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CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS

Birding the Land Between the Rivers and Exploring the Southern Illinois Wine Trail

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IL

Interest

Birding

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$250 - $500

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Road Scholar
Program #13609RJ
4 Days | 3 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Oct 7 — Oct 10, 2013

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Type: Lodge

Description: Found in the heart of the park is Giant City Lodge. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, it is in perfect keeping with the spirit of the park. Multi-hued sandstone and white oak timber were two of the native building materials used. The spacious and historic Lodge has a rustic beauty that creates an atmosphere found nowhere else in Southern Illinois. The Bald Knob dining room, with seating for 200, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, with an excellent reputation for food and hospitality. You’re sure to enjoy some of the best fried chicken ever if you choose the specialty of the Lodge, our all-you-can-eat Family Style Chicken Dinner.

Contact info:
460 Giant City Lodge Rd
Makanda, IL 62958 USA
phone: 618-457-4921
web: giantcitylodge.com

Room amenities: 2 full beds, privte bath, television, outdoor swimming pool

Facility amenities: Giant City Lodge has private rooms perfect for your special event, banquets, and meetings. The Lodge also features a historic lounge and bar, gift shop, and guest cabins for a quiet getaway. Outdoor swimming pool, numerous hiking trails, Visitor's Center nearby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $69.00-$105.00
Make reservations with Giant City Lodge. Limited availability

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Monday, October 07 -
Afternoon: Arrive between 4:00 and 5:00 PM for program registration and check-in. If arriving early, participants can walk the trails at Giant City State Park or visit the Visitor's Center. Giant City Lodge offers a full service restaurant and gift shop.

Dinner: In the Lodge Restaurant served family style.

Evening: Program overview and introduction to the unique features of the Land between the rivers. A short presentation will explore the natural history of this beautiful region.

Lodging: Giant City State Park Lodge and Cabins

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Found in the heart of the park is Giant City Lodge. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, it is in perfect keeping with the spirit of the park. Multi-hued sandstone and white oak timber were two of the native building materials used. The spacious and historic Lodge has a rustic beauty that creates an atmosphere found nowhere else in Southern Illinois. The Bald Knob dining room, with seating for 200, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, with an excellent reputation for food and hospitality. You’re sure to enjoy some of the best fried chicken ever if you choose the specialty of the Lodge, our all-you-can-eat Family Style Chicken Dinner.

Contact info:
460 Giant City Lodge Rd
Makanda, IL 62958 USA
phone: 618-457-4921
web: giantcitylodge.com

Room amenities: 2 full beds, privte bath, television, outdoor swimming pool

Facility amenities: Giant City Lodge has private rooms perfect for your special event, banquets, and meetings. The Lodge also features a historic lounge and bar, gift shop, and guest cabins for a quiet getaway. Outdoor swimming pool, numerous hiking trails, Visitor's Center nearby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $69.00-$105.00
Make reservations with Giant City Lodge. Limited availability

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Tuesday, October 08 - Birding field trips to 2 unique natural divisions
Breakfast: In the Lodge Restaurant

Morning: Birding within Giant City State Park. This is great opportunity to share hints and tips for beginners to advanced. If you are having problems with field ID or with your binoculars this is the time to ask questions. A short birding excursion among the sandstone bluffs, hardwood forest, and open areas to spot woodpeckers and soaring raptors. Excursion extends into LaRue Swamp Pine Hills Ecological Area. Unlike anywhere else in Illinois, this is a true extension of the Ozark Plateau into the Land of Lincoln. Short Leaf Pine trees cling to the limestone cliffs overlooking the Mississippi River Valley where we'll search for vultures, eagles, herons, kites, raptors, and some fall warblers and shorebirds. Walk along the base of the bluffs adjacent to the spring-fed wetlands on the famous road that is closed seasonally for snake migration.

Lunch: Lunch at a local winery with a private wine tasting. Enjoy a glass while overlooking the lush views of the vineyard.

Afternoon: Birding excursions continue. Exact location based on the birds!

Dinner: At the Lodge

Evening: Evening Owl Prowl. Join us as we search for the winged-cats of the night...Learn why owls are such effective nocturnal predators. A short evening walk will give us the opportunity to call in some resident barred, screech or great horned owls.

