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last min trip advise in southern ILL
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Douglas Raymond
(Dougr320) - F

Locale: Indy
last min trip advise in southern ILL on 08/31/2010 12:11:25 MDT Print View

Need some ideas for a last min overnight backpacking trip in southern ILL, Shawnee National Forest area. I've been to garden of the gods, but not sure if there will be water there since its been pretty dry. Also have thought about garden of the gods red cedar trail, but I just did that last spring. And sugestions for a fairly easy overnighter appreciated thanks.

-Doug

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
So. Ill on 09/12/2010 10:31:42 MDT Print View

It's been a while since I've been in So. Ill (spent my summers in Pope County) but I was would say Bell Smith Springs is absolutely gorgeous. Burden Falls after a rain is spectacular. Not sure how many miles you're looking to go, and living in Pope County I never really backpacked, I just remember some of the more hidden areas.

Lusk Creek Wilderness Area (and salt peter cave nearby) is my favorite place. Bluffs similar to garden of the gods, but forested and hidden from view. Not sure how much the horses have ruined the Shawnee in the last ten years though...

Douglas Raymond
(Dougr320) - F

Locale: Indy
S ill on 09/12/2010 17:56:04 MDT Print View

I ended up just doing the giant city red cedar loop as an overnighter. Was pretty nice. Not as senic as the eastern side of the forest but still nice.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
So. Ill on 09/12/2010 21:00:58 MDT Print View

Nice. Yeah, you're not going to get too many of the big views in Illinois during the summer; probably what makes Garden of the Gods so special.

I'm actually planning on doing a thru-bouldering-hike of the River to River in 2011. I always wanted to hike the trail, and since I started climbing, I found out that 5 of the best bouldering areas in So. Ill are right along the trail.

Douglas Raymond
(Dougr320) - F

Locale: Indy
Thu hike on 09/13/2010 15:18:08 MDT Print View

I don't climb but have been wanting to thru hike to r2r trail for some time. Drop mean line if you ate looking for a hiking partner