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Visiting the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area


The Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area is a short 10-minute drive from Bull Creek RV Park and contains the White River Balds Natural Area. If you're looking for outdoor things to do in Branson, this conservation area is one of the best places to explore. In addition to hiking and fishing, other attractions in the area include a butterfly biosphere, outdoor shows, historic farms, adventure parks and horseback riding.

Shepherd of the Hills

  • Address: 5586 W 76 Country Blvd. Branson, MO
  • Price: $39.95 (All-Day pass)


If you are looking to fill a whole day with activities, this is the place for you! Start your day with the Shepherd of the Hills zipline options: "Canopy Tour" or "Extreme Rider." Starting at $79, the "Canopy Tour" zig-zags you through eight unique zips. Each launch platform is suspended high in the treetops and the total tour will take you 1-2 hours. If you are more adventurous, the "Vigilante Extreme Rider" is a half-mile zipline that launches from 140 feet and reaches speeds of up to 55 miles per hour. Starting at $29, this ride is fun, easy and safe.

Don't want to ride the zipline? There are still so many things to do at Shepherd of the Hills. You can get an unlimited all-day pass which includes access to the Copperhead Mountain Coaster, Inspiration Tower, two-story ropes course, Lil' Pete's Playland, mini-golf, petting zoo and the historic farm.
You can also stop at Shepherd's Mill Restaurant for an affordable and delicious meal. At the end of the day, head over to the amphitheater or the playhouse to see a show. One of Branson's most popular dinner shows, the "WhoDunnit Hoedown," is in Shepherd of the Hills. 

The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure

  • Address: 4106 W. Highway 76, Branson, MO
  • Price: $23.95 (Adult), $15.95 (Kids), $21.95 (Seniors)


Another amazing attraction to explore is the Butterfly Palace. Located on the south side of the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area, this interactive adventure brings the tropical rainforest to Branson. When you find yourself in this incredible butterfly biosphere, you'll also discover treefrogs, birds, geckos and an incredible arrangement of flowers and trees. The Living Rainforest Adventure is where you'll find creatures like chameleons, poison dart frogs, giant cockroaches and salamanders. Other interactive experiences include Banyan Tree Adventure and the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze

Along with interactive experiences, there is also a 45-minute documentary and a 15-minute 3D film on the life of a butterfly. These educational shows may be the most important part of the Butterfly Palace as they show where these butterflies come from and raise awareness for their diminishing habitat.

Hiking and Horseback Riding

You'll find plenty of hiking and horseback riding opportunities near the Henning Conservation Area. Bear Creek Trail is one of the best places for horseback riding in Branson. Although the trail is north of the conservation area, Bear Creek Horseback Riding offers rides in the Ozark Mountains, just to the west of the area. There are also plenty of hiking trails around the area. Most trailheads start by the Henning Scenic Overlook but this forested area has many options for any type of hiker: from the difficult, 3.4-mile Homesteader's Trail, to the half mile Streamside Trail.

Trail of Lights

If you find yourself in Branson around Christmas time, you can also drive your car through the Trail of Lights. With millions of multi-colored Christmas lights wound through 160 acres, this is a sight you don't want to miss. The Trail of Lights is also located on the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead where you'll also find seasonal activities like the "North Pole Adventure," "Pumpkin Fest" and "Spring Fest."
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