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  • Paddling Cache River - Hiking Shawnee National Forest, Harrisburg, IL, July 15-17, 2022

Paddling Cache River - Hiking Shawnee National Forest, Harrisburg, IL, July 15-17, 2022

  • 15 Jul 2022
  • 17 Jul 2022
  • Shawnee National Forest Headquarters 50 Hwy 145 South Harrisburg, IL 62946

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Paddling Cache River - Hiking Shawnee National Forest

Harrisburg, IL

July 15-17, 2022

Co-Trip Leaders: Jim Patrick and Janice Windes

Type of Trip: Paddling/Camping/Hiking

Trip Cost/Deposit: $72/$36

Cancellation Date and full payment: June 17, 2022

Wilderness Level: 2

Trip Difficulty: Beginner/Easy, 15 miles paddling; PFD required

Policy on Fitness Self-Assessment 

Level 1: Applies to trips in which we carry only day packs and stay on maintained trails. Hiking distances range from 3-6 mile, and elevation gain can be as much as 2000 feet. You should be comfortable hiking 3-6 miles in a day with considerable gain/loss on good trails.

Level 2: Primarily applies to trips in which we carry only day packs. In one day, we can hike up to 9 miles and 4500 feet of elevation gain on maintained trails, or up to 7 miles and 2000 feet of elevation gain on more rugged, less-maintained trails. For a Level 2 trip you should be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles in a day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a light day pack. If a backpacking trip has a Level 2 rating, it means the distances are 2-4 miles with little elevation gain/loss.

Group Size: 12/8 Maximum/Minimum

Adults and Youth 16+ with Adult

***Before registering***

While considering your participation in CIWC trips, be aware that some trips will involve shared transportation, lodging, and other activities. Each participant is encouraged to evaluate your comfort level with such arrangements based on your health condition, vaccination status, and unknown COVID positivity rates at the time of the trip.  Members are encouraged to review the COVID waiver as a part of this evaluation.

This trip will be in Southern Illinois in the Shawnee National Forest.  It will be a combination trip of paddling and hiking.  If you’ve been wanting to try canoeing this will be a great trip for you. But all paddling experience levels are welcome.  The hikes will be short day hikes exploring a variety of trails.  We will be car camping so pack extra gear to make your stay comfortable and relaxing.  This also gives us the opportunity to cook in a way we normally don’t have on CIWC trips, cast iron dutch oven meals!

Friday night everyone will drive themselves to meet up at a campground in the Shawnee National Forest.  From the Indianapolis area it is a 4-5 hour drive so car pooling is an option.  Everyone is on their own for dinner.

Saturday morning we’ll enjoy a hot dutch oven breakfast.  Then we’ll head over to the outfitters to enjoy a 2-3 hour guided paddling tour of the Cache River.  Spending time on the water with the unique opportunity to learn about the river’s history, geology and ecology while in the heart of Illinois’s hidden bayou.  The Cache River Wetlands is America's northernmost cypress/tupelo swamp.  On the drive back to camp we will stop for lunch and a couple hikes.  After enjoying a dutch oven dinner we’ll watch the sunset from the rugged rocky cliff tops of the Garden of the Gods followed up with warm dutch oven cobbler around a campfire.

Sunday morning we’ll break camp after another hot breakfast then head out to some trails in the area before driving home.

Meals – breakfast Saturday and Sunday along with dinner Saturday, included.  Participants will need to bring lunch Saturday and Sunday.

Want to learn more about the Cache River and the trails in the Shawnee National Forest?  A Google search can provide many helpful sites, photos and videos.


Questions may be submitted to ciwcinfo@gmail.com.

All trip participants must fill out and submit a CIWC Medical Form  and Long Waiver Form.  

Effective on all trips, there will be a $50 non refundable registration fee. This fee will be assessed to those who sign up for a trip, get on the roster and then later cancel. Even cancelling before the cancel date. Those who never make the active roster (i.e. those who stay on the waitlist) will NOT be charged the $50 cancellation fee. 


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