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  1. #1
    Caveman's Avatar
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    Anybody been to Shawnee National Forest?

    I'm planning a trip in Sept and was thinking about going to Illinois, but wanted to see if anyone had tips on what part to hike/camp?

    I'm trying to decide between here, or somewhere in Missouri? I'm not set on anything yet, so suggestions are welcome.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    I have heard folks talk about going there but have no idea what it is like. I would like to know some more about that area also
    There are times that the only way you can do something is alone that waiting on the convenience of others means that a lot of opportunities will pass you by
    Spirit Walker

    Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool. ― Mark Twain

    Who cares about showers, gourmet food, using flush toilets. Just keep on walking and being away from it all.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BullFrog's Avatar
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    Shawnee NF and most of the southern MO NF's are fairly similar in terms of topography, vegetation, etc. There are lots of places to hike; some of the more spectacular ones in Shawnee are Giant City SP and Garden of the Gods. How long are you planning on? Cool places in MO are Mark Twain NF (you can do multi-day hikes) and Hawn SP (The longest trail is an overnighter, but its a beautiful place).

    Hopefully it cools down a bit. It's been as hot here as in TX lately!
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  4. #4
    Senior Member BullFrog's Avatar
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    Oh, and if you like reptiles and things, it doesn't get much better than the Trail of Tears SF in SW MO. Here's some pictures of some of the places I described.

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=51168

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=41839
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  5. #5
    Caveman's Avatar
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    Planning on a 3 day weekend. I've been looking at doing about a 20 mile section of that River to River trail. Looks like Garden of the Gods to Eddyville is about 20 miles or so.

    I'm hoping for some cooler weather too! It's been pretty brutal here.

  6. #6
    Caveman's Avatar
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    Hey bullfrog, that trail you did in the Hawn park looked really nice. How long was is that hike?

  7. #7
    New Member hopsean's Avatar
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    This spring a few friends and I did a section of the R2R trail as a good outting just before my daughter was born. One of our wives drop us off at One Horse Gap Lake (late Friday night aroudn 8PM (following a long day of crazy severe storms, the winds of the cold front were still howling in) and made our way to stay at One Horse Gap for the night. Next day followed the R2R into the Lusk Creek area which was awesome! We had 2-4 (probably too many due to poor navigation) cold water crossings at that time, water was still up and was cold. We ended our trip just east of Eddyville at a trail head parking area on Straight Rd. per GoogleMap. Trails were still a little wet and mushy in areas from spring rains before the drought set in but the trip was very scenic. Lusk Creek area was really cool, we wanted to make it into the Indian Kitchen area but ran out of time. We are planning some more trips this fall looking at the areas around Tunnel Hill to Dutchman Lake and on to Ferne Clyffe.

    I'll try to find some pics from the trip and post them to my gallery.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BullFrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caveman View Post
    Hey bullfrog, that trail you did in the Hawn park looked really nice. How long was is that hike?
    It's called the Whispering Pines trail, and it's a 9-10 mile loop. One could easily do it in a day, but I usually take my time and do an overnighter. You could make it 2 nights if you explore off-trail around the south loop, if that's your thing. If you want to put down lots of miles it's probably too short. One of my favorite hikes in the area.
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  9. #9
    Wolverine's Avatar
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    Hi, spent one entire day kicking around Garden of the Gods and didn't see everything. Hiked from the Garden of the Gods to Lusk Creek area. Wish I could have explored Lusk Creek area for a couple of days, but didn't have time. Used local shuttle service to drop the car at the Lusk Creek Trailhead. This was an outstanding trip in the late spring.

  10. #10
    Caveman's Avatar
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    Thanks. I think that's where I'm going to start. I'm planning on a 3 day. It should be fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine View Post
    Hi, spent one entire day kicking around Garden of the Gods and didn't see everything. Hiked from the Garden of the Gods to Lusk Creek area. Wish I could have explored Lusk Creek area for a couple of days, but didn't have time. Used local shuttle service to drop the car at the Lusk Creek Trailhead. This was an outstanding trip in the late spring.

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