BBOnline Member SINCE 2005

White River Lodge

738 Ozark Hollow Rd, Blue Eye, Missouri 65611
Innkeeper(s): Becky and Bill Babler

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park Revisited 20 May 2016, 4:22 pm

Dogwood Canyon Entrance

Dogwood Canyon Entrance

At White River Lodge we love to recommend a Dogwood Canyon visit to our guests. At the end of November 2015 DWC closed to finish their mill, store, restaurant, and education center project and reopened in May 2016. Being a guest and innkeeper favorite, I headed that way to check it out. After driving west on 86 hwy for about 10 miles, I pulled through the entrance and winded my way down the hill to the parking lot where I met a friend. We went up to the Welcome Hut and read out park options. We opted for the walking pass that we purchased for $20 each. We then entered through the new building with Indian artifacts and Ozark history and windows looking out over the Indian River and a huge falls. There is a cafe at one end that we enjoyed after our walk–good food, service, and what a view.

Outside across the walk way is the gift shop and you may also sign up for a tram ride, Segway, or bike rental for an extra charge of course. We started our walk and toured the tree house that was built last year and now you may tour it inside–fun. We continued on the paved path, same as in years past. They do give you a paper guide so you can read about the 24 points of interest along the way. While we encountered trams, bikers, segwayers, and other hikers along the way, we didn’t feel rushed or crowded and often were the only ones in sight. For those that would like to spend the day or more and do multiple activities, there’s a pass for that. New brochures are in the works and you can go to their website and facebook page–it’s a two thumbs up!

DWC Choices

DWC Choices

Mill entrance at DWC

Mill entrance at DWC

Dogwood Canyon new building

Dogwood Canyon new building

view from cafe at DWC

view from cafe at DWC

Persimmon Hill Berry Farm 7 May 2016, 6:43 pm

Persimmon Hill Farm entrance

Persimmon Hill Farm entrance

At White River Lodge bed and breakfast we try to use good local products when available.  We found Persimmon Hill Berry Farm in Lampe back when we opened in June of 2005.  There were fresh blueberries and blackberries that you could pick or buy fresh.  Then there were products made from their produce too, like blackberry jam–so yummy on fresh baked biscuits.  They also have baked products like their Blueberry Thunder Muffins.  I was there at the end of April to pick up some more of their Blueberry Amaretto Syrup that I like to serve to our B&B guests over Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes for a Springy breakfast. A few years ago Persimmon Hill added an enclosed air-conditioned addition where they now serve breakfast, lunch and desserts.  They open the cafe to customers May 3.  As we left we noticed the blackberry bushes in bloom and saw some little green berries on the blueberry plants–they should be ready the first part of June.  We like to send our interested guests over there too.  Sometimes they come back with goodies to enjoy at home or gifts for family.  The Berry Farm is located about a mile or two pass Dogwood Canyon on the other side of the road on the way to the Kanakuk camps. Just follow the “bear” signs.

Blackberry bushes at Persimmon Hill

Blackberry bushes at Persimmon Hill

"green" blueberry bush

“green” blueberry bush

Consider a guided fishing trip on Branson area lakes in 2016 20 Feb 2016, 11:31 am

Fisherman on Table Rock Lake.

Fisherman on Table Rock Lake.

