We stayed at the Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri. Quaint from the outside, my cottage (other rooms and housing units are available) featured a king-sized bed and a Jacuzzi-style bath, both of which would have been used far more had the weather been colder. But with so many other activities going on, they didn’t see any use.
Not only were the cottages well-outfitted, but the dining establishments on-site were phenomenal. Between the breakfast buffet at the Devil’s Pool Restaurant (and the equally delicious lunches we enjoyed there) and a dinner at the Osage Restaurant, the food is hard to beat.
There’s also plenty for the kids at Fun Mountain. Go-carts, a ropes course, a gyroscopic version of bumper cars, laser tag, a climbing wall, an arcade, a golf simulator and a bowling alley, along with several other games are all available. And these events aren’t just for the kids. As one of the younger members of our group, at 27, I can definitely say we all had a blast at Fun Mountain.
We also took a trip to the Bass Pro Shops Shooting Academy. The clubhouse itself is a building in which I could have spent the day, but we had work to do at the sporting clays range. We tested several shotguns, and I felt they all did a beautiful job on clays. (Especially after seeing some of the guys and gals bust apart pieces of clays still in flight after breaking up the original clay!)
Aside from these attractions, the lodge is also home to the Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. Spanning more than 10,000 acres, our group was able to take up some guided fly fishing for trout and check out the conservation center, complete with a life-sized bald eagle’s nest. For reference, I’m 5ʹ6ʺ. I didn’t get to go horseback riding or do any guided nature tours, but maybe next time…
These are just a few things we had the pleasure of experiencing while at the Big Cedar Lodge. Though there was so much to do in so little time, and we didn’t get to experience all the lodge offers, it may very well be the scenery I miss most.
While traveling for an event with Winchester and Browning, I expected to be wowed by the guns and ammo we were testing, but one of the real treats were the accommodations and amenities awaiting us at Big Cedar Lodge. Located just outside Branson, Missouri, the lodge bills itself as "America's premier wilderness resort," and I'd have to agree. I’d go again in a heartbeat (in fact, I’m already planning it), whether I'll be shooting or not.