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River-to-River Trail Society announces hike schedule

 
Submitted by Gillum Ferguson
River-to-River Trail Society
updated: 2/20/2019 11:55 AM

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS -- The River-to-River Trail Society announces its schedule of free guided hikes in and about the Shawnee National Forest for this spring. All hikes are open to the public free.

On March 9, two hikes will be offered, a more challenging one along Cedar Creek and a less strenuous cemetery hike at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. No reservations are required, except for the March 9 hike at Crab Orchard NWR, and the May 4 hike in Lusk Creek Wilderness, for which preregistration is required.

These hikes are of at least moderate difficulty, and are intended for people in good health who have done some hiking.

Boots or sturdy shoes and a walking stick are recommended for all hikes. Hikers should bring their own water and a snack. No dogs, please.

March 9

Two alternative hikes offered:

Hike Number One: Cedar Creek Waterfalls (Johnson County)

Leader: Bill Gilmour

Time: 10 a.m.

Meet: Tunnel Hill School, Route 45, between Ozark and Vienna, Illinois

-or Hike Number Two: Cemetery Hike at Crab Orchard NWR (Williamson County)

Leader: Dana Mallave-Miller, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Time: 1 p.m.

Meet: To register for this hike, call (630) 470-7692

March 16

Hike: Golden Circle, twin towers, and points south (Gallatin County)

Leader: Bill Gilmour

Meet: Backpackers' Parking Lot, Garden of the Gods Recreation Area

Time: 10 a.m.

March 23

Hike: Rim Rock, Blackridge Road, and Pounds Hollow Lake (Gallatin County)

Leader: Gillum and Vicki Ferguson

Meet: Rimrock Parking Lot, Karbers Ridge Road

Time: 10 a.m.

March 30

Hike: Sand Cave area to Millstone Lake (Pope County)

Leader: Fred Scott

Meet: Shawnee Mart, Route 145, Eddyville, Illinois.

Time: 10 a.m.

April 6

Hike: Kinkaid Lake Trail (Jackson County)

Leader: Bob Mulcahy

Meet: Trailhead at north end of Spillway Road, off Route 149, just east of Route 3, about five miles west of Murphysboro

Time: 10:30 a.m.

April 13

Hike: Max Creek (Johnson County)

Leader: Brian DeNeal

Meet: New Simpson-Tunnel Hill School, Route 45, between Ozark and Vienna

Time: 10 a.m.

April 20

Hike: Trail of Tears State Forest (Union County)

Leader: Jim Todd

Meet: TOT SF Visitor's Center, 3240 State Forest Road, Jonesboro

Time: 10:30 a.m.

April 27

Hike: Lusk Creek Wilderness (Pope County)

Leaders: Marcus Owens and Steve Mitchell

Meet/Time: To register for this hike, you must call (618) 534-8139

May 4

Hike: Heron Pond to Wildcat Bluff (Johnson County)

Leader: Shawn Gossman

Meet: Heron Pond Parking Lot, off Route 45, between Vienna and Karnak

Time: 10:30 a.m.

June 1

National Trails Day -- Annual Meeting -- Details to be announced

The River-to-River Trail Society is an Illinois not-for-profit corporation founded in 1993 by John O'Dell to promote completion of the River-to-River Trail, which now runs 157 miles 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 it offers free guided hikes to members and the public during the spring and fall hiking seasons.

In addition, the Society has recently completed a Trail Guide to the entire River-to-River Trail, which can be downloaded for free from the Society's website: rivertorivertrail.net.