Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead Tour in Branson, MO

5586 W. Hwy 76Branson, MO 65616
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This one-hour seasonal tour of The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead offers a fun family daytime experience in Branson. The experience lets guests enjoy a Jeep-drawn tram ride that tours Old Matt’s Cabin—featuring antiques like old clothing, furniture, photographs, and more—and a church relocated from Morgan County, ending with a behind-the-scenes look at The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Branson Travel Experts
  • Family Friendly, very information, fun and interesting
  • Jeep drawn tram takes you on a 70 minute tour of the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead as well as a behind the scenes look at the Outdoor Drama.


from Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead Tour
In 1896, a young Christian minister by the name of Harold Bell Wright
came to these Ozark Mountains for his health. While staying here
Wright fell in love with this area and the rugged spirit of the Ozark
pioneers. In 1907, he published a novel, “The Shepherd of the Hills”,
about the hardships, trials, and tribulations of these people. The story
captured the hearts and minds of the entire nation. The book was so
popular it was translated into seven languages and was the first
American novel to sell a million copies worldwide. People began
pouring into this area to meet the characters and see the beautiful
landscape Wright had so vividly described.

“The Shepherd of the Hills” novel was the beginning of the Branson
phenomena. And now you have an opportunity to visit the homestead
where the book was actually written. Enjoy a ride in an open-air jeep-drawn tram through the wooded 160-acre homestead. Your Ozark Native guide will take you through Old Matt’s Cabin where three of the
leading characters in the novel actually lived. This log cabin sets just as
it did 130 years ago, and it is on the National Register of Historical
Places. You will stop at the highest point in Southwest Missouri, where
Mr. Wright camped while writing the book. The view is so spectacular
that he named this hill Inspiration Point. It is now the home of the
famous Inspiration Tower, a 230-foot observation tower and also six
statues of characters out of the novel. Next, you will head down to the
location of Old Matt’s Saw Mill and Grist Mill, which is part of the
backdrop for the Legendary Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Theater.
You will get a backstage look at how the book has so vividly been
brought to life for almost 60 years. It is the most performed outdoor
play in the world. And the tour wouldn’t be complete without a visit to
Jennings’ Still, where a real hillbilly will give you a look at the lost art of
making MOONSHINE!! Lot’s of Ozark history, laughs and good, clean
family fun!!

Reserve Branson Customer Reviews

Martin M.
Orwell, OH
7 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Great Experience!"
February, 2015
A must for history lovers. Read the book "The Shepherd of the Hills" available everywhere in Branson.
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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Becky B
" Nice trip"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed March 30, 2018 NEW
We take 2 trips a year with our kiddo and Grandma. Since Grandma just broke her back last summer, we weren't sure if she could do it. They were so accommodating with her. Very fun yet relaxed staff. The horses are well kept and this ride made us feel at home. A huge thanks to the staff!
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Montrose, Iowa
"Atv course"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed March 28, 2018 NEW
If you are looking for a great time and adventure look no further than shepherd of the hill Atv rides. The most fun we have had in branson. Jonny was our tour guide and made it a blast.
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Little Rock, Arkansas
"Trail rides"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed March 22, 2018
We took a one hour trail ride through the property. The horses were calm/gentle. The trail guides (2 with our group of 8) were knowledgeable and friendly. The scenery was beautiful. Would definitely recommend this!
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Missi L
"A walk back in time!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed March 14, 2018
What a beautiful story! My kids, husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the play this past fall. We have seen the play many times over the years and are never disappointed. We are all thrilled that the current owner is actively updating the grounds and bringing new and fun things to make us keep coming back. Can't wait to see what new things have been added this summer.
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Timonium, Maryland
"So Glad This Historic Play Is Still Operating! Please support it!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 08, 2018
"The Shepherd of the Hills" play is based on the best selling book of the same name authored by Harold Bell Wright. At one time this was the second biggest selling open air play in the world, second only to The Passion Play in Arkansas. There are numerous activities and gift shops at the Shepherd of the Hills homestead including several historical buildings, primarily Old Matt's Cabin. The actors in the play are local folks who do an excellent job and many of the roles have been passed down to fellow family members over the years. I go way back to the original location set-up when we sat on actual split log benches and the show was actually stopped one night when a skunk walked through the audience seating never saw people scatter so fast in your life. It startled the actors who actually stopped the play until the skunk has passed and re-started the play from there. Now it's a nice modern arena, with much better lighting, designed specifically for the play. Did I mention they burn down a building on stage every night? Oh, and the front row seats are the best because the animals running by throw up dirt clods into your lap. Talk about realistic special effects! This is not a Broadway play, this is a Southern MIssouri play about what life was really like back in the old days and I think you'll really like it. I know I do and have and over the years I've seen the play six times! Go...enjoy!
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Frequently Asked Questions about Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead Tour

How long is the tour?
The tour is approximately 60 to 70 minutes long.

When are tours available?
Tours in April run every hour on the hour beginning at 12:00pm with the last tour at 4:00pm. Tours May thru October run every hour on the hour starting at 10:00am with the last tour departing at 5:00pm.