange may be better clothing if running in this area. I went back to the Yellow trail, listed as the second most technical and 4.3 miles in length. I could run it twice!

It had been raining and it is early November, the trail was muddy and covered in fallen leaves. The trail starts out over a concrete bridge and then leads into a very wide path. I get about a mile in and the trail stops at a fast flowing river. "What? Did I go the wrong way?!" I look for the trail marker. It's right there!!! I'm going the right direction. Opting not to go for a swim, I decide to go back and take the trail loop clockwise. About another mile in I AGAIN come to a fast flowing river! Bahhhh . No Yellow loop today, so the Red trail it is.

The Red trail was nice enough. The mud and water trickling across it made it funner. I would say 70% or more of the Red trail is wide enough for at least a Quad, I prefer single track. Though there was plenty of boulders, creeks, roots, and limbs to make it fun. Would I run there again? Yes. Though I will come back on a Monday when the shooting range is closed. The consistent shots going off wouldn't allow me to drift off and enjoy the moment, listen to my breath, feel my legs move, nor savor all the other reasons for going running.

Maybe the Purple and Orange trail might change my opinion...right?! It could possibly be THAT good :)


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