Sunday, February 22, 2015

Garden of the Gods - Shawnee National Forest

Sandstone Bluffs

Trail to Observation Deck

Camel Rock

One last mention for the day. Another place nestled in the Shawnee National Forest, Garden of the Gods. This beautiful topography was started during the Carboniferous period, and later uplifted forming high sandstone bluffs. Dramtic erosion created hoodoos or unusual formations, such as Table Rock, Camel Rock, and Devil's Smokestack.
These high bluffs offer views for miles from their ridges and striking forefront to a beautiful scene. The sandstone surface can be very slippery, making for a treacherous hike or climb when wet. Many have been air lifted from the cracks and crevices of Garden of the Gods, so I urge caution if you visit.
The Obersvastion Trail offers an easy walk around the high open sandstone bluffs and hoodoos. Mostly paved with flag stone and a distance of only 1/4 mile this trail can easily be traversed by the less cable.
Trials such as Indian Point also offer a scenic overlook with a trail that has you hiking along a rocky bluff that contains small caves and crevices. This trail is much longer and more rugged. The River to River trail can also be access from Garden of the Gods and a portion can be hiked from here. The full scope of the that trail will be covered in a future post. Many other small trails interconnect and total approx. 5.5 miles of hiking and horse trails combined.
Camping, picnicing, hiking, backpacking and horseback riding are all afforded in this little gem near Herod, IL. Take 34 to Karbers Ridge Rd. and enjoy!

Happy Hiking!

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