6 Favorite Spots Where Locals Kayak in Branson

Jun 10, 2024

6 Favorite Spots Where Locals Kayak in Branson
By Westgate Resorts

6 Favorite Spots Where Locals Kayak in Branson

From hiking Branson trails to horseback riding in Branson, the city is full of ways to get in touch with nature and explore its scenic beauty.

Whether you're exploring tranquil lakes or full-fledged rivers, kayaking enthusiasts can enjoy pristine, crisp waterways and endless fun.

Top Branson Kayak Spots

1. Lake Taneycomo

2. Table Rock Lake

3. James River

4. Bull Shoals Lake

5. Branson Landing

6. Lake Springfield

Thanks to several kayak rental services throughout the area, you can get the right gear and even take guided tours to make the most out of your time on the water.

The Best Spots for Kayaking in Branson

The Branson kayaking scene is rich in history and beautiful scenery. From the idle waters of Lake Taneycomo to the invigorating White River, you’ll be able to find the perfect place to take your kayak out and experience a new side of nature.

Family kayaking is one of the most fun things to do with kids in Branson. After you’ve checked out all the main sights, head to one of these top kayaking spots on our list and enjoy a tranquil escape.

Grab your paddle and get ready to set out on your next adventure!

1 | Lake Taneycomo | Kayaking at Lake Taneycomo offers peaceful waters and beautiful sweeping views. Take in the scenery and enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the water.

Anglers will be thrilled to experience the best trout fishing in Branson here as well. Lake Taneycomo has over 750,000 rainbow and brown trout stocked every year.

Lake Taneycomo’s gentle waters make it one of the best spots for kayaking in Branson. Whether you want to fish, watch birds or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, you’ll have a great time on this tranquil lake.

Pro Tip: For kayak rentals in the area, try checking out Kayak Branson.

WHERE: 5439 Historic Hwy 165, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: (417) 336-2811



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2 | Table Rock Lake | Table Rock Lake offers 800 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 220 feet. Its gentle currents offer easy paddling, so it’s a great choice for beginner kayakers.

The massive size of Table Rock Lake also means you have more room to explore and really feel like you’re on your own, even when surrounded by others on the water.

Pro Tip: You can rent one or two-person kayaks from State Park Marina to tour the lake. Enjoy an abundance of trees, rock formations and clear waters as you explore.

WHERE: 380 State Park Marina Rd, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: (417) 334-2628


3 | James River | Experienced and new kayakers alike will enjoy tackling the rapids of the James River.

With lush forests and scenic views, it’s a fantastic spot for off-the-path exploration. There are class I and class II rapids to explore on the James River, so it’s important to plan ahead and understand which part of the river is suitable for your skill level.

Pro Tip: You can find the James River 30 minutes from Branson in Galena, Missouri. James River Outfitters, LLC, are the leading kayaking rental company in the area.

WHERE: 110 Y Bridge Blvd, Galena, MO 65656 | WHO: (417) 357-6443


4 | Bull Shoals Lake | The striking crystal waters of Bull Shoals Lake make it excellent for kayaking, fishing and relaxing. The artificial lake was built in 1951, and it’s been a staple of Arkansas, as well as Missouri’s outdoor attractions ever since.

Less popular among tourists, Bull Shoals Lake is a local favorite among Branson kayakers because it straddles both Arkansas and Missouri. You can reach Bull Shoals Lake by driving 20 minutes from Historic Downtown Branson.

The depths of the water vary from 620 to 680 feet, with an undisturbed coastline. Bull Shoals offers impressive views of Ozark nature and wildlife.

Pro Tip: Check out Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock and Marina Services for all your kayaking and boating needs.

WHERE: 140 Boat Dock Cove, Bull Shoals, AR 72619 | WHO: (870) 445-4424


5 | Branson Landing | For a more urban experience, consider taking your kayak out on the water surrounding Branson Landing. The waters of Lake Taneycomo are gentle and easy to navigate, so even first-time kayakers can have a great time exploring the water.

In addition to the lake itself, kayaking at Branson Landing offers great views of the 1.5-mile boardwalk and Branson Ferris Wheel.

Pro Tip: Lake Cruise Rentals is a short drive away and offers affordable rentals to get you ready for your water adventure.

WHERE: 7 S Boardwalk, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: (417) 332-0367


6 | Lake Springfield | This 318-acre artificial lake in Springfield, MO, was built for the James River Power Plant. Today, it is a popular fishing and kayaking spot near Branson that attracts water enthusiasts from all over Missouri.

The lake is approximately 30 feet deep, and the serene waters make it easy for first timers to learn how to navigate their kayaks.

Pro Tip: You can rent a single or two-person kayak with life jackets and paddles from the Lake Springfield Boathouse during the warmer months.

WHERE: 2312 Lake Springfield Park Rd, Springfield, MO 65804 | WHO: (417) 891-1550


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Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Places to Kayak in Branson

The best places to kayak in Branson, Missouri include Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo and the James River. These locations offer beautiful scenery, calm waters and various amenities for kayaking enthusiasts.

Yes, there are several places in Branson where you can rent kayaks. Popular rental shops include Kayak Branson, White River Kayaking & Outdoors and State Park Marina.

The best time to kayak in Branson is from late spring to early fall, typically from April to October. During this period, the weather is warm, and the water levels are ideal for kayaking.

Yes, there are guided kayak tours available in Branson. Companies like Kayak Branson and White River Kayaking & Outdoors offer guided tours that provide a safe and educational experience for kayakers of all skill levels.

Kayaking on Lake Taneycomo is generally safe for beginners, especially in the calmer sections. However, it's essential to check the current conditions and water flow, as the lake can have strong currents in certain areas.

While kayaking in Branson, you can see a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, great blue herons, river otters and a diverse range of fish. The area's natural beauty makes for a great wildlife-watching experience.

Yes, there are several kayak-friendly campgrounds near Branson. Some popular options include Table Rock State Park, Cooper Creek Resort and Campground and Indian Point Campground. These campgrounds offer easy access to kayaking spots and other outdoor activities.

For a kayaking trip in Branson, you should bring a life jacket, sunscreen, water, snacks, a hat, sunglasses, a dry bag for personal items and appropriate clothing for the weather. It's also a good idea to have a map or GPS device.

Yes, fishing while kayaking is popular in Branson, especially on Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo. Make sure to have a valid Missouri fishing license and follow local fishing regulations.

Branson hosts various outdoor events and festivals throughout the year, some of which include kayaking activities. The Table Rock Lake Paddle Battle and the Branson Tri-Lakes Triathlon are examples of events that feature kayaking. Check local event calendars for specific dates and details.

Branson Kayaking Adventures Await!

In between getting inked at tattoo shops in Branson or catching the best shows in Branson, there are plenty of thrill-seeking moments to discover in the city.

From horseback riding to golfing and hiking, it’s easy to find outdoor things to do around Branson, no matter your skill level!

A whole new world is ready for you to discover as you paddle along the welcoming waterways of this incredible city.

For more travel tips and restaurant guides, visit our Westgate Resorts Travel Blog.


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At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your Branson vacation awaits! Explore our Branson resorts today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.

* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.

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