Hercules Glades Wilderness Area
US Hwy 160 / MO Hwy 125
Phone: (417) 683-4428 (Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs District Office)
Closest Towns: Bradleyville, Forsyth, Taneyville
Directions: Hercules Tower Trailhead: Located on MO Hwy 125 approx. 8.2 miles south of Hwy 76 (Bradleyville), or 7 miles north of Hwy 160 (Reuter).
Blair Ridge Trailhead: Located on Blair Ridge Rd, off of Hwy 125. Approx. 9.3 miles south of Hwy 76 (Bradleyville), or 6 miles north of Hwy 160 (Reuter). Turn west onto Blair Ridge Rd/FR# 155, then go approx. 2.4 miles to the parking area on the right.
Coy Bald Trailhead: Located off of Hwy 160, about 8 miles east of the Hwy 160/Hwy 76 junction in Forsyth. Turn lef onto Cross Timbers Rd/FR# 566, and go 3 miles to the parking area.
About Hercules Glades
Hercules Glades Wilderness Area, the second largest in the state, offes over 12,300 acres of some of the most scenic country in all of Missouri. Designated a wilderness area by Congress in 1976, it is also the oldest wilderness area in the Mark Twain National Forest. The area gets its name from two sources: 1.) The open limestone glades and hill tops (bald/knob) that dot the landscape, and 2.) for the historic town of Hercules, which was located on what is now the eastern boundry of the wilderness area, on Hwy 125. The open, thin-soiled glades that are common in this wilderness offer great views of the surrounding landscape and Ozarks, especially from the area's two high points: Coy Bald and Pilot Knob. These two "peaks" are more than 600 ft in elevation above Long Creek, the primary drainage that runs through the wilderness. During not-so-dry seasons, Long Creek offers small waterfalls and cascades, including the area's most popular attraction, Long Creek Falls, that can be seen from the trails.
Over 30 miles of trails traverse nearly every major ridgetop and valley within the wilderness. The trails are open to hikers, bikers and equestrian riders, and is popular with all three. Since this is a wilderness area, no motorized or mechanical vehicles are allowed on the trails, including ATVs, dirtbikes and mountain bikes. Trails can be accessed from three trailheads around the wilderness area: the Hercules Tower trailhead is located on the East end off of Hwy 125; the Blair Ridge trailhead is located on the South side of the wilderness; Coy Bald trailhead is located on the West end off of Hwy 160.
A primitive camping area is located at the Hercules Tower trailhead, offering a few sites with tables and fire rings. Backcountry camping is allowed anywhere in the wilderness, as long as you are at least 100yds from any trail, or at least ½ mile from any trailhead.
Wilderness Areas, such as Hercules Glades, are maintained for their natural beauty and lack of interference from humans. While visiting any wilderness area, please respect the environment, and tread lightly... Read more
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