Monday, November 26

Rim Rock Trails

Continuing with our series,"Adventures with Uncle Bob-Guide to Self-Adventure in Southern Illinois", we feature Rim Rock National Recreation trail in Shawnee National forest.  Directions: From Harrisburg,ill, take us 45 south to a left turn on Rt 145. Follow it past Mitchelville and a left onto Rt 34. Follow this past Herod,Ill and turn left on Karber Ridge Rd.  This road will pass Garden of the Gods, High Knob, and another 4 miles to the well marked entrance.
Along with ample parking in the paved lot, there is a rest room and numerous picnic tables.  Note the sign board with an orientation to the trails and history of the area.  GPS coordinates are 37  36'  8.76"N and 88  16'  41.97"W.  We are confronted with 3 trail choices: left, right, and straight ahead.  The left segment provides continuous views 70 ft below the paved trail into the canyon; On the left, we also parallel continuous sandstone glades. We come to an observation deck.If you took the center trail which is also paved, it arrives at the same deck.  This trail isn't as scenic-just goes thru woods and has a long descent.This one is also paved. That left segment is accdessible for wheelchairs as far as the deck. The brochure states that a loop of both trails is one hour.  From the deck we descend a staircase thru a rock tunnel maze and arrive at the base of the cliffs.  Going to the right, we encounter Ox-Lot Cave.  This is a massive cliff overhang but has very little depth; Rather it is more noted for historical significance.
Now we are following a dirt base trail which provides views of tall pretty clifflines. A junction appears: a left goes 0.5 mile to Pounds Hollow Lake and a right continues our baseline trail back to the parking lot.  Soon our trail becomes a canyon with tall cliffs on both sides of the trail. Near the end, the trail suddenly climbs thru switchbacks.  We arrive at the 3-way junction and parking lot.  You will note numerous resting benches on all 3 trail segments.
More info from Bob Tyson at 684-5643 or

Saturday, November 10

Horse Creek Trail

Continuing with our series,"Adventures with Uncle Bob-Guide to self-exploration in Southern Illinois",we feature the above trail in Shawnee National Forest.  This trail disappeared off our old website. Directions: From Jonesboro,illinois, go west on rt 146 to rt 3, turn left and drive about 10 miles to the village of McClure, turn left by the schoolhouse onto Grapevine road. Proceed about 5 miles and turn right on Oxford Rd (the Forest Service refers to it as FR 220). If you go by an abandoned campground, you went too far-back up. Our route up to this point has been very scenic. Drive up the steep gravel road,fork right onto the lane with grass in the middle, and you will see two trailheads. As a loop trail, I prefer the second one.GPS coordinates are N37 18' 19" and W 89  22' 16.28".
The trail has a number of switchbacks with many overlooks over the countryside and ravine views. This trail is rugged. Eventually we descend to the bottom of the canyon and a "T" intersection. If you go right it will end at a pond. Proceed left. In the spring you will be overpowered by the sounds of Cicada insects. Good pictures at If the link doesn't go, re-type it in your browser. Along the bottom of the canyon we climb in and out of hollowed-out creekbeds.At some point we come to an unclear junction and I hope my blue marker is still there. Turn left. The trail now makes a steep ascent back to the top and out to the road. Turn left there and back to your car. Estimated length of this loop was 5 miles.
For another very scenic drive, turn left on Grapevine and drive approx half mile to a road sign( county line road?), turn right and follow several miles and reach rt 127. Go left and follow to Jonesboro. Any comments or questions, contact Bob Tyson 684-5643 or