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Recommended for April:

Finding the sites listed below can be assisted by use of a high-quality, large-scale map.  See Guide to USGS Topographic Maps (some of which should be available at 710 Bookstore in Carbondale and University Bookstore in the SIU Student Center).  Or see Shawnee National Forest to order maps from the USFS.

For a regional nature almanac (southern Illinois and neighboring areas), check out The Waterman & Hill Traveller's Companion.

Also see the Shawnee Trail Guide.

With apologies, this resource is under construction (and not well maintained).  When last checked (24 July 2007), many outside links were dead.  Some information was written years ago and may be out of date.  Hopefully, maps will eventually be included.

NEARBY OUTINGS, mostly in Jackson County within fifteen miles of Carbondale

FARTHER SITES, more than fifteen miles from C'dale

Wildflower resources

River to River Trail

Enjoy.   David King, LSIII Rm 2084, 453-1509, dgking@siu.edu.

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Giant City State Park has a number of easy trails.  

Directions:  From Carbondale, take Highway 51 south to the yellow smiley-face water tower, then turn left and drive into Makanda.  Cross the railroad, turn left along the Makanda business district, and continue north out of town (with the railroad on your left) until you come to the park entrance.  You can also reach this point by turning east from 51 onto Pleasant Hill Road at the stoplight south of town (at this intersection, CFM is on the southeast corner, Huck's on southwest) and then immediately across the railroad overpass bridge turning south (right) onto Springer Ridge Road .  This parallel route is more scenic, with less traffic, but the road is narrow.  Giant City Park can also be reached from the northwest by taking Giant City Blacktop south from east Highway 13 at University Mall or from the east end of Grand Avenue.)

See the Giant City Park Map [GIF] or Giant City Park Map [PDF] to find particular trails.

FERN ROCKS / TRILLIUM TRAIL.  [Map]  From the north entrance into Giant City Park, you immediately come to Fern Rocks.  At the very first parking pull-over on the right, rocks rise into cliffs just a few feet from the road.  A trail follows the base of the cliff in either direction.  There is a short cave almost straight in from the parking area.  If the trail is followed toward the right (back toward Makanda), it soon climbs upward, makes a hairpin turn to the left, and follows the top of the cliff for a ways (maybe a quarter mile) before leading back down and returning to the parking area.  This trail is an excellent site for early spring wildflowers including large-flowered trillum along the bottom and shooting stars in sunny spots on top (see spring wildflower list).  In the lowland across the road, blue-eyed mary may be spectacular in April.

CLIFFTOP OVERLOOK.  [Map]  Immediately past Fern Rocks, on the left, is a large parking lot with a picnic shelter (Shelter 1) below a prominent cliff.  There are often rock climbers working with ropes on the cliff.  In the woods at the right end of the cliff is a small stream cascading down a rocky bed.  A trail leads from the right side of the parking lot across this stream, then up along its far side to the top of the cliff.  The cliff top affords a beautiful view and displays some interesting plants, but there is no guard rail so it can be rather scary for parents of small children.  Years ago, the streamside trail continued on up the hill where it eventually joined a trail from the Stone Fort (below).

 STONE FORT.  [Map]  A short way further into the park is the Stone Fort trail.  Across the road from the parking lot, a short steep trail up to a rocky promintory.  At the top is a very short loop across an ancient stone wall.  

