Monday, June 28

Lake Glendale Trail

Continuing with our monthly series, "Adventures With Uncle Bob - Guide to Self-Adventure in Southern Illinois," we feature the above trail in Shawnee National Forest. Directions: From Marion, IL, take I-57 to I-24. Get off at the Tunnel Hill exit. Proceed thru Tunnel Hill to US 45. Go straight ahead and the road is now called Gilead Church Rd. After approx 12 miles you come to a junction with Rt 147 and turn left. Follow it to Rt 145 and turn right (south). Within 5 miles, turn at the Lake Glendale Recreation Area sign.

Just past the entrance, I turned right on a road which accesses camping, boat docks, and picnic areas. Since we start the 3.2 mile loop trail anywhere, I parked at Cardinal Bay (the road to the beach and major parking area was closed for repairs). We go north and east, cross the dam, and go past the swimming and picnic area. Note that boats are for rent and a sign says no gas-powered boats allowed. This trail will hug the lake the entire distance, including its inlets. I note this trail is easy to follow with graveled tread, and there are many wooden bridges to avoid streams and erosion.

At the first inlet (1.3 mile), I encounter one fast-flowing stream over a sharp-pointed slippery glade and 6 inches deep. This really needs a bridge-talk about a dangerous spot! Shortly thereafter, cross another 9 ft wide stream without a bridge-not as deep. Next I come to an unmarked intersection-go right. I think the other trail heads to Signal Point. We do have bridges the rest of the way. We come to Duck Bay picnic area and rest rooms. Cross the circle drive and resume the trail. Later we run along Cypress trees and knobs in low water areas. From here, the trail runs near camping and picnic shelters. One sign points to a parking area on the main road for Signal Point trail. However, if you scroll down this blog to that trail, you will find an easy way to access that trail without a long rugged hike. This means driving east past Dixon Springs State Park on rt 146 and then back north a few miles on the county road- very scenic and worthwhile!

Finally arrive back at the car with a total time of approx 2 hrs. More info from Bob Tyson at 684-5643 or GPS coordinates are 37 24' 53.60N and 88 39' 42.92"W.