Explore the most popular trails near Ava with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Ava, Missouri Map
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Great drive through the Ozarks. Leads to a lot of camping and hiking opportunities. Hercules Glades wilderness is one area on the road midway. Primitive camping at the fire tower trailhead.

We did not realize upon making the drive to Ava that this is a scenic drive and not actually a hiking trail like we thought. Oops! It might be good for the Glade Top Run held every year or even biking, but we should've done some research first. It was a pretty drive.

We took a nice scenic drive down the Gladetop Trail, stopping at multiple overlooks to enjoy the splendid views.

Nice drive.

Most of this trail is a drivable gravel road: loose rock gravel provides a tricky surface on which to bike and this is the trail's biggest drawback. Starting Glade Top from the trailhead south of Ava, the first 2.5 miles is mostly climb and is pretty brutal considering the lack of traction - you'll need to be in shape for sustained loose surface climbing. The views are spectacular, however, and this trail does not seem heavily used. Once you get back into the high forested ridges, it is very peaceful and the glades are great places to take a break. Do watch for occasional motor traffic - especially on the blind corners.