Wednesday, October 24

Piney Woods Ravine Nature Preserve

Continuing with our monthly series, "Adventures With Uncle Bob-Guide to Self-Adventure in Southern Illinois," we feature Piney Woods Ravine. An article on this area was published in 2001-2 but has disappeared off our website and the Shawnee newsletter archives. This is a re-print.

Directions: Travel west from Murphysboro on Rt 149 to Rt 3. Turn right (north) and drive approx 15 miles. Look for a brown sign as you approach the Randolph County line. Turn right on to Hog Hill Rd and continue up the switchbacks. You will soon arrive at a junction-follow Rock Crusher Rd for several miles until the sign appears again for the preserve. Another 3 miles will bring you to its parking lot.

We start out along a line of trees to an open field. Turn right and find the signboard at the woods. This trail is well-marked as we descend the canyon. We arrive at a junction and note this is a loop trail. Go straight ahead and cross the creekbed. Upon doing so, take the spur trail on the right to visit the petroglyphs. Return to the main trail and hike north and east thru the woods. It finally descends into another canyon with waterfall cascades, stone glades, and pretty cliff walls. The trail ascends and now becomes a rim trail with frequent views down into the canyon. We arrive at our initial junction, turn left and return to the parking lot. I estimate our loop as 2 miles. An alternate route to this place is to follow Rt 4 to Campbell hill, il and note the sign for the preserve,turn left onto Rockcrusher rd. Go approx 5 miles until the sign for turning onto the road for the preserve.GPS coordinates are N37.8881 and W 89.6837.

More info from Bob Tyson at 684-5643 Photo courtesy of Monika Plumb.

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