MDC invites public to First Day hike Jan. 1 at Henning Conservation Area

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BRANSON, Mo. – First Day hikes are popular ways to kick off the new year in a healthy, outdoors-oriented fashion.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites people to take part in a First Day hike Jan. 1 at MDC’s Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area on the west side of Branson. The 1,534-acre Henning Area is primarily forested and features a variety of wildlife viewing opportunities so participants should bring binoculars and cameras. MDC staff will lead the hike.

This event, which is open to all ages, will be from 10 a.m.-noon. Participants will meet at the Henning Area’s main parking lot, which is located on U.S. Highway 76 three-fourths of a mile west of Highway 376. Hikers should wear weather-appropriate clothing and hiking shoes and should bring their own water. Light refreshments will be provided. Participants will be asked to follow COVID recommendations. People can register at:

Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. Program registrants should note that they now have the option to link their children’s accounts to their own, which will streamline the program registration process. Once a group account is set up, parents will be able to register their children for an event without having to log-off or log-in for each person. This allows parents to register an entire family or select family members for an event at the same time.

To find out more about this event or other events at the Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center, call 417-334-4865, ext. 0. The Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center is part of MDC’s Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery and is located at 483 Hatchery Road on the west end of Lake Taneycomo near Branson.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at