DEVIL'S STAND TABLE.  [Map]  Continuing along the road, under the overpass (from the loop up to the overpass, left / west leads back to Makanda; right / east goes to the park Visitor's Center and Giant City Blacktop), and down the hill (go past the left turn toward the lodge), will bring you to a parking lot on the right with and a nice stream alongside a large playground/picnic area.  (The road intersecting from the right leaves the park to the west.  Two more right turns lead back to Makanda; left turns take you south toward Cobden.)  Across the road (east) from the parking lot is a trail straight up through the woods to the base of a cliff.  Following the trail right along the bottom of the cliff will bring you first to a large shelter cave (rock climbers are often rappelling over the top) with many large fallen rocks that children enjoy exploring.  At the far end of the cave is the base of Devil's Stand Table.  A short ways further is a spot on the cliff which can be scaled without much difficulty (but use of hands is necessary) to reach the top; continuing along the bottom trail will lead eventually to the lodge, but this part of the trail is not well maintained.   Back down at the parking lot, at the far (south) end of the playground, behind the shelter, is a shortcut to the Giant City Nature Trail and Fat Man's Squeeze.  

GIANT CITY NATURE TRAIL.  [Map]  Beyond (south of) the Devil's Stand Table parking lot is a second large parking area, shelter and playground.  Here is the beginning of the Giant City Nature Trail, probably the most popular trail in the park.  This is a loop trail that passes by several features of interest to children, including a maze of low walls and crevices that are fun for climbing, along with a couple short tunnels, and the "streets" of the Giant City, between rock walls, leading to Fat Man's Squeeze.  

INDIAN CREEK.  [Map]  A less familiar Giant City trail goes to Indian Creek.  From the Giant City Nature Trail parking lot, continue along the road, up the hill and past the lodge and cabins.  The first road to the right (northeast) is a dead end leading to a group camping area.  Just before the road crosses the stream (Indian Creek) is a small parking spot for the trail.  This trail begins through the woods along side the stream, eventually fords the gravel bottom stream, and then loops past some low cliffs and shelter caves before fording the stream again and returning.  (If you come into the park from Giant City Blacktop, turn left toward the lodge; the turnoff to Indian Creek will then be immediately on the left past a small picnic area.)

LITTLE GRASSY.  [Map]  Another less familiar trail begins at the Little Grassy boat ramp.  Leaving the park north on Giant City Blacktop, turn right past the horse barn toward the main campground.  (If you're coming toward the park on Giant City Blacktop, this would be a left turn about two miles past Touch of Nature.) Drive on past the campground until you reach the lake.  The trail is an abandoned dirt road that leads up on the right (south) and follows the stream that feeds into Little Grassy.  The stream is very nice in places, if you leave the trail, with gravel bed and fallen logs.  This is not a loop trail, but continues south and eventually leaves the park at the road to Antioch Cemetery and Water Valley.  

Giant City Park also has a network of trails used by horseback riders [Map].  

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LITTLE GRAND CANYON  The Little Grand Canyon is probably the grandest site close to Carbondale, with a deep gorge and a beautiful overlook across the Mississippi floodplain.  The trail forms a loop of about three or four miles, with some steep climbs.  A couple rocky spots require hands as well as feet.  Good shoes are a necessity.  Pit toilets and picnic tables are available at the trail head parking lot.  Description.  Map.

The shortest and simplest route from Carbondale begins heading west on Chautauqua (west side of SIUC campus, just north of Communications Bldg.).  At the intersection with route 127, go directly across.  Continue roughly southwest; the road has many turns--at minor intersections stay on the "main" road.  After about 3 miles this road will end at a "T" intersection.  Turn right (northwest).  Now just continue following this road until you reach Little Grand Canyon, maybe about 4 more miles.  The turnoff should be well marked, on the right (but mostly straight ahead).   This route can also be reached from the paved road between Murphysboro and Sand Ridge, and from Etherton along 127.   (Directions from Pomona.)

The trail begins at the north, right-hand side of the parking lot.  This trail goes gently downhill until it reaches a clifftop, then loops sharply back left until it enters a small rocky gorge.  The trail then follows the stream bed cut into bedrock, directly down the gorge.  The footing is slippery when wet, but steps have been cut in places (the CCC worked here during the Depression) and, where you need them most, handholds carved into the rock.   When you reach the bottom, the main trail goes left (west).  To the right is a dead-end box canyon with a pool and waterfall at the upstream end.  The main trail follows the canyon downstream.  Map.