While Branson is known for its live shows and other attractions along the 76 strip, there are many folks that come to the area for the fantastic fishing opportunities provided by a chain of Corp. of Engineers made lakes along the White River.  Our log B&B, White River Lodge, overlooks a portion of Table Rock Lake.  This 110 mile long deep clear water lake has a variety of naturally occurring species of fish including bass that most of the professional guides target for their sport fisherman.  Below TRL dam the water flows from the deep cold water of TRL into Taneycomo which winds through 22 miles and flows through another dam into Bull Shoals.  The state of Missouri stocks rainbow and brown trout into this cool clear water where they are available year-round for anglers of all age and abilities to catch.  Husband and co-innkeeper, Bill Babler got his USCG captain’s license and became an area fishing guide back in the early 90’s. He enjoys taking clients on either of these lakes and introducing them to the sport of fishing–the most popular sport in the world.  You can count on Bill to have top quality equipment, tackle and baits and be knowledgeable on the techniques needed to trick those fish into taking a bite–but most of all he wants to give you the opportunity to land that fish so don’t worry if you’re not a “seasoned” fisherman just relax and enjoy the experience and Bill will tailor the trip to you.  Now, remember this is fishing not catching and like any sport you can’t expect to get that “trophy” though a little luck is always welcome.  For most it’s about the journey and take your fishing journey in style –Bill uses a Phoenix bass boat with Mercury motor on Table Rock Lake and can take 1-3 people to fish for bass.  Like most area guides, he is catch and release on Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Kentucky Spotted bass.  Down on Taneycomo, he uses a custom Alweld bay boat tailored for catching trout and can take up to 5 people in it for fly or spin-cast fishing.  He is catch and release on trophy rainbows and browns but if you wish to have some to eat, he will clean and package your limit of rainbow trout.  For groups that wish to go fishing, Bill will contact other area licensed guides to get everyone on the water.  Check out Bill’s website or the lodge’s fishing info page for pricing and more on how to book a fishing trip with Bill Babler.

Fishing guide, Bill Babler in new trout boat.

Fishing guide, Bill Babler in new trout boat.

White River Lodge 10 years in the B&B Business 10 Dec 2015, 6:33 pm

Front of White River Lodge on June 2005

Front of White River Lodge in June 2005

Back in June of 2005, we welcomed our first guest to our log lodge on beautiful Table Rock Lake. (Fast Forward) 2015 has been our busiest year ever–I meant to write this story in June–We’ve been blessed with guests from many states and several countries.  They’ve come to the Branson area for a variety of reasons in all different seasons.  Yet, we’re often amazed just how much a group of “strangers” have in common as they share a weekend or so at the lodge.  Stories are shared along with smiles, laughter, questions and good advice–memories to save as we go our separate ways.  Some guests we see again often, some when lives allow, and others maybe never again as time marches onward for guests and innkeepers.  Yes, it’s still a job–often quite demanding and (dare I say it) we don’t please all, but after year’s end and a little rest, we’ll be ready to open the doors to another year’s group of interested and interesting travelers. We’ll strive to provide memory worthy accommodations and hospitality to go along with the beautiful views and multitude of activities the area offers.

Winter and Spring rates have been loaded into our on line booking program for those forward thinkers and don’t forget, we have White River Lodge gift certificates that can be purchased online for those behind with their Christmas shopping.

Hope to see you at the lodge or on the water in 2016!

Front of White River Lodge June 2015

Birds and Breakfast at White River Lodge 9 Apr 2015, 2:52 pm


Rose-breasted Grosbeak


As most of you know, a room at White River Lodge includes breakfast each morning.  However, the birds eat breakfast all day long.  Most our birds stay all year long like the Chickadee, Tufted titmouse, Nuthatch, Fitches, Woodpeckers, Cardinal, Wren, and some of those also store the seeds they take from the feeders (I need to put up a sign that says “No take out”)  Some birds like the Rose-breasted Grosbeak fly through on their way north.  And some come to the Ozarks for the summer like the Indigo Bunting, Summer Tanager, and hummingbirds.

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting

Summer Tanager

Our state bird, the Eastern Bluebird and the Summer Tanager are bug-eaters so don’t care what we’re serving in the feeders though you may catch a glimpse of these beauties or hear their lovely songs.  We don’t encourage hummingbirds as the nectar attracts wasp and raccoons but they come by to see what flowers are available.  Unfortunately, all our big windows are a hazard for the birds though larger birds have a better chance of flying off after leaving a few feathers behind.  The doves prefer to leave a perfect “in flight” body print usually on the highest window where only the window washer can erase them.

Squirrel can't get bird feed

Squirrel can’t get bird feed


We want to invite you to stay at WRL and enjoy your breakfast and all the birds.  We also have a selection of Squirrel Buster feeders for sale in our gift shop along with some “stuffed” Audubon Birds with real bird calls and some hand made glass hummingbirds from The Hillbilly Glass Shop in Oak Grove, AR.


