Outdoor Adventure in Shawnee National Forest With Your Grandchild

Explore the natural beauty of Makanda, Illinois with your grandchild as you canoe, kayak, zipline, hike and rock-climb your way through Shawnee National Forest!
Rating (5)
Program No. 14848RJ
5 days
Starts at
849 / ADULT
649 / CHILD
5 days
4 nights
11 meals
4B 3L 4D
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At a Glance

Known for its local artists and natural beauty, the “hippie town” of Makanda, Illinois is nestled in the hills of Shawnee National Forest, not far east of the Mississippi River. Based at your historic, rustic lodge in Makanda, connect with both nature and your grandchild as you explore Mother Nature’s playground together. Conquer new challenges by canoe and kayak, and rock climb and zipline your way through the national forest. Join naturalists on a hike along wooded, lakeside trails and climb and rappel towering sandstone rocks. Enjoy swimming, fishing, owl-prowling and a campfire to round out your week of outdoor adventure!
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hiking up to 1.5 miles on hilly terrain, dirt and/or rocky path. Canoeing/kayaking up to three miles on flat water. Rock climbing and zipline tour includes safety and instruction. Safety harnesses are used for both activities and facilitated by certified staff.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore miles of uninterrupted shoreline by canoe and kayak, stopping to learn about native cultures and practice spear-throwing and other skills used by prehistoric peoples.
  • Learn how to rock-climb on 70-foot sandstone bluffs with experts, and experience the forest canopy on Illinois' only all tree-based zipline.
  • Enjoy the last evening with a beach cookout, a campfire and a sunset pontoon ride.

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 9-12. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
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Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer received his bachelor’s in outdoor recreation from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He is the co-founder of the Land for Learning Institute, is a Wilderness First Responder, and facilitator for Project Wild and Leave No Trace. Alan has over 15 years experience leading canoe expeditions on rivers, lakes and swamps and is also a lead instructor for birding excursions.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Alan Shearer
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