Safety Note:  Watch the weather.  A classroom group was once stranded here for a few hours by a flash flood during a sudden spring thundershower.  The teacher and a couple students were swept away and rescued later.  

Eventually the high cliff on the left (south) will swing away as the path reaches the flat, muddy floodplain of the Big Muddy River.  (This stretch is sometimes under water during spring floods.)  The trail hugs the low rise on the left.  When it reaches a cliff again, the trail turns up along another small stream, with the high cliff on your right side as you go upstream.   Now the trail follows upstream, going south.  Eventually you have to climb up along the stream bed.  Once again, the footing is slippery but cut steps help.  The trail now follows the left side of the stream for a short steep climb.  Then the trail crosses the stream and makes a sharp right turn along the right bank.  This turn across the stream is a bit tricky, because a false path continues upstream in the direction you had been going before the turn.  You should now be going north, opposite the way you've just come up, but now along a steep hillside above the cliff whose bottom wall you had followed a few minutes before.  The cliff is below you now on your right.   This section of the trail soon reaches an opening on a clifftop overlook, with the Mississippi bottomland spread magnificently away to the horizon.  The Big Muddy River winds directly below.  The trail continues, rather long but now easy to follow up and down along the ridgetop, back to the south side of parking lot.  

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ROCKY BLUFF NATURE TRAIL near Devil's Kitchen Lake

Famous as one of the best spots in Southern Illinois for April wildflowers.  (See spring wildflower list.)

From Rt. 13 east of Carbondale, take Giant City Road south to Grassy Road, then east on Grassy Road across the dam of Little Grassy Lake.  Continue east about a mile and a half beyond the dam, then turn right (southeast) toward Devil's Kitchen Lake.  Stay on the road past Devil's Kitchen Lake, down the hill, and over the bridge below the dam.  As you climb up the hill from the valley below the Devil's Kitchen dam, there is a narrow pullover on the left (east) side of the road.  The trail begins and ends here.  There are no facilities (go back to Devil's Kitchen dam for restrooms).  

Just a few yards in from the road is a small stream whose rocky bed can be followed a few more yards down to the clifftop and waterfall.  A table rock provides a wonderful overlook of the falls.  The lower leg of the trail leads down the cliff into the mossy hollow below the waterfall, then through damp streamside woods along Grassy Creek, where the wildflowers can be spectacular in the early spring (from late March into May).  The trail eventually turns east and south to climb rather steeply up a ridge and return (west) through dry upland woods to the parking lot.  

From the parking lot, the upper leg of the trail crosses the stream heading eastward, eventually turning north down a steep hillside to Grassy Creek (the outflow from Devil's Kitchen Lake) and loops back (upstream, west and south) along rocky walls to the base of the waterfall.  

The complete loop is about a mile and a half.  There is one short-cut between upper and lower legs of the longer loop.  

CAUTION:  Parking anywhere in the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, including Little Grassy and Devil's Kitchen Lakes, can result in a ticket and fine, unless you have purchased a sticker at Refuge Headquarters (south of Herrin, on route 148 about 2 miles south of route 13).  

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CEDAR LAKE, north end.  Cedar Lake is the water supply source for Carbondale.  At the north end of the lake is a boat ramp, small dock, parking lot and toilets, mainly for the convenience of fishermen (there is one picnic table).  There are two easy routes from Carbondale to the north end of Cedar Lake.  From the traffic light on 51 at Pleasant Hill/Reservoir Road, head west on Reservoir Road.  After a mile and a half, turn south (left) onto Union Hill Road at the SIU pig farm.  After two and a half miles, at the stop sign at the end of Union Hill Road, turn right onto Cedar Creek Road, then west for half a mile to the steep hill down to the lake.  Or, from the traffic light at 51 and Pleasant Hill/Reservoir Road, continue south on 51 for about two and a half miles and turn right onto the the old highway 51.  After about a half mile, turn west (right) onto Cedar Creek Road.  Follow Cedar Creek Road straight ahead for about two miles to the lake.  

