Summer is a great time to visit one of Missouri’s many different types of glades. Glades are a unique habitat that supports unique plant and animal species. Look for glades on slopes and hilltops in forest clearings. You will first notice the bare, exposed rock covered in lichens and surrounded by grasses and flowers. The trees, if any, will be scattered few and far between. The glades you’ll find throughout Missouri are characterized by the type of rock found underneath your feet. Prescribed fire is essential in restoring and maintaining glades from the encroaching forest. Without this maintenance, trees like Eastern Red Cedar can quickly grow to cover a glade. Greater Roadrunners are characteristic of glades and you might also find birds characteristic of the surrounding forest and woodland moving through the glade. Look for Painted Bunting, Prairie Warbler, Chuck-wills-widow, and Red-headed Woodpecker as well.
These areas on the trail feature glades:
Peck Ranch Conservation Area. Several large glades are located here, as well as at the nearby Stegall Mountain.
Wildcat Glades Conservation Nature Center. This area is named after its many glades.
Painted Rock Conservation Area. Many small glades are scattered throughout the area.
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. There is a limestone glade on the area.
Meramec State Park. Found in the Meramec Upland Forest Natural Area.
Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park. Found in the Johnson’s Shut-Ins Natural Area.