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 from MDC’s Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center 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 76/376 three-fourths of a mile west of the Butterfly Palace. Hikers should wear weather-appropriate clothing and hiking shoes and should bring their own water. People can register at:

Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. The Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center, which is part of MDC’s Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery and is located at 483 Hatchery Road on the west end of Lake Taneycomo near Branson, is currently closed for renovation. However, staff are still providing public programs. People can stay informed about upcoming programs put on by Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center by signing up for text alerts and e-mail bulletins. People who have questions about how to sign up for text alerts from the Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center or who want information about upcoming events can call 417-334-4865, ext. 0.

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