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Paddling, Hiking and Biking in Southern Illinois - October 28-30, 2016

Submitted by Chris Hugo

From October 28-30, Chris and Mary Hugo, Mike and Pauline Vernon (and their beautiful greyhound Braker), Igor Veksler and Randy Collins as well as some of Mary's family, had an action  packed weekend in Southern Illinois.  The weather was picture perfect and the Fall colors were not bad either.
We arrived Friday afternoon and camped at Lake Glendale.  They put us in a group camp with a very nice picnic shelter as well as our own private bathroom.  This turned out to be an ideal spot.  It was excellent for group meals and gave folks plenty of room to spread out.
We started out Saturday morning with a paddle on the Cache River Wetlands area canoe trail.  It's a well marked trail through the a cypress swamp with portions on the Cache River.  Highlight's included a 1000 year old Cypress Tree (37' around at the base) as well an 850 year old tree with over 200 knees.  One of the knees was over 11' feet tall!
Saturday afternoon was spent riding 10 miles on the beautiful Tunnel Hill State Bike Trail.  It's an old railroad track and part of the Rails to Trails Conservancy.
Sunday morning we packed up and headed over to Garden of the Gods State Park.  It contains some absolutely beautiful rock formations.  We spent an hour and half exploring the scenic 1/4 mile trail where most of the overlooks and rock formations are found.
It was a great weekend and we all agreed we can't wait to do it again next year.

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