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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Spring hiking season begins

  • The River-to-River Trail Society begins its spring hiking series 10 a.m. Saturday with a jaunt in Pope County, from Raum Road to One Horse Gap.
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  • The River-to-River Trail Society begins its spring hiking series 10 a.m. Saturday with a jaunt in Pope County, from Raum Road to One Horse Gap.
    The 10 a.m. Saturday hikes in the spring and fall are usually 2 to 6 miles in length and take three to five hours. Trail Boss Eric Johnson considers the difficulty level as moderate.
    “There are health benefits in getting out in the fresh air, some exercise and the companionship of like-minded people,” Johnson said.
    “It’s always been our thing, ‘We don’t care who you are or what you area, we’re happy to get you out and get hiking.”
    For those wanting exercise, hiking is cheaper than a gym membership and for those wanting company it’s cheaper than a bar tab.
    “You don’t need to take fancy, high tech gear to go on a hike, but you do want a pair of shoes,” he said.
    The only rules for hiking with the group are:

    • Be in reasonably good health
    • Wear boots or sturdy shoes
    • Bring your own water and snack
    • No dogs
    This spring’s hiking schedule is:
    March 9:
    Hike: River to River Trail, Raum Road to One Horse Gap (Pope County)
    Leader: Gillum Ferguson
    Meet: Herod Post Office, Route 34, Herod
    Time: 10 a.m.
     
    March 16:
    Hike: Dutchman Lake Area (Johnson County)
    Leader: Bill Gilmour
    Meet: Vienna Ranger Station, 602 N. First Street, Rte. 45 North, Vienna
    Time: 10 a.m.
    March 23:
    Hike: Garden of the Gods to Hitching Post (Saline and Pope Counties)
    Leader: Mike McRoy
    Meet: Backpackers’ Parking Lot, Garden of the Gods Recreation Area
    Time: 10 a.m.
    April 6:
    Hike: Burden Falls to Durfee Cemetery (Pope County)
    Leader: Susan Durfee
    Meet: Burden Falls, Forest Road 402, 4 miles west of Delwood
    Time:10 a.m.
    April 7:
    Event: Work Day in cooperation with U.S. Forest Service, Indian Point Trail
    To volunteer, call (618) 833-1016 or email shawneeforestvolunteercorps@yahoo.com
    April 13:
    Hike: Rice Hollow and Buzzard’s Roost (Gallatin County)
    Leader: Eric Johnson
    Meet: Backpacker’s Parking Lot, Garden of the Gods Recreation Area
    Time: 10 a.m.
    April 20:
    Hike: Sand Cave to Bell Smith Springs (Pope County)
    Leader: Mart Watson
    Page 2 of 2 - Meet: Hunting Branch picnic area, Forest road 849, off Forest Road 848, Bell Smith Springs Recreation Area
    Time: 10 a.m.
    April 27:
    Hike: Jackson Hollow/Jackson Falls (Pope County)
    Leader: Brian DeNeal
    Meet: Climbers’ Parking Lot, Glenn St. Falls Road, (Forest Road 494), 2.5 miles SW of McCormick
    Time: 10 a.m
    June 1:
    Event: National Trails Day (Saline County)
    Leaders: John O’Dell, Dean Maddox
    Meet: Tecumseh Statue, Saline County Fish and Wildlife Area, (Glen Jones Lake)
    Time: Noon
    The River-to-River Trail Society is a not-for-profit organization founded by John O’Dell during the 1990s to promote completion of the River-to-River Trail, which now runs through the Shawnee National Forest between Elizabethtown on the Ohio River and Grand Tower on the Mississippi River. The Society engages in trail maintenance and advocacy and offers guided public hikes during the spring and fall hiking seasons. It also publishes a trail guide to the entire River-to-River Trail, available for $25 plus $5 postage and handling ($30 total), from the Society’s headquarters at 1142 Winkleman Road, Harrisburg, Illinois 62946.
    n For more information on the hikes contact Eric Johnson at (618) 499-2337.
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