[These directions will also take you to Poplar Camp Beach, a small public swimming area popular among teens and families with small children.  The road to the beach turns south (left) off Cedar Creek just a short distance west of Union Hill Road, a little more than a mile from Old 51.  It's about a mile from the intersection to the beach.]

From the northwest corner of the boat-ramp parking lot, an old foot track (once easy to walk, lately overgrown with briars) follows the lake shore westward.  Near the end of the cove, the path goes up a short hill into the woods and dips down to cross a stream with a rocky bed and a small waterfall into the lake.  The stream is fun for children to explore, leading upstream to a cliff with a small shelter cave.  Keep going just a short distance upstream and you will come to homes in Union Hill subdivision.  Back at the lake, the trail goes on across the stream and continues into the woods.  There are several paths branching to hilltop meadows (once upon a time, now overgrown with brambles), to other inlets of the lake, or to the far end of Union Hills, for short or rather long walks.  Explore.  

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POMONA: The vicinity of Pomona is one of our favorite destinations, very scenic with pleasant hiking.  To reach Pomona, head south on 127 from Murphysboro (or from the west end of Chautauqua).  The well-marked turn-off to Pomona is about 8-9 miles south of Old route 13, partway down a long hill.  Turn right, and less than a mile down into the valley is downtown Pomona.   You can also get to Pomona directly from Little Grand Canyon , by continuing on the gravel road south about five miles through the forest to Mt. Pleasant Church, on top of a hill.  Turn east (left; a right turn will lead, after another fork, either to Bald Knob and Alto Pass or to Pine Hills) and go down a steep hill and on into Pomona from the west.  

POMONA NATURAL BRIDGE.  The gravel road north from Pomona begins through Cave Creek Valley, which offers a trail along an old railroad right-of-way.  The road north from Pomona continues on, to climb a steep rough hill (bedrock protruding through the gravel) through forest.  The hilltop is open farm, then the road goes back into the forest.  About two miles from Pomona you reach a parking lot with picnic tables and pit toilets.  A very short loop trail leads to the rock bridge (image), which is broad enough to walk across without fear (hold children's hands).  A small stream passes under the bridge.  A trail leading downstream gradually disappears, but it's a pretty site for exploring if you don't get lost easily.  

Leaving Pomona:  Four roads lead out of Pomona. 

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CAVE CREEK VALLEY.  The gravel road north from Pomona (map) crosses Cave Creek and the old Mfbo-Alto Pass railroad right-of-way, before it heads up the hill toward Pomona Natural Bridge.  A Forest Service road follows this railroad right-of-way to the northeast along Cave Creek.  This road is an easy walk for birdwatching, or drive in and stop for side trips.  A mile or so in, to the left (west) are some unmarked forest trails across a pretty stream and along an interesting rocky wall.  The right-of-way becomes impassable to cars at Cedar Creek (There's a barracade and no bridge.)  If you wade or jump across the stream and continue along the right-of-way, it will soon lead out across a lovely wetland with water lilies.  The name Cave Valley refers to Saltpeter Cave, a privately-owned park with a shelter cave located along 127, the occasional venue for outdoor concerts.  

LITTLE GRAND CANYON:  To get to Little Grand Canyon, leave Pomona by the gravel road to the west.  (If you're at the General Store, go north a block and turn left.) After about two miles, at the top of a steep hill, turn north (right) by Mt. Pleasant Church.  Continue about five miles through farms and forest, and look for the Little Grand Canyon turn-off on the left.  

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COVE HOLLOW Cove Hollow is a rocky hollow at the end of an inlet of Cedar Lake.  There are no facilities.  

The access road to Cove Hollow is a dead-end gravel road off Dutch Ridge Road, marked at the intersection by a symbolic hiking-trail sign.  

