Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area is in the White River Hills of western Taney County on the west side of Branson.
Much of this 1,534-acre area consists of steep hills covered with typical upland oak/hickory forest. The forest is interspersed with a series of scenic glades (open desert-like areas), which make up the White River Balds Natural Area.
The area also includes a small section of bottomland forest along a one-half mile stretch of Roark Creek, a relatively undisturbed Ozark headwaters stream.
The glades or "balds," as local people refer to them, played an important role in the history and folklore of the region. Because post-Civil war vigilante groups often met on the balds, they became known as "baldknobbers."
Several features of the area were also immortalized in Harold Bell Wright's book, Shepherd of the Hills, including Dewey Bald, Boulder Bald, a portion of the "trail that is nobody knows how old," Sammy Lane's Lookout, The Signal Tree, and Little Pete's Cave.
Most of the area was donated or purchased from Ruth and Paul Henning. Paul is best known as the creator of the Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction television series. It was their wish to keep this beautiful landscape for all to enjoy.