On The Trail: Explore the Shawnee National Forest along Rim Rock - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

On The Trail: Explore the Shawnee National Forest along Rim Rock Trail

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(WSIL) -- Our third week on the trail takes us deep into the Shawnee National Forest with local expert Sue Hirsch. Hirsch took us out on Rim Rock National Recreation Trail.  

Hirsch says, “A National Recreation Trail in the forest service are trails that offer a combination of things all wrapped up into one along the trail.”

The trail has an upper loop along with a lower trail. By taking the upper and lower trails we were able to see beautiful views along the bluffs and in the canyon. The trail also holds quite a bit of history that many walk right by without realizing it.

Hirsch pointed out multiple historic sites along the way, “This was a stone fort right here, and the Indians, this is what it’s depicting, they actually built a stone wall. Here’s the remnants of what’s left of the stone wall, so it would’ve come across here. This was a natural place where they could keep their horses and oxen, they built a corral here.”

Along with the trail's history, you’ll also come across signs labeling areas as natural areas, these parts of the forest are being monitored and protected.

Hirsch explains, “They’re set aside, they’re managed a little differently. We don’t allow camping: no fires. They’re marked with Carsonite posts that say 'Natural Areas'.”

The trail's unique vegetation isn't limited to the natural areas. Various ecosystems and wildlife can be found along the entire path. 

After hiking down into the canyon, if you feel up to it you can even hike out to Pounds Hollow Lake. The lake is a 25-acre man-made lake, and the perfect spot to cool off. However, if you hike out to the lake you'll have to hike back.

You can click these links for more information on Rim Rock Recreational Trail and the Shawnee National Forest.

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