PS:  I didn’t even mention the big birds that fly above and walk below–check out these pics:





DSC_0328 (2)



Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Branson Spring 2015 attractions 7 Mar 2015, 12:59 pm


White River Lodge in early spring.

We’re starting to get a little spring fever here at White River Lodge. I was checking out some of the new and familiar shows, events, and attractions for spring on the newly updated Explore Branson website.  And here’s a few that caught my eye:

Showboat Branson Belle opens their new season March 7 with the show theme, Celebrate.

Silver Dollar City will open March 14 for Spring Ride Days and will showcase their new section called Fireman’s Landing.  If you’re a fireman, SDC is offering free admission Mar. 14-May 3.  Check out their website for more info.  World Fest runs from April 9-May 3 and Bluegrass & BBQ May 7-25.

Ozark Mountain Shindig Festive runs from April 1-May 31 with Branson shows and attractions featuring traditional Ozark foods, culture, and entertainment.

The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks has some special events listed like April 18’s Afternoon Tea.

Bass Pro’s Legends of Golf is April 22-26.  Tickets are on sale now.

The Branson Landing has a list of special events like the May 15 concert with Candy Coburn.

Of course Dogwood Canyon is open and getting springier by the day.  And Bill says it won’t be long before the bass fishing really gets HOT.  Trout say they’ll bite too.  How about a guided fishing trip?– And we’d love to have you stay with us at White River Lodge.  We have spring lodging specials through May.

December through the New Year in Branson 3 Dec 2014, 6:24 pm

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Great room fireplace mantle at White River Lodge

It’s that happy holiday time of the year and the Branson area loves company.  Many area show and attractions have a Christmas theme:  Silver Dollar’s City’s “An Old Time Christmas” runs through Dec. 30, Showboat Branson Belle, Dixie Stampede, Andy William’s Show, Hughes Brothers, Christmas on the Trail Chuckwagon Dinner Show, Branson Scenic Railway, and more.  There are two drive through light shows through Dec. 31 and Branson Landing’s Winter Wonderlanding through Dec. 24.  There are also activities like ziplines, Ride the Ducks, Tiger Sanctuary, Miniature Golf, Dogwood Canyon, caves, shopping, dining, and the list goes on.  Check out the ExploreBranson website for all the particulars.


Innkeeper, Becky with a special guest.


White River Lodge likes company too–hey, even Santa stayed a couple of months ago.  We have our Christmas decorations up, fireplaces, sauna, outside Lazy Boy spa, theater room, comfortable seating areas for reading or sipping a hot drink, birds at the deck feeders and how about a hot breakfast each morning. Weather permitting, Bill does do guided fishing trips for trout on Taneycomo or for whatever’s biting on Table Rock Lake–give him a call or checkout his online fishing reports.  We do have specials running at the lodge on two or more nights through December and if you’re here for New Year’s Eve, we can see Big Cedar’s fireworks show at midnight across the lake.  You might even be able to sit outside around the patio fireplace.  Check availability through our website.  Oh, if your looking for a Christmas gift, we have WRL gift certificates that you can personalize and buy online just click on the link in the home page header of our website.  Now through Dec. 21, we’ll send a 10% of purchase amount bonus certificate good for one year to add to your gift or keep for yourself.

