MDC's Springfield Nature Center will hold youth hike at Henning Area

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BRANSON, Mo. – Winter is a great time to go on a hike to explore the outdoors. Visibility is better to see natural features and wildlife that are active at this time of year.

Teens can explore the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area on a guided hike on Jan. 29 by signing up for the MDC program “Conservation Teens: Hiking at Henning.” This hike, which is part of MDC’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center’s Conservation Teens activities, will be 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and is for individuals ages 12-17. Individuals can register for this program at

MDC’s 1,534-acre Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area on the west side of Branson is primarily forested and features a variety of wildlife viewing opportunities. MDC staff will lead the 3.8-mile hike and discuss the natural features of the Henning Area and the wildlife species that can be seen there at this time of year.

Individuals wishing to participate are asked to gather at the Henning Area parking lot at trail head that is located on Sycamore Log Church Road on the north side of the Henning Area. Parents/guardians will be asked to sign a permission slip when they drop their teens off so they can participate in the hike. Parents and guardians are reminded that the Jan. 29 Henning Area hike, like all other nature center Conservation Teens activities, is for ages 12-17 only and does not include parents or younger siblings.

Participants are asked to dress for the weather, wear shoes suitable for trail hiking, and to bring a water bottle. Snacks will be provided. Hikers can also bring binoculars and cameras if they wish. Social distancing and other COVID procedures appropriate for this event will be recommended.

People can learn more about this program or other upcoming events at the facility by calling 417-888-4237. 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.

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