The simplest way to reach Dutch Ridge Road is from 127, about 8 miles south of Old route 13, about one-half mile north of the Pomona intersection.  There is a small church near the end of Dutch Ridge Road, overlooking 127.  Follow Dutch Ridge Road about a mile to the Cove Hollow turnoff.  

A shorter route to Dutch Ridge Road from Carbondale is to take Country Club south as far is it goes.  It makes a sharp right turn, then up a hill, then a sharp left, then ends with a "T" at Green Ridge Road.  Turn right (west) at Green Ridge, then follow this winding road into orchards.  Turn left (south) in the orchard just past the migrant worker housing.  (If you miss this turn the road will take you down to 127 near Etherton.)  Continue through the orchard, then down a steep hill into forest, and out again in the meadow below Cedar Lake Dam, visible as a grassy slope way off to the left.  (The dirt road to the left goes to a parking area below the dam.  The dam is also a nice place to visit, but during wet weather the dirt road is practically impassable.)  Continue across Cedar Creek on a small bridge, up the hill, around several sharp bends, and look for a gravel side road entering from the left (east), about one and half miles beyond the Cedar Creek bridge.  The dead-end gravel road to Cove Hollow goes due east to a small parking lot near Cedar Lake.   (map)

The trail leaves the parking area, heading downhill south toward the lake.  There may be several branches and shortcuts, but after going downhill the main path turns west above the lake shore.  The lake will be below to the left, with cliffs on the right.  At least one shortcut from the parking lot goes straight to the clifftop, then right and down a steep crack.  Either trail eventually reaches a large shelter cave, and continues beyond.  There are lots of places to explore along rock and stream.   This trail continues for a couple miles generally southward, staying between the lake and the cliffs until it reaches the southern boat ramp, accessible by car from route 127 at the Pomona intersection.  

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Panther's Den is a designated Wilderness Area adjoining Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge at the south end of Devil's Kitchen Lake.  It offers some grand rock formations, rather like the Giant City Nature Trail but better.  There are no picnic or toilet facilities, and the trails are not marked.  Note that parking anywhere in the federal Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, including Little Grassy and Devil's Kitchen Lakes, can result in a ticket and fine, unless you have purchased a sticker at Refuge Headquarters (south of Herrin, on 148 about 2 miles south of route 13).  

To get to Panther's Den, head south on Giant City Blacktop.  Turn east (left) at the Little Grassy turnoff.  About a mile past the Little Grassy dam (before you reach Devil's Kitchen Lake), turn south (right) on Rocky Comfort Road (paved).  About 5 miles south, after crossing a stream and climbing a hill from a broad valley (past Blue Sky winery), turn east (left) onto a gravel road.  About a mile and half along the gravel, just before the road turns sharply right, you should find Panther's Den Lane leading north to a small parking lot, with room for about 12 cars, and a marked trailhead.  (One may also access Panther's Den by boat from the south-westernmost inlet of Devil's Kitchen Lake.) 

The trail back to the Panther's Den is about a mile long.  It is a pleasant walk, mostly level, a bit long for children but worthwhile at the end.  The trail winds by woods, stream and meadow.  You should be going mostly north to northeast; if you notice side trails, stay on the most conspicuous, most well-worn path and do not climb up out of the hollow.  Eventually you will find yourself among the tall rocks, with narrow paths between them.  Explore.  (Beyond the Panther's Den the trail leads downstream to Devil's Kitchen Lake.)  Return the same way you came in.  

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EAST AND SOUTHEAST, more than fifteen miles from Carbondale

Ferne Clyffe State Park.  Various scenic paths and picnic areas; located west off State Route 37 just south of Goreville (south of the intersection between interstates I57 and I24).   Site map.

