Saturday, October 23, 2010

Coy Bald Loop, Hercules Glades Wilderness, Mark Twain NF, Missouri

Distance: 6.7 miles (10.6 km)
Elevation: 880 - 1220 feet (268 - 372 m)
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Time of Year: Any time but October is the best!

View across the ridges from Coy Bald
Described by many as the greatest natural area in Missouri, Hercules Glades Wilderness in the Mark Twain National Forest certainly does provide for scenic beauty, ecological diversity, and interesting variety. At 12,200 acres, this wilderness is the 2nd largest in Missouri. It is located at the northern edges of the Ozarks and provides some interesting mixes of ecosystems due to its limestone/dolomite glades and balds. You can access this wilderness by taking MO-76 east out of Forsyth, MO, turning right onto US Hwy 160 and then turning left on Crosstimbers Road and following it to the end.

The trail begins in a forest of white oak and eastern red cedar. There are hickory, sassafras, and sugar maples mixed in, with plentiful poison ivy in the understory. When the trail branches shortly after entering the wilderness fence, bear left.

Within 1/2 mile, you descend down to Long Creek and to the beautiful limestone bluffs that rise on the far side. Along the sides of the cliffs, sugar maples add a brilliant hue of red. The waters are clear and cool and a great place to splash around on a hot day. Much of the creek bottom is a flat pavement of dolomite, covered with lots of small snails and fish darting all around the pools.

Some lichens are drapped from the eastern red cedar branches above the cliffs
After enjoying your time at the cliffs, you go upstream a little way until you find the trail crossing the creek. The trail will now climb gradually and head into the oak/hickory/cedar forest for about 1 mile. When you encounter an unsigned trail intersection, bear right. The trail coming in from the left is coming down from Pilot Knob, which is the highest point in the wilderness.

This route will then head approximately 1 mile slight downhill to the southeast before arriving at another trail intersection. A sign will say "Tower" to the left. That is the other trailhead access to the wilderness on the eastern end approximately 3 miles away. Turn right instead and soon you will at the creek again. Here, the creek is a flat limestone pavement. It is almost like some built a road down the middle of this hollow. It is lined with sycamores and maples and the pavement it broken up in sections to make little waterfalls and cascades. There was no water flowing at the time we were there. Just turn right and follow the creekbed less than a quarter-mile to the falls. If water is still flowing, the trail parallels the creek on the far side.

A break in the limestone pavement of Long Creek

Then you arrive at the waterfall. It is a notch dug into the layers of dolomite and an excellent place to eat lunch. It is fun to hope around on the slabs of rocks and explore the area.

In this region, these kinds of river features are called "shut-ins"
After you have enjoyed your time here, it is time for the final 4 miles back to the trailhead. Here you will backtrack up the creek a few hundred yards and look for the trail heading up slope to the southwest. The trail will climb to the ridgetop. As you approach the ridgeline, the vegetation will change over from the oak/hickory forest to an open grassy area full of large eastern red cedar. These are the "glades" that gives Hercules Glades its name.

Historically, these areas would have been larger and more open, providing excellent views, but fire suppression and the planting of these eastern red cedars by farmers as wind breaks has allowed for this invasion. These trees are not cedars, but actually junipers and they are a native species. But, they are far more common, even weedy, than they were historically. As you go from glade to glade, with tantalizing glimpses, but no real views across the landscape, it can get frustrating. But, fear not, as you approach the top of Coy Bald, those views will be there!

Coy Bald view across the wilderness, with Long Creek Hollow in the middle
These glades are formed because the soils are so shallow here with a solid limestone pavement below, that only arid adapted plants can grow here. The grasses are those typical of the tallgrass prairie and there are even some plants common to the southwest, including prickly pear cactus.
A nice view of the landscape
The trail will go in and out of openings for the next half mile or so.
As you look to the north, you can see the edge of the Ozarks and the flatter plains of Missori beyond
Eventually the trail reenters the oak/hickory stands with really beautiful stands of white oak. White oak is a fire adapted species that can survive in droughty soils. You can often find it in sandy soils up north, but it excels here in these limestone soils as well.

