Posted on March 14th, 2011
The Hercules Glade Wilderness-which some claim is Missouri’s finest wilderness area-is a 12,315-acre area east of Branson that features huge glades and a beautiful creek with many small waterfalls. Located in the eastern section of Taney County, Hercules Glade also offers a combination of open grassland, forested knobs, steep rocky hillsides, and narrow drainages that delight nature lovers and solitude seekers from around the world. Hiking, camping and horseback riding is allowed.
The terrain is characterized by shallow droughty soils and limestone rock outcroppings, with stately oak and Eastern red cedar trees standing guard over open glades of waving prairie grasses.
A variety of wildlife species call the Glades their home, including whitetail deer, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, turkeys, quail, numerous songbirds, small lizards and snakes. (Copperheads and rattlesnakes may be encountered, so it’s wise to be on the lookout.) You’ll also be offered the chance to see roadrunners, collared lizards and tarantulas (non-poisonous variety) to add to the adventure.
Hercules Glades has long been recognized for its special qualities. The elevation range exceeds 600 feet between the high points, such as Pilot Knob and Coy Bald and the bottom of Long Creek. The Glade’s Long and Cane Creeks contain water only portions of the year. It was designated a Wilderness in Public Law 94-557, October 1976, and is managed under the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964. It is one of eight designated wildernesses in Missouri, seven of which are part of the