Thursday, June 28

Old Stoneface Trail

Continuing with our series,"Adventures With Uncle Bob-Guide for Self-Adventure in Southern Illinois",we feature Old Stoneface in Shawnee national Forest. This is a reprint from an old website.  Directions: From Equality,ill go south by following Glen O jones lake road for several miles.  Turn right on Horseshoe road( a sign also says to rt 145). Go about 4 miles and the road shows a left onto stoneface Rd: The sign says 2 miles( long miles) on gravel.  There is no Forest Service sign at the entrance-just a county road sign reading stoneface lane. GPS N 37  39' 45" and W -88 26' 32".  Follow uphill to the parking area.  Alternatively, traveling on Rt 34 from harrisburg, there is a sign for this area at the village of Rudement.

From the parking lot, we ascend a rugged ascent, turn left at an unmarked junction, and reach a pretty cliff line after 0.2 mile. Go left. Lots of cliff overhangs. Go thru a boulder tunnel.  We can either walk to a trail junction to access the rim trail or shortcut up a rock slide.  This rim trail and sandstone glades afford continuous views over the distant countryside as well as views of the bottom of the canyon.  Wood fences protect plant species including the rare Chokeberry and Stonecrop.  Once past the fences, look for the above unique rock formation resembling a face.  Continue on the trail past the utility crossing and note a place to descend to the bottom( suggest descending backwards). Now we follow a user-made trail to take in outstanding rock formations and a cliff line that tilts at a 30 degree angle.  Continue to the second left turn, and back to the car. I estimate the loop at less than 2 miles. The Forest Service does not have an official base trail because it is an eccological area.  While here, why not also visit nearby Eagle mountain Scenic area(scroll the index on this blogsite).  This is approx 1 mile east on this road.  If the Eagle Mt road sign is missing, just look for an ascending road which does not go to a residence. More info from Bob Tyson at 684-5643 or 

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