The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Fall guided hikes offered by River-to-River Trail Society

  • The River-to-River Trail Society has announced its schedule of guided hikes in and about the Shawnee National Forest for fall, 2012.
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  • The River-to-River Trail Society has announced its schedule of guided hikes in and about the Shawnee National Forest for fall, 2012.
    For forest novices wanting to learn how to get around some of the trails, the River to River Trail Society hikes are a great way to learn and get questions answered by trail veterans. For those well-acquainted with the forest, the hikes provide an opportunity to be in the company of like-minded individuals.
    The hikes lead to some well-traversed trails, like the within the Garden of the Gods Wilderness.
    They also lead to some lesser-known routes such as the Crest Trail that leads over the Eagle Mountains from the Saline County Fish and Wildlife Area to Stoneface. Another somewhat obscure route — though it travels the River to River Trail — leads from the Trigg Tower area to Bay/Millstone Lake.
    The River to River Trail is a network of trails stretching across the state from Elizabethtown on the Ohio River to Devil’s Backbone State Park on the Mississippi River. Many backpackers each year transport a bottle of Ohio River water over the course of 10 to 14 days to pour it into the Mississippi River. More backpackers still start that journey, but abandon it partway through due to the ravages of blistered feet, unpredictable water sources or snaps of nasty weather.
    Those wanting to order a copy of the society’s “River to River Trail Guide: A Guide for Hikers, Backpackers and Equestrians” may contact author John O’Dell at River to River Trail Society, 1142 Winkleman Road, Harrisburg, Ill. 62946 (618) 252-6789. The guide is also kept stocked at Bookworm in Carbondale.
    The River-to-River Trail Society is a not-for-profit organization founded by O’Dell during the 1990s to promote completion of the River-to-River Trail. The Society engages in trail maintenance and advocacy and offers guided public hikes during the spring and fall hiking seasons.
    All hikes are open to the public free of charge. Except for the September 29, made in cooperation with the Forest Service’s observance of Public Lands Day, all hikes begin at 10 a.m.
    Most hikes are of moderate difficulty, designed for people in reasonably good health who have done some walking. Sturdy shoes are highly recommended. Hikers should bring their own water and a snack. No dogs, please.
    Those needing more information on the hikes may contact Eric Johnson at (618) 499-2337 or Gillum Ferguson at (630) 357-9651.
    This fall’s schedule is:
    October 13:
    Hike: Crest Trail (Tecumseh statue to Old Stone Face) (Saline County)
    Leaders: Lana Wiley and John O’Dell
    Meet: Tecumseh Statue, Glen O. Jones Lake, Saline County State Fish and Wildlife Area, 8 miles southeast of Harrisburg, Illinois
    Page 2 of 2 - Time: 10 a.m.
    October 20:
    Hike: Gum Springs Area (Johnson County)
    Leader: Bill Gilmour
    Meet: New Simpson Hill School at Tunnel Hill on U.S. Route 45, between Ozark and Vienna
    Time: 10 a.m.
    October 27:
    Hike: Panther Den (Union County)
    Leaders: Don Monty and Anne Gaylord
    Meet: Old gas station on south side of Goreville blacktop, just west of Interstate 57 at Exit 40
    Time: 10 a.m.
    November 3:
    Hike: High Knob to Karber’s Ridge/Elizabethtown Blacktop (Gallatin and Hardin counties)
    Leader: Eric Johnson
    Meet: High Knob Parking Lot, 1½ mile north of Karber’s Ridge, then ½ mile east
    Time: 10 a.m.
    November 10:
    Hike: East Trigg Trailhead to Bay Lake area (Pope County)
    Leader: Steve Ryder
    Meet: East Trigg Trailhead, on Trigg Tower Road (424), 1 mile north of Trigg Observation Tower, and 3 miles northeast of Simpson
    Time: 10 a.m.
    November 24:
    Hike: Indian Point (Saline County)
    Leaders: Mart Watson and Brian DeNeal
    Meet: Backpackers’ Parking Lot, Garden of the Gods Recreation Area
    Time: 10 a.m
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