Solitude on Missouri Trails: Hercules Glades



Long Creek Falls viewed from downstream on January 7th hike.

On our last visit to the Hercules Glades Wilderness Area, we crossed paths with at least ten hikers on the trail and another twenty members of a Boy Scout troop at the Coy Bald Trailhead. The hiking was excellent, and it was a pleasure to see others on the trail, but the creeks were mostly dry, so I looked forward to a second visit in wetter conditions with a little more solitude.


Long Creek Falls during dryer and busier times. One of the few pools on the creek. Five more hikers are close by.


A similar view to the one above looking downstream in different light and conditions.

I’ve found that if you hike on a rainy day in January, you’ll probably have the trail to yourself. Your chances for solitude are enhanced if snow is in the forecast. I didn’t see another person on the trail all day.


Long Creek runs under an overhanging bluff where we stood in the dry on our last visit.

Hiker-dog and I walked from Hercules Tower Trailhead to Long Creek then downstream to the falls. No concerns for drinking water on this trip! I would filter it, but Hiker enjoyed having a drink or a bath whenever it suited her.


Hiker-dog taking in the view after taking a dip in the falls.

There are several creek crossings on this trail and the temperature was around 40-degrees and dropping. To save time, I opted to do the crossings in my regular hiking shoes, so I got a little chilled while standing still to take photos at the waterfall.

I was thankful for the warming effects of the the uphill climb back to the trailhead. It was a solitary, chilly, and beautiful time in the Hercules Glades Wilderness Area!

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