July 19, 2006
3 of 5
4 of 5
3 of 5
Reviewed by: outdoor Bob
As noted, the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area is off limits to bikes but has many enjoyable hiking trais. For cross country/mountain biking you can go north of Branson to Busiek State Forest that has several trails which allow bikes/hikers/horses. There are several trails on each side of highway 65 that loop together allowing you to ride one single trail or combine several for a longer ride. There is a good book, although written as a hiking book, does give directions to the trails and describes your way around the trails so that you do not become lost. The book, "Branson Hiking Trails" can be purchased at the website, - hikebranson.com - or at several stores in the Branson area.
October 25, 2001
1 of 5
Once a month
Visitors rate this review
3.33 of 5,
Reviewed by: John D. Miller, MO Dept. of Conservation
, from Branson, MO USA
Always check area regulations for any public area from the managing agency. Although "Itchy" meant well to give you a site with beautiful landscapes, his information was neither official nor correct. His review would have you do an illegal activity. Ethical mountain bikers follow the posted and published regulations. This area permits bicycles only on roads open to vehicles; not on hiking trails. If you would like more information about the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area please contact either Greg Cassell (Resource Forester) at (417) 334-3324 or John Miller (Visitor Center Manager) at (417) 334-4865. Please continue to be ethical mountain bikers and check out area regulations from the source or the managing agencies.
Henning Overlook ONLY. Bicycles are NOT permitted on any hiking trails. The correct name of the area is the "Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area"; it is no longer a state forest.
January 28, 2001
4 of 5
Once a week
Reviewed by: Itchy
, from Branson, MO
These are both fun, moderately technical trails, and we don't see much singletrack in the Ozarks, so that's a bonus. Unfortunately, these trails aren't currently connected, which would make a fairly long singletrack. The Boulder Glade Trail starts out along the ridge, with some spectacular views of Branson (very impressive at night as well) before dropping into a large glade which is also visually spectacular, and then goes into the forest and parallels two creeks for a bit before climbing back up. On the way down, it has a 2-3 foot ledge at a 45 degree angle to your direction of travel, and the trail is staggered left from hikers turning perpendicular to it, so you really can't go straight off the ledge. There's not a lot of room to land, and if you do fall, you'll probably roll down the hill until you hit some of the cedars the Conservation Department has cut down, but this is the only one out of the handful of them on the downhill that I don't ride. Once you're at the bottom of the loop along the creeks, if there's any water in them at all, it's worth it to hike down a bit to where the join at a beautiful series of waterfalls. When you climb back up, there's a couple of small ledges that you might have to portage, and then at the top of the climb there's a series of drops that I can't ride on my trials bike without dabbing a coupla times. This trail's short and sweet. The trail at the bottom starts out with a grueling, mile and a half long forest road climb past Conservation Dept feed plots, and then crosses some powerlines, which have fun trails running along their length, before reaching the pine plantation and turning right into the singletrack. Then, it's twisty rocky rooty East Coast style technical singletrack, going down a bit to a creek, the same one formed by the two creeks joining at the base of the top loop, and then a little while later crosses another creek right above a 20 foot waterfall. It climbs for a while before briefly entering the glade, which is just damn cool looking, and dropping all the way down to the trailhead. Some spots are too rocky or twisty or the trail is too slanted to be ridden, and remember, you're in Taney County, so rock is the operative word, and not a whole lot of dirt. Also, if Roark Creek is big and brown and flowing downstream in a hurry, DO NOT ride the bottom loop. You will be swept downstream crossing the first creek, and if you make it out of that, you will be making a first descent of the waterfall on the second. In other words, you will die. Seriously. People may say you can't ride at Henning, but I've run into rangers out there and they just smile and wave, so yes, it's legal.
Follow the arrows, they are both one-way loops
Other recommended trails in the same area:
A really fun way to spend an afternoon in Branson would be to take 76 west to the Boulder Glade trail, ride it, keep going on 76 until you hit Sycamore Log Church Road, take it and ride the bottom trail, keep going on Sycamore Log Church and turn right (south east) on 248, take a left at Flynn Road and ride the loop there, and then go back into Branson and stop at KFC and gorge yourself. Oh yeah, drive on the roads, because you will be hit and killed if you try riding on 248. Also, go to Chadwick.