Glades are the hidden jewels of the St. Francois Mountains. These rocky areas can be home to plants found nowhere else in Missouri. Interesting animals such as collared lizards and striped scorpions are often associated with glades.
Encroachment of eastern red cedars and other hardwoods is the greatest threat to glades. The Forest Service is actively restoring glades by cutting and chipping cedars and hardwoods, followed by the application of prescribed fire.
Crane Tower Glade is located at nearly 1,500 feet in elevation, but not on Crane Mountain. It got its name from the old Crane Lookout Tower that was once perched on top of an unnamed mountain located about five miles north of Crane Lake.