The trail will go in and out of forest and glade for the last 1.5 miles before returning back to the trailhead. This really was an enjoyable hike and if you are ever in Southern Missouri, you should check it out.

PS- If you don't really want to do the hike and/or the weather doesn't allow, there is an alternative for you. It is called the Glade Top Trail and it is a Forest Service Scenic-Byway that runs through the area. This 23-mile dirt road that runs from Bradleyville to Ava allows people to drive through the glades on the nearby ridgetops with excellent views as well!


Anonymous said...

really good infomation.I'm heading to the falls soon!

Anonymous said...

Hi there, You've done an incredible job. I'll certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends.
I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.

Visit my blog - running injury

Anonymous said...

Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and
wished to say that I've really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you
write again soon!

Visit my homepage web hosting reviews 2013 cnet

Anonymous said...

dre beats for cheap
Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
The words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.
I'm not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I'd post to let you
know. The style and design look great though!

Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Thanks

Unknown said...

black infrared 6s ,jordan infrared 6s ,infrared 6s ,jordan infrared 6s , infrared 6s, jordan 6s black infrared , black infrared 6s 2014, 384664-023 ,black infrared 6s , jordan infrared 6s , infrared 6s 2014 , infrared 6s , jordan infrared 6s 2014 , black infrared 6s ,air jordan 6 black infraredjordan 6 black infraredpre order jordan 6 black infraredjordan 6 infraredblack infrared 6infrared 6jordan infrared 6384664-023 ,air jordan 6s black infraredblack infrared 6sair jordan 6 black infraredinfrared 6sjordan 6s black infraredjordan 6s infraredblack infrared 6s 2014384664-023air jordan 6 black infraredjordan 6 black infraredjordan 6 infraredblack infrared 6infrared 6jordan infrared 6sjordan black infrared 6384664-023 ,black infrared 6s , air jordan 6 black infrared , infrared 6s ,jordan 6 black infrared ,black infrared 6s 2014 , 384664-023 ,jordan 6s black infrared

Unknown said...

jordan legend 11, jordan legend blue 11, 378037-117,air jordan 11s legend blue, air jordan 11 legend blue,
legend blue 11s 2014, legend blue 11s, jordan 11 legend blue, retro legend blue 11s, jordan 11s legend, pre order legend blue 11s, 378037-117, air jordan legend 11s, legend 11s, legend blue 11s, air jordan 11s legend blue, jordan legend 11s, legend 11s 2014, retro legend 11s, pre order legend 11s, 378037-117,air jordan 11s legend blue ,pre order legend blue 11s ,legend blue 11s ,jordan 11s legend blue ,retro legend blue 11s ,jordan 11s legend ,pre order legend blue 11 ,378037-117 ,air jordan 6s black infrared ,black infrared 6s ,jordan infrared 6s ,infrared 6s ,jordan 6s black infrared ,pre order black infrared 6s,384664-023,cheap black infrared 6s ,384664-023 ,legend blue 11s ,jordan legend 11s ,jordan legend blue 11s ,legend 11s ,378037-117

Unknown said...

air max 90
tiffany and co
adidas outlet
cheap nhl jerseys
los angeles lakers jerseys
oakley sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
calvin klein outlet
san francisco 49ers jerseys
vans shoes
toms shoes
louis vuitton outlet
true religion jeans,
air jordan shoes
abercrombie and fitch
cheap football shirts
manchester united jersey
ray ban
tods outlet
swarovski crystal
nike outlet store
replica watches
cartier love bracelet
koby bryant shoes
beats headphones
cheap oakley sunglasses
ed hardy clothing
air jordan 11
kansas city chiefs jerseys
nike air max uk
supra shoes
thomas sabo uk
ugg uk
oakley outlet
north face jackets
tiffany jewelry
cheap jordans
adidas shoes
oakley sunglasses
0803maoqiuyun said...

