Cache River, Section 8 Woods
Another gem of The Shawnee National Forest is the Cache River State Natural Area near Cypress, IL. Bottom land created by glacial runoff created this ancient blackwater swamp.
Old growth Cypress trees dot the swamp and provide refuge for an array of birds from Eagles, hawks, osprey, and woodpeckers just to name a few. There is a Wetland Center providing an educational experience the whole family can enjoy.
Cache River Wetland
There are several areas within this network of wetlands, Heron Pond near Belknap, IL in the Little Black Slough Unit provides a boardwalk to explore the swamp and walk amongst the Cypress and Tupelo trees.
The Lower Cache River Swamps between Karnak and Ullin, IL provides a paddle trail for canoers and kayakers to explore the swamp. Paddle past wildlife, enjoy a bit of birding, and be awe struck by the old growth Cypress trees.
Section 8 Woods Boardwalk
Glass Hill Management Unit located just north of Cypress, IL boasts a high sandstone knob that is inaccessible and therefore has a realitivly undisturbed upland forest.
There are 9 different hiking trails as well as a bike trail, the aforementioned canoe trail and Wetlands Center. Events are hosted year round and include van tours to wildflower hikes.
View from boardwalk
Southern Illinois has some of the most diverse topography and wildlife in the country. You're sure to find a place you can enjoy or in my case many places!