The Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park has been voted America’s Best Aerial Adventure Park through a national public poll conducted by USA Today. This poll, which saw fans casting ballots for their favorite aerial attractions, ranked the Top 20, with Shepherd of the Hills coming out on top.
“Thank you and congratulations on this special recognition,” said Branson Mayor Edd Akers. “As a member of the original cast of the play, and knowing the impact Shepherd of the Hills has had, and continues to have, on tourism in our area, I am so pleased for your recognition.
“This is a special and creative addition of adventure activities that adds to the rich history of our area. Thank you for the opportunity to publicly acknowledge your success.”
This award is based heavily on the new things there are to see and do at the park, including a scenic canopy zipline tour, the highest, longest and fastest zipride in the state, the Vigilante Extreme, and the multi-level ropes course.
One of the park’s newest additions, the Ropes Course, is an outdoor structure featuring the same popular views as Inspiration Tower. Guests slip on a harness for safety, then they’re off for a variety of swinging bridges, rope walls, and several other fun features high off the ground.
Pricing for the course is $12 for anyone over 48 inches tall, as well as a nearby $5 Little Tykes course available for those under 48 inch limit.
For those seeking a more “traditional” zipline experience, the park also offers a Zipline Canopy Tour. Guests zip their way across the horizon from unique, tree-suspended platforms, taking in all the natural beauty the Ozarks has to offer. For folks just looking to try out zip-lining for the first time, the park also features a tour that requires nearly no hiking, or climbing of stairs, which makes it friendly for seniors and children alike.
Guests can also venture to the top of Inspiration Tower, a 230-foot structure located on Inspiration Point in The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead. Built in 1989, the Tower’s opening coincided with the 100th anniversary of Harold Bell Wright’s first visit to the area.
It cost approximately $1.5 million to build, contains more than 92,000 pounds of structural steel, and can withstand a constant wind of 172 mph or gusts of up to 224 mph. The Tower also contains more than 4,400 square feet of glass. Two glass elevators transport visitors to the observation deck where they can experience the panoramic views.
On a clear day, it is said one can see for more than 90 miles from the observation deck.
For those who are a little more daring, the Vigilante ZipRider launches from high atop the tower. The rider launches from Launch from 170 feet in the air and reaches speeds of up to 50 mph over the half-mile ride.
Not only does the Vigilante hold up to four people at the same time, there is no harness fitting or controls, folks just sit down in the seat
The park also features an Ozarks Off-Road ATV Adventure. There are two different adventures to choose from, one for “experienced” drivers, and the other for folks who want to “get their feet wet,” which includes some time for instruction and learning how to operate the ATV/UTV’s on pavement before heading off-road into trails.
All trail rides are a guided adventure through our property, led by members of the Shepherd of the Hills staff.
In addition to all the aerial and off-road fun, the Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead and Adventure Park is home to numerous family attractions, including live shows, historic homestead tours and more.
For nearly 60 years, the famous Shepherd of the Hills “Outdoor Drama” has been a mainstay at the park. The “Outdoor Drama” is a live reenactment of the famous historical novel written Harold Bell Wright and published in 1907. The play tells the story tells of life in the rugged Ozark Mountains of Missouri in the late 1800’s, and features such timeless characters including Old Matt, the pillar of the community, his son Young Matt, the strapping hero of the tale, his beloved, Sammy Lane, as well as the villainous Wash Gibbs and the vigilante Baldknobber gang.
More than 90 actors and actresses, horses, sheep, mules and donkey’s perform on a stage the size of a football field. There’s a shoot-out, the actual burning of a log cabin, a love story, a mystery and a moral message that is as true today as it was over a century ago. The homestead also features Morgan Chapel, Matthew’s Hall and Lil Pete’s Playland, as well as a new restaurant, which is currently under construction.
Later this year, the park will also see “The Toby Show,” the “Shepherd’s Christmas Carol,” and “Christmas with Dino” open later this year, while “North Pole Adventures” and the Trail of Lights will also return in November.
For more information on all there is to see and do at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead and Adventure Park, visit theshepherdofthehills.com.