"A splashing waterfall, intermittent and majestic at 80 feet high, is one of the soul-refreshing sights encountered at Ferne Clyff State Park.  To view it at its best, take either the easy Big Rocky Hollow Trail at 1 mile or the moderately difficult Waterfall Trail at 0.75 mile.  Because Ferne Clyffe is known for its unusual rock formations, it's nice to know some of the more impressive ones can be seen from the park's 10 trails.  HawksCave Trail, an easy 1-mile hike, goes past a shelter bluff, which is the largest in southern Illinois.  Those with more experience might want to attempt the mile-long Round Bluff Nature Preserve Trail.  Equestrians use some of the 15 miles of hiking byways, but you're welcome to hoof it along with them."  IDNR

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Heron Pond State Nature Preserve (Cache River Wetlands).  A cypress swamp with a short boardwalk (big trees, picturesque cypress knees; a bit of the deep-South, except without Spanish moss or alligators).  Take Route 45 south from Vienna about four and a half miles, turn west to Forman, after about a mile and a half turn right (north) on a gravel lane; follow the lane to a parking area, then take a footpath across a bridge and along the river to the boardwalk.  Past the boardwalk, the trail continues to Boss Island and Wildcat Bluff, which can also be reached by road about 4 miles southeast of Vienna, off Route 146.  Description from IDNR.  Map from IDNR. 

The southernmost segment of the Tunnel Hill State Bicycle Trail, from Vienna to Karnak, passes very close to the Heron Pond trailhead.  Additional trails and canoeing are accessible along the Cache River between Karnak and Perks.  Map.
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Tunnel Hill State Trail.  A former railroad route has been converted to a bicycle trail (map) from Harrisburg to Karnak (about 40 miles, with several access points).  The stretch south of Tunnel Hill is most scenic, through wooded hills and including the eponymous tunnel (image) and a trestle (image) over a valley.  Between Vienna and Karnak the trail passes close to Heron Pond / Cache River Wetlands.  For more description with photos, see Tunnel Hill State Trail.

Bell Smith Springs National Natural Landmark.  A splendid setting with cliffs, streams and pools, and several miles of trails; camping and picnicking.  Located in the Shawnee Forest east of route 45 and west of 145, northeast of Vienna and southwest of Harrisburg.   Description and map from USFS.  Photos.

Burden Falls Wilderness Area and Bay Creek Wilderness.  Near Bell Smith Springs, above.  The seasonal waterfall is right beside the road.  Unmarked trails lead off into the wilderness.

Jackson Hollow.  West of Bell Smith Springs, above.  

Lusk Creek National Natural Landmark.  Scenic rocks and stream.  South of Harrisburg; a couple miles east of route 145 near Eddyville.  More from IDNR.  Photo.

Garden of the Gods Wilderness.  Spectacular and famous rocks and views, southeast of Harrisburg, northwest off route 34 just beyond Herod.  If you've seen a tourist picture of rocks shaped like a camel's head, overlooking forested hills, that's Garden of the Gods.  There's an easy paved trail, campground and picnicking, and a large wilderness area.  More info and site map.  More photos.  Still more photos

Millstone Bluff National Register Site.  An archeology site on a hilltop, along route 147, east northeast of Vienna just west of Glendale

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WEST AND SOUTHWEST, more than fifteen miles from Carbondale

Piney Creek Ravine.  A gem of a trail, with wooded hills, damp hollows, waterfalls, rocky streams, located a few miles west of Ava.  Description from IDNR.   Map (rather unhelpful) from IDNR.

Lake Kinkaid Spillway.  A chain of waterfalls and pools offers a popular site for water play among local teens.  The spillway for this lake was engineered to flow down a natural-bedrock hillside.  Take 149 west out of Murphysboro; after descending a long curving hill which drops into the Mississippi bottomland, cross the bridge at the bottom of the hill and then immediately turn right.  That road will lead to a parking below the Lake Kinkaid dam.  

Fountain Bluff.  A prominent hill rises from the flood plain, overlooking the Mississippi River.  Turn west off route 3 about five miles south of 149; climb the steep gravel road to the overlook.  (There is also a trail along the bottom on the west side, southwest of Gorham, that leads to Native American petroglyphs.)

