17381
Makanda
Canoeing and Kayaking Southern Illinois Wetlands and Lakes
Southern Illinois boasts some of the nation’s most diverse landscapes. Join naturalists to canoe the clear lake waters and cypress swamp as you learn about wildlife and local culture.
Program No. 17381RJ
Length
5 days
Starts at
649
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5 days
4 nights
11 meals
4 B 3 L 4 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Arrival/Introductions/Program Overview
Carbondale, IL
D
Giant City State Park Lodge and Cabins

Dinner: Family style dinner in Lodge Restaurant.

Evening: Introductions. Program overview. Short presentation on southern Illinois natural divisions.

DAY
2
Canoeing the Cache River Swamp
Carbondale, IL
B,L,D
Giant City State Park Lodge and Cabins

Breakfast: Breakfast in Lodge Restaurant

Morning: Cache River Wetlands: Paddle through duckweed, button brush and 800 year old Cypress trees; one with over 200 knees. Prior to canoeing, staff will provide canoe instruction and safety, including paddle techniques, getting in and out of canoes safely and how to prevent a canoe from flipping over. Approx. distance is 2 miles on flat water (no rapids). A visit to the Interpretive Center will give background on the natural and cultural history of the wetlands. Eagles, herons, egrets, woodpeckers, wood ducks and owls are common ushers along the trail, along with the often sought after Prothonotary Warbler. A visit with the 1500 year- old state record Bald Cypress tree is always a highlight of this wetland paddle.

Lunch: Picnic style lunch in the field

Afternoon: Cache River swamp and visitor center continued.

Dinner: Dinner in Lodge Restaurant

Evening: Evening Owl Prowl. Presentation on owl behavior and adaptations prior to short hike to call in local owl species.

DAY
3
Canoeing/Kayaking, Winery Visit, Evening Entertainment
Carbondale, IL
B,L,D
Giant City State Park Lodge and Cabins

Breakfast: Breakfast in Lodge Restaurant.

Morning: Watch for Eagles, herons and kingfishers as we paddle along sandstone bluffs and beneath towering pines on one of southern Illinois' scenic lakes. Approx. distance 2-5 miles on flat water with short interpretive breaks along the way. Kayaks are also available to paddle on this day---learn kayak paddling techniques and have the option to switch from canoeing to kayaking throughout the day.

Lunch: Lunch along the shore of the lake.

Afternoon: Continued paddling on the lake, with one-on-one instruction on paddling techniques.

Dinner: Dinner in Lodge Restaurant

DAY
4
Morning Activity and Departures
Carbondale, IL
B,L,D
Giant City State Park Lodge and Cabins

Breakfast: Breakfast in Lodge restaurant.

Morning: Naturalist Hike in one of the 8 wilderness areas of southern Illinois. Creek crossings, dirt/chipped trails, and mixed hardwood forests lead us to a maze of 300 million year old sandstone bluffs. Botany, birds, and geology are highlighted on this naturalist hike.

Lunch: Lunch in the field

Afternoon: Optional visit to local winery for wine tasting. Purchase wine by the glass or bottle, and relax for the rest of the afternoon. Or, choose to get back on the lake for more instruction or independent paddling.

Dinner: Dinner at the Lodge

Evening: Evening music with a focus on bluegrass and folk music inspired by the natural world and intertwined with stories of life and adventure.

DAY
5
Short hike and departures
Carbondale, IL
B

Breakfast: Breakfast in the Lodge

Morning: Short hike within Giant City State Park. Check out and departures at 10:30 am