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 

Tuesday, June 12

Perry County Community Lake Loop Trail

Continuing with our series,"Adventures With Uncle Bob-Guide to Self-Adventure",we feature the above trail as a re-print from a discontinued website.  This place is managed by the Missouri Dept of Conservation. Directions: From Chester,ill cross the bridge and follow Mo 51 to Perryville.  Turn right onto County T and go a few miles and watch for the sign to the parking lot.
Let's start on the west loop segment. GPS N.37.72505 and W -89.91511.  We cross an earthen dam and enter the woods.  The trail follows lake views most of the time. Lots of wildlife are viewed and the 4 mile trail is well maintained.  Cross another dam and note frequent benches on the trail.  At the mid-point,we encounter a county road.  Note the archery 20 ft high platform.  For those who are only interested in archery, take I-55 frontage road south and turn right in a couple mile;Otherwise, turn left on the road and then left again on the park road.  You will pass restrooms and picnic tables. At the top of the hill, we re-enter the woods.  Along the trail we view a prairie restoration(sign), cross wood bridges, a junction on the right to the campground, and come to a good number of tree varieties-each with educational content signs.  Eventually, we end up at the boat dock and restrooms. Cross this area and return to the other parking lot. 
Pictures are at: If the link doesn't work, retype into your browser.The gap between words need an underscore. While here,why not also hike nearby Ball Mill Loop trail. Scroll this index for that article. Further questions, contact Bob Tyson at 684-5643 or

Friday, June 1

Cove Hollow Trail

Continuing with our series,  "Adventures with Uncle Bob-Guide to Self-Adventure in Southern Illinois," we feature Cove Hollow trail in Shawnee National Forest. This is a re-print of an article which disappeared from our old website.  Directions: From Murphysboro, IL, drive south on Rt 127 for about 10 miles, turn left onto Dutch Ridge Rd, go about 2 miles and note the hiker sign at Cove Hollow Rd.  This paved road terminates at the parking area. The trail is 4 miles long. Alternatively, one can park at the south end of the trail by continuing on Rt 127 and turning left on Boat Dock Rd. Go about 3 miles and note a small parking area and sign board. Closest GPS coordinates there are 37  37'  1708" N and 89  18'  69"W.
From the signboard on the north end, you can either take the path straight ahead or the one on your right as they eventually merge.  We enjoy views of Cedar Lake and now travel below a pretty cliff line.  We pass a small shelter cave and later see a side trail to a huge shelter cave. Sometimes an 80 ft waterfall drops over the cave. There is a path to climb to the top and a user-made trail for distant views.  Next we cross a shallow creek with cliffs facing north and pass a slot canyon as well as continuous cliff lines.  As we get closer to the 2 mile point, look for an easy way to ascend a cliff to a 30 ft cave.
Soon encounter a trail junction sign: the trail splits into Wolf Den Hollow to ascend for deep ravine views.The other choice is straight ahead as lower Cove Hollow and enjoy more cliff lines, slot canyons, and rock formations.  The sign is deceiving as the 3 mile number refers to Little Cedar trailhead, not to Boat Dock road.  Both trail segments converge later and continue to Boat Dock rd.  The trail is easy to follow, not steep, but is frequently "up and down."  Any questions, contact Bob Tyson at 684-5643 or