Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area Hiking Trails are Beautiful, Natural Excursions


Not All Attractions Near Branson Cost Money; Hiking is Free

When traveling with your family, friends, or that special someone it can become costly. Even though Branson’s entertainment industry is relatively inexpensive, it still is not free. As with any vacation, if you can find something great to do that doesn’t cost anything, you can enjoy the trip even more. Hiking through the nature areas can carry its own reward.

That is where a hiking trail enters the realm of possibilities. Henning Conservation Area is one such place to consider. The is a natural preserve with beautifully groomed trails for the beginner to the adventurer who wants a little longer hike. Depending on where you start you can hike anywhere from 1.1 miles to 5.5 miles. The entire system is set up as a series of circular tracks and one connecting single line track connecting two of the circles.


The views are tremendous throughout the course. From the scenic view located off Highway 76 on the outskirts of Branson, you can see a heavily wooded valley and distant ranges of hills with only a few buildings scattered throughout. Along the routes, there are views of meadows, forest, streams, and vistas.

As with any natural area, there is a variety of living creatures. When I went there I ran into a variety of lizards along the path. And yes, there are snakes in the area. Although most will slither away, I did see thisĀ Racer Coluber constrictor sunning itself on the path. There are many things in this world that I am not afraid of. Snakes are not one of those. I hate snakes! The racer was a good 5 feet long or more and I didn’t know what kind it was at the time. I love the Internet because I was able to learn about this jet black snake right away. It is virtually harmless. I still don’t like it.

The most common and interesting creature that I saw while hiking was the turtle. I believe one of the turtles I saw was theĀ Ornate Box Turtle. I can’t be sure since I don’t know one turtle from another. But if you want to know about Missouri turtles go to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

If you or someone in your party are into wild flowers this is a good place to see them. Please do not pick them though. Since I went through during the spring of 2018 and I saw a variety of wild flowers.


Be sure to take water for your hike. These trails can be walked at various times of the year and they will not look the same, but have different seasonal flowers. The natural break adds to the fun and adventure found in the Branson, Missouri experience.

Be sure to say “Hi” if you see me going for a hike since I do enjoy this hike through nature on a regular basis.


I took the following times directly from a free brochure found at the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area:

Conservation Areas are closed from 10:00 p.m. to 4 a.m. Gates will be opened at 8 a.m.. Gates will be closed at 5:30 p.m. from Oct. 15 to Mar. 15 and at 7:30 p.m. from Mar 16 to Oct. 14.

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