20150908 junda
michael kors
louboutin pas cher
coach outlet
coach factory outlet
soccer jerseys wholesale
ray ban sunglass
prada handbags
ugg australia
adidas uk
nike blazer
fitflops sale clearance
air force 1
longchamp outlet
jordan shoes
michael kors outlet online
new balance outlet
prada outlet
ugg boots sale
kate spade handbags
ray bans
adidas gazelle trainers
polo ralph lauren outlet
barbour uk
north face uk
michael kors handbags
ray ban outlet
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors uk
uggs outlet
ralph lauren uk
michael kors handbag
nike free run 5.0
oakley sunglasses sale
canada goose uk
toms wedges
cheap soccer shoes
coach outlet online
adidas shoes
oakley sunglasses wholesale
coach factory outlet

Unknown said...

michael kors uk
dallas cowboys
adidas outlet
air jordan 4
gucci outlet
pittsburgh steelers
cheap soccer jerseys
louis vuitton bags
oakley,occhiali oakley,oakley italia,oakley occhiali,oakley sunglasses
lacoste pas cher
ralph lauren outlet
north face outlet store
hollister uk
nobis jacket
ralph lauren outlet
air max shoes
oakley sunglasses wholesale
fred perry polo shirts
cheap nba jerseys

ghrshrtf said...

Let's be honest here folks there is no way that he thinks he is going to reconcile with Kate. This is the guy that told ABC's Chris Cuomo a few weeks ago that he "despised" Kate,Ultrasound Sensor
Spo2 Sensor so I am pretty sure that all hope of another vow renewal is all for naught.

wholesale nfl jerseys said...

See how Newton laws of motion 3d vr glassesapply to an aircraft cruise performance with this educational video from NASA the National Aeronautics andvirtual reality glasses Space Administration, the leading resource for space exploration. There no better place to learn about aerospace and Newton three laws of motion and how they apply to aeronautics than NASA.vr headset

Anonymous said...

nice post
Cara Alami Mengobati Penyakit Ambeien
Cara Alami Mengobati Penyakit Ambeien Yang Akut
Cara Alami Mengobati Penyakit Ambeien Berdarah
Cara Alami Mengobati Penyakit Ambeien Stadium 4
Cara Alami Mengobati Penyakit Ambeien Tanpa Operasi
Cara Alami Mengobati Benjolan Ambeien
Cara Alami Mengobati Benjolan Ambeien Wasir
Cara Alami Mengobati Benjolan Ambeien Murah
Cara Alami Mengobati Benjolan Ambeien Parah
Cara Alami Mengobati Benjolan Ambeien atau Hemoroid
Cara Alami Mengobati Ambeien Parah
Cara Alami Untuk Mengobati Ambeien Parah
Mencari Cara Alami Mengobati Ambeien Parah
Cara Alami Mengobati Ambeien Terlanjur Parah
Cara Alami Buat Mengobati Ambeien Parah
Cara Alami Mengobati Ambeien Berdarah
Cara Alami Mengobati Tonjolan Ambeien Berdarah
Cara Alami Mengobati Ambeien Berdarah Pada Ibu Menyusui
Cara Alami Mengobati Ambeien Berdarah Kambuh
Artikel Cara Alami Mengobati Ambeien Berdarah
Cara Alami Mengobati Ambeien Tanpa Operasi
Cara Alami Buat Mengobati Ambeien Tanpa Operasi
Cara Alami Mengobati Ambeien Luar Tanpa Operasi
Cara Alami Mengobati Ambeien Pada Anak Tanpa Operasi
Cara Tips Alami Mengobati Ambeien Tanpa Operasi

Unknown said...

mcm backpack
michael kors handbags
louboutin pas cher
toms shoes
louis vuitton outlet store
nba jerseys
ralph lauren uk
timberland shoes
michael kors handbags clearance
swarovski outlet
adidas wings shoes
longchamp outlet
burberry outlet
burberry outlet online
gucci sunglasses uk
oakley sunglasses
nike air max 90
snapbacks wholesale
nfl jerseys wholesale
michael kors wholesale
beats by dr dre
nike huarache
ray ban sunglasses
timberland shoes
true religion jeans sale
hollister clothing store
louis vuitton bags cheap
louis vuitton outlet
discount oakley sunglasses
longchamp solde
ralph lauren polo
fitflops sale
omega outlet
ralph lauren outlet
rolex watches
20160606caihuali said...