Devil's Backbone Park.  A small park at Grand Tower, on the bank of the Mississippi [map], with camping, toilets and picnic tables.  Sandy beaches and gravel banks are exposed during low water in the autumn.  A short trail beginning near the natural-gas suspension bridge leads to the top of a low bluff with some small caves (the Devil's Bakeoven) overlooking the river.  An especially attractive view of of the park and Bakeoven may be obtained from across the river in Missouri, but it's quite a drive to get there from the Cape Girardeau or Chester bridge.  [some local history]  [mention by Mark Twain]   

Alto Pass.  Alto Pass is located along route 127 south of Murphysboro.  At the east edge of "downtown", an easy trail follows the old railroad grade along the base of the cliff.  Above this trail, along the road from Alto Pass to Cobden, a rocky clifftop with a very nice picnic shelter and one of the best views in Southern Illinois.  A hidden stone staircase leads from the picnic shelter down to the trail.  

Bald Knob Wilderness.  Take the overpass across route 127 west from Alto Pass.  Turn left at an angle after about half a mile; the road goes down and then starts climbing for about three miles.  Along the way, a small parking pull-off on the right (south) provides access to a trail leading off into the forest.  Continuing along road will lead to the top of Bald Knob, with the prominent Bald Knob Cross landmark.  This is the highest point in Southern Illinois, with wonderful views.

(Further along the road west of Alto Pass, about three miles beyond the Bald Knob turnoff, a left turn leads down a very steep hill toward Hutchin's Creek and Pine Hills.  A half mile beyond this turn is a right turn toward Pomona; the next right turn also goes to Pomona, past Mt. Pleasant Church; continuing past these turns will also lead to Pine Hills.)

Hutchin's Creek.  ( Clear Springs / Bald Knob Wilderness) Between Pine Hills and Bald Knob, an unmarked trail follows Hutchin's Creek, a clear year-round stream with several nice pools.  Take 127 south from Murphysboro to Alto Pass, then turn onto the overpass across route 127 west from Alto Pass.  About three miles beyond the Bald Knob turnoff is a left turn, then down a steep hill toward Hutchin's Creek and Pine Hills.  (A half mile beyond this turn is a right turn toward Pomona; the next right turn also goes to Pomona, past Mt. Pleasant Church; continuing past these turns will lead to Pine Hills.)

Pine Hills National Natural Landmark.  Forested hills with spectacular bluffs overlooking the Mississippi bottomland (pictures); camping and picnicking.  A couple well-marked trails extend west from the road to the bluff tops.  Longer (and poorly marked) trails enter the wilderness to the east, leading toward Hutchin's Creek.  Accessible from Route 3 near Wolf Lake (south of Grand Tower), or by back roads southwest from Pomona or Alto Pass.  A map is recommended for back roads.  Take the overpass across route 127 west from Alto Pass.  About three miles beyond the Bald Knob turnoff is a left turn, then down a steep hill toward Hutchin's Creek and Pine Hills.  (A half mile beyond this turn is a right turn toward Pomona; the next right turn also goes to Pomona, past Mt. Pleasant Church; continuing past these turns will lead to Pine Hills.) (map, northern half) (map, southern half)

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IDNR Gallery of Illinois Plants

Wildflowers of Western Kentucky (much overlap with Southern Illinois)

Incomplete spring wildflower list for Giant City, Rocky Bluff, Little Grand Canyon


List of plants for Jackson County

Flower list for Twin Swamps, Indiana


Dr. King's home page

Comments and questions: dgking@siu.edu
Department of Zoology e-mail: zoology@zoology.siu.edu
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SIUC / College of Science / Zoology / David King
URL: http://www.siumed.edu/anatomy/KingCoS/sitrails.htm
Last updated:  28 January 2014 / dgk

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