Top of the Rock reopens 15 Nov 2014, 2:50 pm

Top of the Rock taken from White River Lodge

Top of the Rock taken from White River Lodge June 2, 2014

Back in June of 2005 when White River Lodge opened, one of our favorite local restaurants was Top of the Rock owned by Bass Pro’s Johnny Morris.  Unfortunately after a kitchen fire the next month it was closed for repairs–fast forward to June 2014–BP is hosting the Legends of Golf tournament at Top of the Rock.  It’s new name is “Johnny Morris’ Top of the Rock Ozarks Heritage Preserve” and it consists of many lovely things:  An amazing Par-3 golf course and driving range, a fine dining restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, Wine Cellar, Bar, Chapel, a golf cart nature trail, beautiful views and landscaping, and coming soon, a Natural History Museum!  I forgot to mention all the big ROCKS trucked in from Arkansas–we often got behind one of those trucks in the nine years remodel and wondered about that growing wall of rocks and what was going on behind there.  After it opened to the public in June, many of my guests went to eat and some even played the golf course.  We often heard about the golf cart ride that went through a cave so when my sister came for a visit at the end of Oct., we went to check it out.  We arrived at the entrance near the junction of 86 and 65 and headed to their Welcome Center–yep, there were many golf carts lined up–we went inside and signed the paperwork, paid the $20 per person fee, and got our four person electric cart.  I have never driven a golf cart before but the basics were explained and the golf cart looked over for any pre-existing boo boos–yes, it will be checked when you return but you can buy insurance before–and we were off.  It was a perfect fall day and the trees, views, and man-made water falls, bridges and even a cave were all scenic and just fun.  The trail was two and a half miles long but you go at your own pace and there are pull offs to take a picture or two but rules say to stay in your cart and there are no “go agains” so enjoy it the first time.  We gave it 2 thumbs up.  Enjoy the pictures below.

Be our guest for fall fun in the Ozarks 5 Oct 2014, 10:01 am

Autumn is a great time of the year to stay at White River Lodge and enjoy all the Ozarks has to offer.  From nice weather, beautiful views, fall activities, and just relaxation, here’s some suggestions in all directions:


  • historical downtown Branson
  • Branson Landing
  • trout fishing on Lake Taneycomo
  • train ride on Branson Scenic Railways
  •  Branson fall shows and events

Branson West

  • Silver Dollar City’s National Harvest Festival runs through Oct. 25
  • Dewey Short Visitor Center at the dam and walking trails
  • ShowBoat Branson Belle

 Branson North

  • Branson Ziplines Canopy Tours at Wolfe Creek Preserve
  • National Tiger Sanctuary
  • Copper Run Distillery

South of Branson

  • Historical Hollister
  • College of the Ozarks
  • Spirit of America Catamaran at State Park Marina

Southwest of Branson

  • Top of the Rock Heritage Preserve with golf and fine dining
  • bass fishing and boating on Table Rock Lake
  • White River Lodge (see below)
  • Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

North Arkansas

  •  Eureka Springs–shops, restaurants, Wildlife Refuge, Thorncrown Chapel, Passion Play, War Eagle Mill
  • The Glass Shack
  • Low Gap Cafe and Boston Mountains, Buffalo River
  • Crystal Bridges Museum and trails at Bentonville

White River Lodge is a custom log bed and breakfast on Table Rock Lake.  We have five rooms to choose from and outside decks and flagstone patio with fireplace to enjoy the lake view and surrounding woods.  In October, save $75 on a three or $125 on a four night stay.  Remember, usually the peek fall color is last week of Oct. or into Nov.  Check our online reservation system for availability and pricing.  Stay tuned for Veteran’s specials and early Nov., Thanksgiving week, and December specials are all ready set up on our system or give us a call.

It’s National Fishing and Boating week June 1-8… 2 Jun 2014, 9:53 am

Sunrise on Table Rock Lake

And Table Rock Lake was named in the top 10 Family Friendly Places to boat and fish in the USA.  I thought this might be a good time to ask White River Lodge co-innkeeper and full time fishing guide, Bill Babler of White River Outfitters, his Frequently Asked Questions.  Bill’s been a fishing guide/captain now for almost 25 years, long before we had the lodge.  While most of our couples are here on a getaway to enjoy Table Rock Lake and the Branson area, we also have guests that are interested in a guided fishing trip.  We offer guests of the lodge $25 off a guided fishing trip with Bill.  Some are first timers to fishing and others have enjoyed the sport for some time.  Bill even makes breakfast when the fishing requires an early departure time.  While WRL caters mostly to adults, we do have The Pond Suite that will comfortably sleep four and is a good fit for families or friends traveling together.  Sometimes we have family or friend groups that book all the rooms and use Bill’s guide service for those interested in fishing.  He can even get some of the other fishing guides when the group fishing exceeds three.  We also have parking room for guests that bring their own boat.  There’s a Corp. of Engineers park (Old 86) to launch at about 1.5 miles from the lodge.  For those that like to rent a boat to enjoy other water sports, there are several marinas to choose from with the closest being Bass Pro’s Long Creek Marina on Table Rock Lake.  You do not have to be staying at White River Lodge to hire Bill for a fishing trip.

