Tuesday, February 27

Adventures with Uncle Bob: Trail of Tears State Forest

This is a further installment of the ongoing series, "Adventures with Uncle Bob" -- a guide to outdoor recreation opportunities in southern Illinois.

A Hiking Guide to Trail of Tears State Park
Directions: Take IL Rt 127 south from Alto Pass. After approximately 5 miles, look for a brown sign and turn right on this county road. You are now on a scenic road that winds through a canyon and eventually ends at Rt 3 by Wolfe Lake. Watch for a sign that says "North Forest Road". (This road is closed to auto traffic from mid-November to April 30 each year.) This well-maintained narrow road is one-way (east to west) and winds through forested ridgetops for roughly 5 miles. Near the end, it descends through a pine plantation and into a tree nursery. After another half mile you will come to the county's North Forest Road.

This area has abundant picnic facilities and accomodations for equestrians. Along the way you will find frequent views into ravines. Note the numerous signed fire and horse trails (sufficient parking is available at each). I hiked a number of the trails, but did not observe anything that I couldn't view just walking on the road. Equestrians have a trailer parking facility on the county road one-half mile west of the forest road sign. An access trail from that facility leads to the trail system and road.

Drive further on the county road to the picnic area and sign to locate South Forest Tower Road. This is also a one-way, traveling west to east. This road similarly traverses forested ridgetops for three miles and ends at the county road. No horses are allowed on this one. There are also a number of picnic and restroom facilities.

I found the South Forest Road to show more scenic views across ravines than the North Forest Road. While one can drive a vevicle on this well-maintained road, walking the road enhances the total experience. It has a number of fire and hiking trails. Note the gated old fire tower. At the picnic area, you can hike a shorter route to the fire tower on the Heritage Trail; however, that trail is very steep.

Trail brochures for this area are available at the White Barn visitor center and also at any US Forest Service ranger station. For more information on this destination, contact "Uncle" Bob Tyson at 684-5643 The GPS coordinates for the parking area to climb up to south forest tower road are 89 21' 41.36"W and 37 28' 49.36"N. An editor labeled this area wrong. This is Trail of Tears State Forest. The Trail of Tears State Park is 10 miles north of Cape girardeau, Missouri.
3-29-13: 3 of us went up north forest road up to the open area near a sharp left turn which has hunter check station,picnic tables,restroom. we went out on the trail there called Main street north-trails 21-30. we want #26. At the first jct-go left.  Ignore 26B. later go go right at the next jct( lost trail). We have traveled about 1.2 miles so far. We soon bushwhack off our trail 26. Note ribbons and logs on the ground in a V shape. Follow the ridge as it veers northeast and we are in for an experience! Soon we are on a razorback trail approx 6 ft wide with steep ravines on both sides and great views over the countryside. At some point the ridge will make a sharp descent, so we turned around and returned to our departure point. It was worth going off trail. By the way, note that this north road is closed from January thru April and/or turkey season.

Saturday, February 10

Get Acquainted With the Night

Moon phase photo

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
O luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.
~ Robert Frost

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Monday, February 5

Greetings Shawnee Sierra Club Bloggers

This is my first voyage into posting on a blog. So far, it has been easy. I just have to remember my password. Hey, if I can do this, so can you!

The latest news from Shawnee Group is that we have two new lobby liason volunteers to help with lobbying our state representatives - Rep. David Reis from Olney and Rep. Brandon Phelps from Harrisburg. If you are interested in becoming a member of our Illinois Chapter Lobby Corps, please let us know - here on this blogspot, or call Barb at (618) 529-4824. You must be a Sierra Club member to be part of the Corps. You do receive training and support! Also, you do not have to travel to Springfield. Just lobby your state representative at his/her home office in a town near you! We will even make sure another member comes with you for the interview. We will give you briefings on the bills that we are working on.
If you have questions and think you may be interested, do not hesitate to call me (Barb).

Also, we are in the process of planning an Energy Film Fest, which will take place March 22-31st. If you would like to help with the film fest, please let me know (Barb, 529-4824). We need help with hosting the presentations and also with publicity. Don't hesitate - we need you! The films are all dealing with some aspect of Global Warming, Energy Conservation, Alternative Sources of Energy, etc. It is part of the National Sierra Club project to bring these films to places across the U.S.

Sunday, February 4


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