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Topic: Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Need suggestions for overnighters< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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schlanky Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 19 2014, 2:12 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi there, midwesterners. I've gotten an extra couple of days off work coming up to tack onto a weekend which gives me time to drive a little farther than I'm usually able.

I normally spend a lot of time in Tennessee, but for the time I've got this trip, I'm looking for something in southern/central Indiana/Illinois or the Kentucky area.

What I'm after:

5-12 miles per day depending on terrain
I prefer not to hike multi-use trails (and that's a pretty strong preference).
I'm driving from Birmingham, so I'm looking for must-see places that are worth a long drive.
Looking for 2-3 nights on the trail. Not opposed to moving the car and doing a night in a couple of different places.

I'm hoping some of you will be kind enough to throw out some names of locations for me to check out.

Thanks
schlanky


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 19 2014, 7:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well in IL there are all the places down South like Garden of the Gods, River to River trail. Etc. Just need to do some Googleing!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 19 2014, 8:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm in Indiana, and I know it pretty well. I know KY reasonably well. If shuttling is an option, the Knobstone Trail in Indiana is very interesting in the lush parts of Spring. For that matter, Indiana is interesting in the lush parts. I really like backpacking here, but it's a different thing than places that with big views and so forth. You're more likely to see amazing stuff with a magnifying glass than you are binoculars. If you're into birds, you'll see good ones in the right areas. It's a forgiving landscape here, and sometimes that means I can carry more or give myself the pleasure of a campfire (with an endless supply of small pieces of hardwood at arms length). One thing that is fairly unique is the ease with which one can move about off trail. I'm not sure what a must see kind of place for you is...the things I want to look for and see in the Midwest aren't the things I look for in places with jagged topography.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 19 2014, 8:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(QCHIKER @ Mar. 19 2014, 7:23 pm)
QUOTE
Just need to do some Googleing!!

With all due respect to Google, I was trusting you fellow hikers for a better starting point more than I trust Google. I've read about Garden of the Gods (from what I saw it looked like several short day hike trails--did I miss something there?--definitely a place I'd like to stop by if I were doing an overnighter in the general area.) I'll check out River to River Trail.
--
TheBeef: Interesting & insightful post.  Alabama has some stuff in common with TN, just not as big and bold and spectacular. In that regard, I understand what you say about magnifying glass vs. binoculars. Lush is good. I'll check out Knobstone.
--
So maybe I worded it poorly about "must see" places. Maybe a better way to put it would be: in the area I described, what are your favorite trails? I was hoping for a handful of recommendations and planned to hit Google from there.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 19 2014, 9:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One of my favorites is Deam Wilderness. It is certainly a place to explore off trail. I actually like going out there without a clear plan, and just wandering. There are a couple caves, some old cemeteries, and some grown over houses. Some of the streambeds are lined with a high concentration of geodes too. I don't mind loads of weight on this kind of terrain, so I'll often pack in steaks, bacon, and salmon. It's easy enough to catch your own fish too. There are some nearby places to grab a growler for the finish.

The Knobstone Trail I mentioned above is the best long-ish trail. It's surprisingly rugged, but you can still make decent pace on it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 20 2014, 12:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Many thanks, TheBeef.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 20 2014, 6:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No problem. Let me know if you want any more suggestions.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 20 2014, 10:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Have you looked at the Ozark Trail in Missouri?
Ozark Trail page
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 21 2014, 9:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(schlanky @ Mar. 19 2014, 8:52 pm)
QUOTE

(QCHIKER @ Mar. 19 2014, 7:23 pm)
QUOTE
Just need to do some Googleing!!

With all due respect to Google, I was trusting you fellow hikers for a better starting point more than I trust Google.  
--

Where do you think I got the info before going to some of these places? Considering most of the info is from state run places I trust it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 21 2014, 2:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks very much for the link, RandyPenny.

