I am on the hunt for a new hiking trail in the area. Running or jogging is not my thing, but hiking or going on a good walk is what I like to do. I have little endurance for running long or short distances.

The closest trail found near where I live in Union is the one at Veterans Memorial Park. I checked out the trail over the weekend in the blazing 100-degree heat. It is a very nice trail with a wide, paved path, trees for shade, and plenty of benches and trash cans. I enjoyed walking past the ponds at the park as well.

This trail sort of reminds of the Lakeside Wilderness Forest Area trails in Branson. It is commonly referred to Owen Homestead property. A man named Lyle Owen purchased the property in 1934 and added 360 feet of mortared wall with flower beds and stone retaining walls 200 feet wide. In September 2015, the homestead caught fire. I don’t think the cause of the fire has been determined yet, but I’m assuming arson. The next year, the parks department built a nature theme playground, pavilions and a porch swing on the property.

The Lakeside Wilderness Forest Area is a common hiking spot because people like to look at a spectacular view of hillsides and view of Lake Taneycomo located in front of the homestead. If you hiked down from that view, there are 315 stairs that lead you to a lake bluff.

Yes, I carefully walked down all those steps and since there is only one way back up, I walked all the way back up the stairs. It is quite a workout. When you go down the steps, you enter into a cave-like area that is very cool. There is a framed photo on the handrail of a rainbow that forms when it rains and water falls down the cave area.

There is a handrail to help you try and make it back up the stairs alive.

If anyone knows a good hiking trail in the area, I’m all ears.