20160909 junda
ferragamo shoes
michael kors handbags
louis vuitton outlet
christian louboutin online
mulberry handbags
ghd uk
coach outlet online
nike roshe
michael kors outlet store
louis vuitton handbags
coach outlet
oakley sunglasses wholesale
north face jacket
coach outlet online
moncler outlet
ray-ban sunglasses
uggs outlet
mont blanc pens
nike air huarache
jordan 11
omega outlet
fitflops clearance
nike free running
ugg boots
longchamp handbags
oakley sunglasses
yeezy boost
canada goose outlet
mulberry bags
louis vuitton handbags
ugg boots clearance
coach outlet online
michael kors outlet
prada sunglasses
supra shoes sale

chenmeinv0 said...

nike air force 1 high
puma sneaker
mlb jerseys wholesale
abercrombie and fitch clothing
louis vuitton purses
gucci outlet online
cheap ray ban sunglasses
air max uk
oakley sunglasses outlet
oakley vault

Unknown said...

nike air huarache
new york knicks jersey
christian louboutin shoes
canada goose outlet
yeezy boost 350
nike tn
christian louboutin outlet
ralph lauren uk
ralph lauren uk
canada goose jackets

Unknown said...

goyard handbags
balenciaga sneakers
air max 90
caterpillar shoes
derrick rose shoes
ray ban sunglasses
longchamp longchamps
burberry outlet online
lebron 15 shoes

Cara Menghilangkan Bekas Luka di Wajah said...

Thanks for the information, this is very useful. Allow me to share a health article here, which gods are beneficial to us. Thank you :)

Obat Sakit Dada
Obat Tumor Jinak diatas Bola Mata
Penyebab Benjolan dileher
Obat Penghilang Nyeri Lutut
Pengobatan Alami menyembuhkan Sangkadi
Cara Cepat Mengatasi Iritasi Kulit

Unknown said...

fila online shop
converse shoes
michael kors
nike off white
salvatore ferragamo belt
nike react
ferragamo belt

SSSSSS said...

paul george shoes
balenciaga shoes
adidas tubular shadow
ferragamo belts
yeezy boost 350 v2
birkin bag
yeezy 500
asics kayno
bape hoodie

5689 said...

christian louboutin shoes
moncler jackets
oakley sunglasses
canada goose outlet
vibram fivefingers shoes
valentino shoes
off white jordan 1
hugo boss sale
adidas football soldes

Cara Mengatasi Penyakit Kuning Yang Tak Kunjung Sembuh said...

Terima kasih artikelnya sangat membantu sekali mudah-mudahan artikel ini bermanfaat bagi semua.

Obat Asma Alami said...

Thanks for the information, this is very useful. Allow me to share a health article here, which gods are beneficial to us. Thank you :)

Inilah Penyebab Mual dan Muntah secara Tiba-tiba
Cara Menyembuhkan Syaraf Kejepit
Obat Keloid Menahun
Obat Usus Buntu Tanpa Operasi
Cara Menghilangkan Kelenjar Tiroid
Obat Herbal Penghancur Kista Ovarium

Unknown said...

cheap mlb jerseys
golden goose sneakers
birkin bag
off white nike
yeezy boost 350
adidas stan smith shoes
off white jordan 1
yeezy 700

yanmaneee said...

yeezy 700
supreme clothing
yeezy boost 350 v2
kevin durant shoes
kd shoes
hermes online
golden goose
yeezy boost 350
yeezy boost
off white

Just Giving Back For All To Enjoy

Why pay money to buy hiking books? Why pay fees to view trail websites? By searching my archives and checking back often to see new posts, we are sure you will be able to find the hike that is right for you ... and for free!

In addition, we provide fascinating ecological and geological information to make the hikes informative and fun. As former National Park Rangers, we know how to find the right hike for you. So, if you are on vacation, we will provide you with the hike you absolutely MUST do while in an area. Do not go on vacation without checking out this site!