Hike the Coy Bald/Long Creek Loop for the Waterfall

A wet-weather waterfall rewards your hard work on the Coy Bald and Long Creek Loop trails, and you'll love soaking in all of the fall foliage along the way.

By Vivian Wheeler

Oct 2019

Hercules Glades
Photo by Sara GenslerRushing streams and waterfalls make for a scenic fall landscape on Hercules Glade’s Coy Bald and Long Creek trails.

There are over 12,000 acres and more than 30 miles of trails to explore at Hercules Glades, but we’re particularly keen to the Coy Bald/Long Creek loop, which (hopefully) leads to a waterfall. There are two trailheads at Hercules Glades, so to find this spot simply search Coy Bald trailhead on Google Maps.

Once you’re on the trail, head right at the fork and hop onto the Coy Bald trail. The first couple miles of the hike are through the forest. Eventually the landscape opens up, and you’re treated to scenic vistas and glades. When you come to a fork, be sure to follow the sign that says “Trail.” We’re not saying we get lost here regularly... but before some kind soul put a sign here, we definitely spent some time wandering around lost.  

Stay on the Coy Bald Trail until you reach the sign for the falls and then hike down to them. The falls are weather-dependent, but unless it’s the middle of summer or particularly dry, you should have a decent chance of at least seeing a trickle. Once you’re done at the falls, head back to the trail and look for the Long Creek trail sign. Long Creek trail loops back to the trailhead, and the rest of your trip will mostly be through the woods. There are several water crossings on these trails, so be prepared to wade if it’s been rainy.

Coy Bald/Long Creek Loop Information

1 hour and 20 minutes south from Springfield, MO
Difficulty: Moderate | Length: 6 mile | Kid- and Dog-Friendly: Dogs and older kids
The Big Payoff: The falls | Photo-Op: Snap a shot of the sweeping vistas just before the fork. At the falls, venture down the creekside a bit and aim your camera upstream for the money shot.

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