Reunion Offers Cool Southern Illinois Adventures

By Maria E. Bernardi
Experienced Recreationist

June will be here before we know it, and if the WIDB 45th Anniversary Reunion
June 26, 27, 28 is not enough to drag yourself back to Southern Illinois,
Consider tacking on a side ”trip.”

In the old days, “exploring Southern Illinois” meant making it to the spillway. But those of us “in the know” have found some special places that could lead to cool adventures for you.

Let me take you down cos I’m going to…

Giant City is in the Shawnee National Forest, but here is a new way to explore—
not on foot or by car, nor by plane or helicopter.  Now you can explore via treetops on the Canopy Tour, using bridges, platforms and zip lines!  Could be exciting!

Zip line

See video at

If keeping feet on ground is preferred, the Shawnee Wine Trail covers much of the area.  There are tastings, scenic vistas, and tours.

S Illinois Wine Trail Map

winery photo 02 winery photo 01

If the spirit moves you, Bald Knob Cross may appeal.
Located in Alto Pass, the cross can be seen for miles and offers a scenic view from its base, where “Peace hope, faith and charity” are inscribed.

Pine Hills

Close to Garden of the Gods (a great place in itself)…

Garden of the Gods sunset

…are the Treehouse Cabins.
They sleep 2-6 and allow you to be part of the forest among the birds.
A unique experience in the trees with completely modern cabins.


There’s the McCracken County Fair June 19-25 in Paducah (Kentucky, remember, near  Monkey’s Eyebrow).  Then there’s the Bootheel Bluegrass Festival in Cape Girardeau June 22-24 (that’s in Missouri, where Rush was from, remember).

The Reunion could be just the motivation to double your fun!
Why not include a side trip and make a vacation of it!
As you are zipping thru the trees (or sipping on the wine) in the Shawnee National Forest, you’ll be glad you did!

Reunion rate will increase before February 1st

Reunion Accommodations