Hercules Glades Wilderness

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

The Falls located in Hercules Glade Wilderness

Hercules Glades Wilderness Area is 12,413 acres of the most scenic and unique country in the Midwest. Its combination of open grassland, forested knobs, steep rocky hillsides, and narrow drainages offers unusual beauty and a measure of solitude within easy reach of wilderness lovers. The area is characterized by shallow droughty soils and limestone rock outcroppings. Eastern red cedar and oak trees are interspersed with open glades supporting native tall prairie grasses. Redbud and dogwood provide beautiful spring flowers, while smoke tree and maple put on vivid fall colors. A variety of wildlife species live within the Hercules Glades including white-tailed deer, raccoons rabbits, squirrels, turkey, quail, songbirds, lizards and snakes. Copperheads and rattlesnakes may be encountered. Roadrunners, collared lizards, tarantulas, wild hogs and black bears are some of the more uncommon wildlife residents.

A printable brochure (3.2m pdf format) is available for download. Trail System Map (printable) and Trail System Map GEO Referenced for use with Map Apps.

Trails: From the trailheads there is 32 miles of maintained trails which follows along open glades, forested ridgetops and Long Creek, the primary drainage of the area. Cross country hiking in other parts of the area is allowed. Key attractions along the trail include Long Creek Falls, panoramic views of the Ozarks countryside, and a variety of native communities including open limestone glades and mixed forests.

Rating: More Difficult to Most Difficult with steep terrain, stream crossings, sparsely marked trail, and elevations from 600 to 1200 feet.
Length: 32 miles
Best Seasons: Fall, winter, and spring.
Leave No Trace: Pack out what you pack in.
Restrictions: Foot and Horse only.
Safety: No drinking water is available at parking areas or along the trail; bring what you will need, or be prepared to sterilize water you find. During temperate months, be prepared for biting insects, poison ivy and high temperatures. Be advised of hunting seasons. Avoid using the trail during excessively wet periods.
Surface Type: Unsurfaced, native material.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Year round, quiet hours 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM.
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Limit your party size to 10 persons. No camping within 100 feet of trails, water sources and other camps. Practice Leave No Trace outdoor ethics; Never tie stock directly to trees. No motorized or mechanized equipment allowed. Commercial use will not be permitted. Special uses will not be permitted, except for access to surrounded private property.
Closest Towns: Bradleyville; Forsyth
Water: None
Restroom: Vault

General Information


Three trailheads provide entry to the Hercules Glades Wilderness. The Hercules Tower Trailhead is located along Highway 125 8.5 miles south of Bradleyville, MO. There is a vault toilet, space for camping and parking at this location. The first part of the trail is mostly level, then it descends a slope to Long Creek. Or, take the 4-mile Pea's Hollow loop north along the hollow bottom, then back along the ridge. The Blair Ridge Trailhead is located 9.5 miles south of Bradleyville, MO on Highway 125; turn right onto Forest Road 155, go approximately 2 miles. There is only parking available at this location. The Coy Bald Trailhead is located off of Highway 160 east of Forsyth, MO 9 miles, turn left onto Forest Road 566 and go approximately 4 miles. There is parking available at this location.

Recreation Map

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Wilderness Areas on the Mark Twain