Places to Go: Ruth and Paul Henning CA

By Larry Archer | November 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: November 2023

Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area

Trails, towers, and TV classics

Start with a story about a man named Jed, add a touch of classic Ozark literature, throw in trails, glades, and vistas, wrap them up inside 1,500 acres within the city limits of Missouri’s music capital, and you get the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area (CA).

Located in Branson, Henning CA has connections to literature and popular culture, as well as trails, viewing platforms, and an observation tower that give visitors views ranging from the Branson strip to the White River Balds Natural Area, said MDC Forester Stephen Short.

“Ninety percent of people that visit Henning enjoy the scenic overlook and the tower and see the early morning views,” Short said. “Sunset and sunrise are extremely popular times to visit.”

In addition to donating much of the property that is now the conservation area, Paul Henning also contributed to 1960s popular culture as the creator of television’s Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction. And while that connection hasn’t resulted in a Jed Clampett Trail or Shady Rest viewing platform, the area’s Dewey Bald, Boulder Bald, Sammy Lane’s Lookout, and other features all pay tribute to Harold Bell Wright’s 1907 Ozarks-based novel, Shepherd of the Hills.

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation – Marcia Hale