Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area

Legacy from the creators of the Beverly Hillbillies

Covering 1,534 acres just northwest of Branson, the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area preserves one of the most scenic and historic sites in Missouri.

The area was preserved largely through the efforts and generosity of Ruth and Paul Henning, who donated or sold much of the preserve to the state of Missouri. Paul Henning is best known as the creator of several of America's most popular television series, including the Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres. He also wrote episodes of the Andy Griffith Show, the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show and the 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Natives of Missouri, the Hennings maintained a life-long love for the state, its scenery, culture and citizens. They helped establish the conservation area to preserve the landscape for future generations. 

The area protects a unique series of natural features called "balds." Open glades along the slopes and tops of the hills, the balds were used as meeting places for post-Civil War vigilante groups known as "baldknobbers."

The area also preserves many locations featured in the classic Herald Bell Wright book, Shepherd of the Hills. Among these are Dewey Bald, Boulder Bald, Sammy Lane's Lookout and Little Pete's Cave.

The Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area is located on Highway 76 between Branson and Silver Dollar City. The paved parking lot and associated overlook are wheelchair accessible and provide fantastic views of the area. The trails themselves, however, are strenuous in places.

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