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Ferne Clyffe State Park – A Secret Oasis in Southern Illinois

Ferne Clyffe State Park – A Secret Oasis in Southern Illinois

Many people think of Illinois as “flyover country.” They believe the state is nothing but flat and boring farm fields as far as the eye can see. While much of the state is geographically monotonous, far southern Illinois is drastically different. This rugged area is known as the Illinois Ozarks. Rising bluffs, trickling waterfalls, and jagged rocks create a lush and varied landscape worthy of exploration. Tucked away near the bottom of the state, Ferne Clyffe State Park has been…

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Visit to Casey, Illinois-The Little Town of Big Things

Visit to Casey, Illinois-The Little Town of Big Things

At first glance the tiny town of Casey appears just like any other location in small town America. Like many small towns, this spot just off I-70 in eastern Illinois has seen a loss in population and manufacturing as people and jobs moved on to bigger cities. However, the town of Casey has reinvented itself in a big way. It all started when one of the residents decided to try and fight the decline by attracting more attention and business…

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Trail of the Week – Pomona Natural Bridge & Quetil Trail: Alto Pass, Illinois

Trail of the Week – Pomona Natural Bridge & Quetil Trail: Alto Pass, Illinois

What do you do when your are feeling like winter is dragging on and you get a sunny 50 degree day in February? If you are a Midwest Nomad, you go hike! We decided to head out Saturday morning to combine two short and easy trails near Alto Pass, Illinois into one morning adventure. These trails are both located in the scenic and diverse Shawnee National Forest boundaries. Both of these trails were new hikes for us which just adds…

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Trail of the Week-Jackson Falls

Trail of the Week-Jackson Falls

Shawnee National Forest, Illinois We’ve done a lot of hiking and exploring over the years and one of our favorite spots to spend a day is in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. While we have visited many scenic spots including Bell Smith Springs, Garden of the Gods, and Ferne Clyffe, we somehow had never made it over to Jackson Falls. I can’t believe we had missed this awesome trail for so long! The trail starts at a parking…

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Giant City State Park Nature Trail Hike 7-22-18

Giant City State Park Nature Trail Hike 7-22-18

We broke away from the never ending projects that come with building a new house (another post on that later) to run down to Southern Illinois for a bit. We need to start getting the kids to hike on their own as they are both getting to be a bit too heavy for carry around these days. So we choose the Nature Trail at Giant City (PDF of Brochure)  :