--
Different meaning of the word "trust," QC.     Some of the best places I've ever hiked came at suggestion of other hikers, and I've given plenty of others my recommendations as well. I viewed a forum full of fellow hikers with some people who are  familiar with the very regions I'm seeking information about to be a good place to start for tips on locations that I could then check out in further detail.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2014, 7:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Taum Sauk section of Ozark Trail.  Also, Hawn State Park had a nice ten-mile trail with some additional trails in the park.  Hawn is very pretty; it is my favorite state park in the Eastern Ozarks.  

Happy Trails,

RS


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2014, 3:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I found Deam pretty underwhelming after the 5-hour drive from Chicago, but I stuck to the trails. It certainly qualifies as a pleasant walk in the woods, but I find the Shawnee Region of southern IL, with which I am much more familiar, to be vastly more interesting.

Below is my standard list of my favorite Shawnee NF hot spots. It is a great place to go and wander off-trail.

If you truly want a point-to-point hike in the SNF, I suggest starting at Pounds Hollow and bushwhacking west to pick up the River to River trail (there is a route that is documented), exploring the bluffs north of High Knob (haven't been, but read about them), and then finding your way into the Garden of Gods area. Then follow the River to River southwest to One-Horse Gap, and the west into Luck Creek for more exploring at places like Indian Kitchen and Secret Canyon. You can make your way to Eddyville easily when exiting Lusk Creek west on the R2R.

A loop option might start and end at Bell Smith Springs, taking in its stone arch, and then heading east to pick up Jackson Falls (a must-see), Double-Branch Hole (very near Eddyville), and then back west through Hayes Canyon, visiting Sand Cave, and then down the Bay Creek drainage to Bay Lake, and up Jackson Hollow to its rock climbers. Following the drainage north/northeast from Jackson Hollow will drop you to another drainage that runs east into Bell Smith, and has some really cool channels in the bedrock.

These photos might help:
http://www.flickr.com/photos....2845408


Pounds Hollow: Very scenic with a deep canyon surrounded by high bluffs. It is possible to hike west through Pounds Hollow and ascend a trail that crosses a forest road and connect with the River to River Trail which runs about a mile to the south.

Garden o Gods: Amazing rock formations. It’s worth a short bushwhack down toward Eagle Creek.

One Horse Gap: Nice camping atop bluffs. If it has rained recently, you can find water in small potholes toward the southwest drainage atop the bluff. Otherwise, it is a pretty long walk down to One Horse Gap Lake.

Lusk Creek: A fairly large wilderness with some cool bluffs and an extensive trail system. Would be great in the fall.

Bell Smith Springs + Burden Falls: Bell Smith has 10 miles of trail in 3 canyons, including a rock sluice, a waterfall, and an arch. Burden Falls is a short drive away. Nice campground at Bell Smith that is rarely used.

Jackson Falls + Double Branch Falls: Two dramatic waterfalls just west of Eddyville, and about a mile east of where the R2R leaves a farm field road and drops into the canyon. Follow the creek upstream, heading east past big bluffs and you will find the pair of falls.

Jackson Hollow/Bay Lake: Jackson Hollow has numerous bluffs which are very popular among rock climbers. Bay Lake is about a mile south of here.

Ferne Clyffe State Park: Amazing cliffs and bluffs. The west unit has a dramatic pour-off waterfall and some of the highest bluffs in the state (if you can bushwhack to them).

Panther Den: Amazing set of bluffs on the east side of the canyon with large chunks of sandstone that have calved off and created passageways and tunnels among the rocks.

Giant City Park: The signature giant city trail is short but has huge rock formations. Across the road, the Devil’s Table trail has dramatic bluffs that offer some great scrambling on the edges.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2014, 4:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This is the same Flickr site as in the previous post, but its root directory. I have hike most of the places on this list, which cover southern IL and the MO Ozarks. These are all great places to hike and camp.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14803818@N04/collections/


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2014, 4:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks rangersven and Hungry Jack. Looks like I have numerous good options to check out. I very much appreciate everyone's help & suggestions.

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