- 24 miles (38 km)
- 45 minutes
Stretching 23 miles over Missouri's Ozark hill country, the Glade Top Trail weaves along narrow ridge tops above a rolling countryside. The byway's rustic characteristics, delightful scenery, and unhurried pace provide welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of interstate and primary highway travel.
Easily considered one of the most scenic locations in Missouri, Glade Top Trail cuts through the Mark Twain National Forest and borders the Hercules Glades Wilderness Area. The region is rich in scenic wonders and recreational opportunities. Glade Top Trail is renowned for its enchanting spring and fall landscapes. Every year during the third week of October, Ava, a town near the byway, hosts the "Flaming Fall Review." Along with Ava's local Lion's Club, America Legion, and VFW associations, Ava and local residents celebrate the dazzling red and orange foliage of the smoke tree (a species of tree generally not found in Missouri) with a traditional barbeque and music festival at the Caney Picnic Area along the trail. Each spring Theodosia, another town, holds the Spring Flowering Tour, highlighting the dogwood, rosebud, serviceberry, and wild fruit trees dotting the byway. The trail travels along ridge tops that treat visitors to grand vistas of the glades blending with the oak and hickory forest.
Located within the Mark Twain National Forest, the trail offers a number of diversions. This section of forest along the byway provides visitors with wildlife viewing, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and picnicking opportunities. There is a variety of wildlife along the byway, and the glades provide a home for some species not generally found in the Ozarks, such as the roadrunner and the Bachman Sparrow, a state endangered species.
The Glade Top Trail is a pleasant half-day activity for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. The bewitching vistas, the vibrant spring and fall colors, and the recreational prospects guarantee to make this byway a favorite for locals and passers-by alike.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Mark Twain National Forest (MO)
The Mark Twain National Forest offers clear spring-fed rivers and streams, rocky bluffs, pastoral views and shaded trails for visitors to explore and enjoy the beauty of the renowned Ozarks.