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The annual Glade Top Trail Flaming Fall Revue will be held this Sunday, Oct. 16, beginning with an outdoor church service on the mountain at 10:30 a.m.
Live musical entertainment, craft activities for the kids, and exhibits, demonstrations and contests will be held throughout the afternoon.
A noon meal of pulled pork or brown beans & ham will be available, and there will be a dessert auction for all to participate in.
The Glade Top Trail, which runs south from Douglas County Route A south of Ava, is a National Scenic Byways route. The “trail” winds through the Mark Twain National Forest, keeping to the ridges to provide breathtaking views along the route as the U.S. Forest Service road meanders into Ozark County.
The program and meal, sponsored by the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce, take place at the Caney Picnic Area which is one of several historical stops marked along the way.
The Glade Top Trail was carved out of the Ozarks terrain by Civil Conservation Corps workers some 70 years ago. A U.S. Forest Service fire lookout tower still stands high above the picnic area where the noon meal will be served.
To drive the Glade Top Trail, go south from Ava on Highway 5 to Route A. Turn right on A and follow it to County Road 409 which turns left off Route A. Continue to follow CR 409 into the National Forest, and follow the Forest Service signs to the picnic area.
The Glade Top Trail Tours began in 1960 as a joint effort of the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Forest Service, and local businesses and civic organizations that wished to share the beauty of the Ozarks with others.
Live entertainment will be provided by Bluegrass Traditions and Missy Breshears. There will also be clogging by the Pride & Joy Cloggers of Ozark, as well as scarecrow making and turkey calling contests, with prizes for the winners.
The kids will do pumpkin painting and other activities.
Two – actually three – options are offered for the noon meal. Adults may opt for a meal of slow-cooked pulled pork for $6.50 or a brown beans & ham dinner for $4. A hot dog meal will be available for the kids for just $2.50.
Because of the unusually hot, dry weather we had here this summer some questions have been asked about the fall colors. The fact is, no one can be sure what to expect or when the colors will reach their peak. Fall colors in the Ozarks are just about as unpredictable as anything else about the weather around here.
Although summer extremes might reduce fall color somewhat, Missouri’s fall weather has been favorable for tree color so far, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Moderately dry conditions, with sunny weather and daytime highs in the 60s and nighttime lows in the 40s, all tend to intensify fall colors. However, freezing temperatures, heavy rain and strong wind could still cut short the fall-color season by stripping leaves from trees.
Fall color almost always peaks around Oct. 15 in Missouri. Trees in the northern and southern parts of the state may change colors a week earlier or later.
Any questions about the Glade Top Trail or other Chamber of Commerce activities may be directed to Judy Shields, executive director, at 417-683-4594; www.avachamber.org.
You may also wish to call the office of the U.S. Forest Service in Ava at 417-683-4428.