Forest service maintaining Glade Top Trail, scenic byway

Mark Twain National Forest has initiated a project to repair Forest Service Road 147, also known as Glade Top Trail, located on the Ava Unit of the Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs (ACW) Ranger District.

Interruptions in traffic may result as workers haul gravel and make necessary repairs. No long-term closures are planned during construction; but short closures of a day or less may occur along sections of the road over the next few months.

The first few miles of Glade Top Trail were improved in early 2016 with ERFO (Emergency Relief for Federally-Owned Roads Program) funding, after storms in 2015 damaged the road.

View of Caney tower from Caney picnic area along Glade Top Trail National Forest Scenic Byway, Ava unit.

This year’s project will bring improvements to the rest of Forest Service Road 147 through funding from the Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP).

Glade Top Trail was selected as a Nature Watch “Top Site” by the Forest Service’s Washington Office earlier this year. The road’s status as a National Scenic Byway comes from the beautiful vistas of the rolling hills and dolomite outcroppings, indicative of the glade ecosystem.
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The Glade Top Trail Interpretive Tour (found under the “Special Places” tab online at allows visitors to use a smart phone or tablet to scan QR codes on signposts along the route to learn more about the area and how the Forest Service has managed it to restore the glade ecosystem.

The contract for current repairs to this 14-mile-long section of Glade Top Trail has been awarded to William C. Shertz. The Mark Twain National Forest will spend approximately $880,000 to upgrade, repair, and maintain this National Scenic Byway through the awarded contract.

Upgrades will modernize the road’s drainage system and broaden the narrow sections to a standardized width.

For those with questions about Glade Top Trail or other sites on the ACW Ranger District, please stop by the Ava Ranger Station, located at 1103 S. Jefferson Ave. in Ava, Mo. The office is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The office can be reached by phone at (417) 683-4428.

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