Wednesday, August 22

Burden Falls

In our on-going series: "Adventures With Uncle Bob - Your Guide to Self-Adventure in Southern Illinois," we offer an update on Burden Falls. Directions: From Marion, go east to Rt 166 and follow this road thru Creal Springs to US 45. Turn right, and go to Ozark. Turn left and follow the brown Bell Smith Springs signs. After several miles, there is a junction: the right fork points to Bell Smith Springs, and the left to Rt 145. You want to go left. There used to be a Burden Falls sign.

Upon parking at the falls, walk across the stone glade and locate a rim trail on the east side of the canyon. This trail will deadend at approx 0.3 mile. Look down upon a raised boulder which has a hole underneath it. Crawl thru this hole and easily descend to the bottom of the falls. The previous article took the hiker along the west rim trail for some distance before descending to follow the rugged base trail to the falls.  4-6-13: on the east rim trail, boulder is gone. just walk about 60 ft after crossing the rock glade and look over the rim for a user-made path which will switchback to the bottom. As to the rim trail on west side: you will walk about 0.3 mile before th cliff line ends and easily descend.
We discovered a new place in this Burden Falls Wilderness known as Caney Branch Ecological Area. From the waterfall, go east to the 2nd parking access area on this road (gps N37.5859 and W88.6420). Commence the trail and go north almost a mile. Look for an unmarked trail on the right. While not always easy to follow,keep descending until the cliff line is visible on the left. Now bushwhack along this line and note the unusual patterns in the rock surfaces. Later we make a steep descent into a canyon valley. let's cross the creek on stepping stones and another long interesting cliff line appears and seems to go on forever heading east. note the cliff in front of us is tilted at 30 degree angle due to glacial uplift. Upon returning to the parking lot,you may be able to avoid that steep climb back up the cliff line by following the creekbed while keeping you eyes on the cliff line.

For any questions, contact Bob Tyson at 684-5643. This wilderness area was previously featured at: coodinates 37 33' 48.49"N and 88 38' 32.62:W

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