Tuesday, July 24

Trail #112

As part of our on-going series, "Adventures with Uncle Bob - Your Guide to Self-Adventure in Southern Illinois," we turn our attention to Trail 112, also known as FR 1621. The new Shawnee Forest Service Wilderness map indicates the trail numbers will change. This is part of the Garden of the Gods Wilderness Area (see http://illinois.sierraclub.org/shawnee/unclebob/adventures.htm). Directions: From Harrisburg, IL., take Rt 145 to Rt 34. South of Herod, take a left on Karber Ridge Road. Turn north at the sign for Garden of the Gods. Instead of turning left into the main area, continue north on the county road. After the switchbacks, look for an unmarked road on the right with a wood sign. Now we are driving beside a cliff line for a half mile.

Look for a small parking area on the right. Cross the road and descend along trail 112 a short distance to view a pretty natural bridge and its adjacent keyhole in the cliff. It is approx 4 ft high, 20 ft wide, and 5 ft thick. You can go behind it to climb up a bluff for distant views. Come back to the road and walk west about 1,000 ft and note a user-made trail along the cliffs, starting with a 20ft deep rock shelter. Continue on past interesting rock formations, a cave, and slot canyons. Further on, note the huge shelter overhang (30 ft high and 20 ft wide). Pass a couple more slot canyons and note the line patterns as the cliff line curves. At some point, brush impedes further progress and I return to the car. While this trail involves some bushwhacking, you will not get lost while staying along the cliff line.The GPS coordinates at the arch are 88 21' 48.30"W and 37 36' 26.55"N.
4-7-13: this trail is now re-named as trail 010. The marker for #112 is removed. I don't know how to deal with changing the title on the index.

More info from Bob Tyson at 618-684-5643 or John O'Dell at 618-252-6789.

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