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Glade Top Trail National Scenic Byway near Ava Missouri

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Print & Bring Glade Top Trail Info

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    Starting From The North Entrance:
    (If coming in from the south entrance just reverse driving directions)  At the north entrance you will see two signs, the one on the right, a yellow and brown wood sign, says "Glade Top Trail Mark Twain National Forest". The sign on the left, a brown wood sign with light yellow letters also says, Glade Top Trail Mark Twain National Forest". You will also see a yellow sign warning that all vehicles using Forest Service roads must comply with state laws. Just past this sign is a little brown sign on a wood post with the number "147" on it. This means the road that is the Glade Top Trail is Forest Service Road Number 147. This gets confusing if you are looking at a State or County map because neither the State or County uses the Forest Service road numbers.

    Road Stop Details

    Stop 1: Go 3/10 of a mile from the north entrance to a pullout with information and trail map interpretive sign. There are picnic tables here but no restrooms or water.

    Stop 2: Go another mile lookiing to your right. This area is Haden Bald, which is a 40 acre tract being managed as a State Natural Area. This means it will never be grazed and will be burned about every 4 to 6 years.

    Stop 3: (Smoke trees)Go about another 3/10ths of a mile and you'll come to the Smoke Tree Scene on your left. If you are lucky you'll be there when the smoke trees are in peak fall color. That happens around the last few days of September to no later than October 10. In that approximate two week period you'll see several smoke trees in brilliant display - if conditions are right. This stop is a good place to photograph a number of flowers and insects. Please step carefully in here! The glade soil is less than six inches deep and capable of supporting only a limited amount of vegetation. The view to the south gives you a look at the hills near Gainsville, Missouri 20 miles away.

    Go another 7/10 mile and you'll see a sharp hairpin turn to the left. Pull over to the right just before the turn and there's a goreous view. (turn sharp left at hairpin turn)

    Go down around the hairpin turn to the left about 1/10 mile to another scenic view with bench and interpretive sign. There is a hiking trailhead here off to the left of the parking spot.

    Stop 4: Go another 6/10 mile to the Arkansas Overlook which has a big view of the Arkansas Ozarks 40 miles away to the south. Where road forks stay right when leaving.

    Go 4/10 mile to Corbit Potter Camp site, which is where horse people sometimes park their trailers for a day.

    Go 8/10 miles to Potter's Place, which has some very large fields. This is a good place to walk around with a camera at daylight or at twilight.

    Stop 5: Go 1.2 miles to Watershed Divide. This is one of the better spots to expect spectacular fall color. It is also a good place to stop with a camera, not only for the foliage, but for wild flowers and other macro subjects. Please step carefully! This is called the Watershed Divide because at this point two watersheds meet.

    Stop 6: Go 8/10 miles to Caney Fire Tower. To get to the tower you need to run up the road on the left. At the top is a very nice picnic spot with a good table. You can't climb the tower but it's fun to look at.

    Stop 7: Go 1/2 mile to Caney Mtn. Picnic Site. This is where you'll want to spend a little time. The view is a combination of hilltop and grass glade. This is another spot where you can expect beautiful fall color up close. The Caney Mountain Picnic site has restrooms, a shade pavilion with tables, old-fasioned gosspel seating on exposed benches, a beautiful wood rail fence, parking, and a little cave behind the parking lot. This is where the annual Flaming Fall Review Festival is held.

    Go 1.8 miles from Caney Mtn. and where the road forks stay left. If you go right it takes you to State Hwy 125.

    Stop 8: Go another mile and you'll come to Wille Lee Farm. This is another good picnic spot and camping site.

    Stop 9: Go another 2/10 of a mile and you are at Wolf Junction, another picnic spot. This is also where the Glade Top Trail splits. Bear to the right and you will be on Glade Top Trail West, which will bring you out to the west entrance at State Hwy 125. We recommend bearing to the left at Wolf Junction because there are some very nice views further on down the road. The Glade Top West also has some nice views. If you have time we recommend first running down Glade Top Trail West, then come back to Wold Junction and continue down FS 147.

    Stop 10: We'll assume at this point you are heading down FS 147 from Wolf Junction, which is turning to the left at Wolf Junction. Go another 4 miles and you'll have driven through a wide open panoramic view. At about the 4 mile point is the last interpretive sign on the Trail. This whole area is a very good place to watch sunsets.

    Heading Out
    At this point you can either turn around and go back down the Glade Top Trail the way you first came in, or you can continue on to State Hwy 160. To go back to the north entrance is about 18 or 19 miles. You won't go more than 15 miles an hour most of the way, so allow at least one hour to go back the way you came. If you elect to drive on to Hwy 160, keep following FS 147 for another 2 miles or so. The dirt road changes to hard surface again next to a little cemetary (Grahm Cementary) at the tiny little town of Longrun. Once you go past the cemetary you'll go around some sharp curves going past the few buildings and homes in Longrun. In about 2/10 of a mile you'll come to State Highway 95. You may also see signs for Ozark County roads 908 and 881. Regardless, turn right and go 5.6 miles where you run into State Hwy 160. If you turn left the town of Theodosia, Missouri is about 1.5 miles down the road. You can find food, gas, and lodging here, or continue on east.

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