Lodging: Giant City State Park Lodge and Cabins

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Found in the heart of the park is Giant City Lodge. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, it is in perfect keeping with the spirit of the park. Multi-hued sandstone and white oak timber were two of the native building materials used. The spacious and historic Lodge has a rustic beauty that creates an atmosphere found nowhere else in Southern Illinois. The Bald Knob dining room, with seating for 200, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, with an excellent reputation for food and hospitality. You’re sure to enjoy some of the best fried chicken ever if you choose the specialty of the Lodge, our all-you-can-eat Family Style Chicken Dinner.

Contact info:
460 Giant City Lodge Rd
Makanda, IL 62958 USA
phone: 618-457-4921
web: giantcitylodge.com

Room amenities: 2 full beds, privte bath, television, outdoor swimming pool

Facility amenities: Giant City Lodge has private rooms perfect for your special event, banquets, and meetings. The Lodge also features a historic lounge and bar, gift shop, and guest cabins for a quiet getaway. Outdoor swimming pool, numerous hiking trails, Visitor's Center nearby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $69.00-$105.00
Make reservations with Giant City Lodge. Limited availability

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Wednesday, October 09 - Field Trip to the Cache River Wetland Complex
Breakfast: In the Lodge restaurant

Morning: Cache River Wetlands and Heron Pond State Natural Area. A designated "Wetland of International Importance", this wetland complex is a birders paradise! Bird counts confirm the presence of more than 250 species within the Cache River Basin including over 49 species of neo-tropical migratory birds that breed there. Birders are likely to see herons, Mississippi Kites, migrating raptors, fall warblers, wood ducks, eagles and black vultures. Pileated, red-head, red bellied, downy, and hairy woodpeckers are found year round. Nestled deep within the shadowy bottomland forest of this area lies Heron Pond dominated by cypress and tupuelo trees. A foot bridge over the Cache River leads us to a floating boardwalk which winds its way into the secluded depths of this forested swamp, providing visitors a chance to step back in time and observe the cypress and tupelo swamp that has remained relatively undisturbed for thousands of years. Above and below the surface, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects interact in a symphony of survival. The flat walking trail (approx. 1 1/2 miles) also gets us to the state champion Cherrybark Oak tree. It isn't unusual to see a few swamp snake species while on this trip.

Lunch: In the field........served up picnic style.

Afternoon: We'll wind our way through the Shawnee Hills to a local vineyard for wine tasting and birding. If you have specific questions about viticulture, wine production, or the wine you are tasting, the answers are a question away. We'll get a 'behind the vines' tour from an expert vitner and learn about the whole wine-making process. Wine available for purchase by the glass or bottle.

Dinner: In the Lodge Restaurant served family style

Evening: Musical entertainment by singer/songwriter/naturalist Curt Carter.

Lodging: Giant City State Park Lodge and Cabins

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Found in the heart of the park is Giant City Lodge. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, it is in perfect keeping with the spirit of the park. Multi-hued sandstone and white oak timber were two of the native building materials used. The spacious and historic Lodge has a rustic beauty that creates an atmosphere found nowhere else in Southern Illinois. The Bald Knob dining room, with seating for 200, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, with an excellent reputation for food and hospitality. You’re sure to enjoy some of the best fried chicken ever if you choose the specialty of the Lodge, our all-you-can-eat Family Style Chicken Dinner.

Contact info:
460 Giant City Lodge Rd
Makanda, IL 62958 USA
phone: 618-457-4921
web: giantcitylodge.com

Room amenities: 2 full beds, privte bath, television, outdoor swimming pool

Facility amenities: Giant City Lodge has private rooms perfect for your special event, banquets, and meetings. The Lodge also features a historic lounge and bar, gift shop, and guest cabins for a quiet getaway. Outdoor swimming pool, numerous hiking trails, Visitor's Center nearby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $69.00-$105.00
Make reservations with Giant City Lodge. Limited availability

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Thursday, October 10 - Pontoon boat ride on Little Grassy Lake. We will...
Pontoon boat ride on Little Grassy Lake. We will search for eagles, kingfishers, and Mississippi kites as we explore the undeveloped shoreline. Program ends around 10:30 am

Breakfast: in Lodge restaurant

Morning: Pontoon boat ride on Little Grassy Lake. We will search for eagles, kingfishers, and waterfowl as we explore the uninterrupted shoreline. Program ends at 10:30 am.

Lodging: Giant City State Park Lodge and Cabins

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
4 nights of accommodations
8 meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
1 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

3.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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