 Here’s some of  his FAQ:

Q. I want to go fishing, but have not fished in years, will I still catch fish and have a good time?

That eliminates a lot of bad habits you might have acquired if you fished more frequently.  We are most happy to take folks of any level of fishing experience. Exception being fly fisherman.  We saw the movie, A River Runs Through It and would like to do that.  We as guides can put you on fish, but you must have a rudimentary knowledge of fly casting and presentations to be successful.  Fly fishing lessons are very reasonable and they allow you to be prepared to catch them when your with the fly fishing guide.

Q.  Where do we go fishing?

That depends on what you want to catch.  We have a world class trout fishery here, Lake Taneycomo, below Table Rock lake dam,  in which you may catch and if you wish, keep your limit of stocked rainbow trout–the guide will clean and package them.  For Bass fishing, it’s magnificent Table Rock Lake which is 110 miles long–we fish the area that gives the best chance of success for your trip.  We are completely catch and release on Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Kentucky Bass.  We will make arrangements with you on where to meet or pick you up for your fishing trip.

Q.  What are we to bring on the fishing trip?

Generally as little as possible.  Whatever you wish to eat or drink on the tour and clothes appropriate for that day fishing.  Most always a light rain or wind breaker outfit.  Sunscreen and sun glasses are also a good idea.  I always carry bottled water and extra rain gear on the boat for the number of clients on board.  All your bait and equipment is furnished and tailored to the type of fishing you’ll be doing that day.

Q.  Do we need to have a fishing license and do you have life jackets?

Yes, you will be required to have a fishing license unless you are over the age of 65 and a Missouri resident.  If trout fishing however you will be required to have a trout stamp regardless of your age.  Children under the age of 15 will only be required to have a youth trout stamp if they are trout fishing.  Daily fishing licenses are available for out of state folks for $7 per day and a trout stamp is also required for trout fishing.  You may purchase them in the area or online.  We have a Federal Captain’s license, insurance, and all the appropriate safety equipment on our boat.  Your safety is our number one concern.

Q.  How many people can we take on the fishing tour?

I like to keep my groups small, no larger than 3 fisherman.  The boat will usually catch a certain number of fish whether we have 3 clients in it or a dozen.  (Kind of like 6 persons eating out of the same dinner plate, somebody is not going to get as many bites.:)  We do have enough professional area guides to accommodate a group of any size, so instead of crowding a boat, it is better to fish 2 clients per boat for greatest success. 

Q.  What’s the cost of a guided fishing trip?  Are children the same price as adults, and are non-fishermen that just want to ride considered as clients?

Pricing is based on one-two people and a third person is extra.  Currently we do not charge more for children that we do for adults, but the thought has entered our mind.  We love to see the kids, but they are by far the most time consuming and hardest clients for your guide.  We also stress that when a child is done fishing, it is pretty much time to go to a different activity.  We like to keep all our younger clients on the water no longer than 4 hours.  For children under 10 it has been our experience that after they catch several fish they tend to seek other entertainment.  It is always good to bring another toy or sitting activity for them.  The non-fishing clients are also part of the charter.

Q.  What will we do with our fish?

We hope you return them to the water, but if you chose to keep your catch (within state law) we will clean and bag the fish for your consumption.  We will clean the following fish:  non-trophy rainbow trout less than 18″, crappie, white bass, walleye, catfish and bluegill.  All German Brown Trout and Bass regardless of size will be immediately after a picture taking session be returned to the water for future generations to have the joy of catching.

For more information or to book a fishing guide trip check out the fishing info page on the lodge website or Bill’s fishing guide website, or give us a call.