Hiking/Climbing/Biking

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    Tour de Shawnee

    The Tour de Shawnee is sponsored by the Alexander County Tourism, a not-for-profit organization with 501C3 status. All proceeds from the ride will go toward Alexander County Tourism projects.

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    Rock Climbing

    The main climbing Areas in southern Illinois are within just a short drive of each other. Specific directions to Jackson Falls, Draper's and Cedar Bluffs, Ferne Clyffe, and Giant City are given on their respective pages. Please note that some Areas contained in this South Region are not open for climbing. Some areas allow only bouldering, some only hiking. They have been retained in this database because they're relatively nearby, and provide a scenic alternative to climbing, and may be of historic value (e.g. bouldering by John Gill).

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    Illinois Hiking Trails

    This site is designed to provide quick access to informative Illinois hiking websites. Hiking enthusiasts like you have created excellent web pages on Illinois hiking trails -- then posted those pages on free web servers -- only to be ignored by search engines. The purpose of this site is to provide a way to find these personal hiking pages, and make your research easier.

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    Trail of Tears

    Trail of Tears, one of Illinois' state forests, is situated in western Union County, five miles northwest of Jonesboro and 20 miles south of Murphysboro. Just over 5,000 acres are within the State Forest.The State Forest System in Illinois was established to set aside lands for the growing of timber needed in production of forest products, for watershed protection and to provide outdoor recreation. Trail of Tears State Forest is a multiple-use site managed for timber, wildlife, ecosystem preservation, watershed protection and recreation.

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    Giant City

    With its breathtaking natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation, a trip to Giant City State Park near Carbondale is sure to delight visitors of all ages. From camping and horseback riding to fishing and rappelling, it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise. Visitors will marvel at the many wilderness trails. Especially popular is a hike on Giant City Nature Trail, home of the “Giant City Streets” huge bluffs of sandstone formed 12,000 years ago.

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    Ferne Clyffe State Park

    Ferne Clyffe has been known as an outstanding natural scenic spot for nearly 100 years. An abundance of ferns, unique geological features and unusual plant communities create an atmosphere that enhances the many recreational facilities offered at the park. Trails wind through picturesque woods, allowing visitors to view fascinating rock formations and inspiring vistas. Ferne Clyffe also offers camping, picnicking, hiking, hunting and fishing.

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    Tunnel Hill

    At one time, the rumble of freight cars reverberated through the narrow tunnel. Wooden trestles, with their system of slanted supports and horizontal cross pieces, spanned numerous bluffs and creeks. Passengers in Pullman cars clocked the miles with these and other landmarks as they traveled one of southern Illinois' most scenic routes.Today, the railroad is gone. The route, known as Tunnel Hill State Trail, remains.Tunnel Hill State Trail stretches for 45 miles from Harrisburg to Karnak. The trail continues on a trails spur for 2.5 miles from Karnak to Cache River State Natural Area - Henry Barkhausen Wetlands Center on the old Chicago and Eastern Illinois railroad bed.The 9.3-mile section between Tunnel Hill and Vienna crosses trails already known to outdoor recreationists: the River-to-River Trails, which extends from the Mississippi to the Ohio River; the unmarked American Discovery Trails, which in southern Illinois follows back roads and some of the River-to-River Trail; the U.S. 76 Bicycle Route, a part of the TransAmerica Bike Route; and the Trail of Tears, the primary route the Cherokee Indian tribe took in the winter of 1838-39 during their forced move from the Great Smokies to Oklahoma.

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