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Hercules Glades Wilderness

Hercules Glades is a 12,413-acre wilderness area in Taney County west of Branson in the Cassville/Ava/Willow Springs Ranger District in Mark Twain National Forest.  The area is characterized by forests of eastern red cedar and oak interspersed with open glades of prairie grass.  The limestone rock and shallow soil support an unusual mix of flora and fauna.  There are more than 30 miles of hiking trails throughout the wilderness and backcountry camping is permitted.  There are three parking lots on the perimeter of the area but few other amenities in the wilderness.  Hercules Glades was designated by Congress as a wilderness area in 1976.

Map:

Trails:

There are 32 miles of trails in Hercules Glades Wilderness.  We only hiked a portion of Long Creek Trail from Coy Bald Trailhead to the "falls".

Long Creek Trail:

Long Creek Trail bisects the wilderness area, running from the Coy Bald Trailhead in the west to the Tower Trailhead on the eastern end.  From Coy Bald Trailhead, the trail splits to the left from Coy Bald Trail and descends to Long Creek.  After crossing the trail ascends up to a ridge, then heads back down to Long Creek again.  This is as far as we hiked.  Long Creek Falls is just downstream from here.

Points of Interest:

Long Creek Falls:

Long Creek Falls is a seasonal waterfall right in the middle of the wilderness area.  Unfortunately, it wasn't flowing when we visited, but it's a cool area.

Wildlife:

We saw a northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon) in a pool at the base of Long Creek Falls.

Blog Entries:

10-Oct-2018: Dogwood Canyon