Branson’s Murder Rock Trail is just one of the many great places to hike in the area. While the name may be alarming, Murder Rock Trail is named so because of it’s interesting history. Located south of Hollister between The Communities at Branson Creek and JJ Highway, the trail is open to the public and makes for an exciting adventure for hikers, bikers, ATV riders and equestrians.
Murder Rock Trail trail boasts some great views of the roaming Ozark hills and delves into some of the mysterious mines and old communities of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It follows the course of a 19th century dirt road that was essential for trading and travel back in the pioneer days. Today, it is a well-maintained gravel trail that’s easily accessible, featuring a picnic area and signs directing visitors to the parking area and trail head.
Murder Rock Trail got its name from the many travelers who were ambushed and murdered by robbers who hid behind the large rocks that line the area. Alf Bolin and his gang were some of the most well known murders of the area and they were said to have hidden in a cave below the road. Rumors circulated after Bolin’s death about a hidden treasure somewhere in the cave and the area became a popular treasure hunting spot but no one ever found any hidden stash of silver or gold.
While you’re hiking Murder Rock trail, you’ll come across several fantastic highlights including the abandoned town of Melva, which was a successful lead mining community back in the late 1800’s. You’ll also cross paths with the town’s three mines: The Silver Moon Mine, The King Solomon Mine and the Josie B. Mine.
Murder Rock Trail is a moderately easy hike although some of the side trails that were old mining roads can be very steep.
Hike the historic 19th century road through the forgotten mines of the Ozark hills and you’re guaranteed to come across some very interesting things!
To see a trail map, click here.