River to River Hiking Trail

When planning an expedition along the River to River Trail in Shawnee National Forest in IL, find restful lodging through the Illinois Bed & Breakfast Association. Spanning southern Illinois lands from Battery Rock on the Ohio River to Devil’s Backbone in Grand Tower on the Mississippi River, the trail is part of the American Discovery Trail, which extends from Point Reyes National Seashore in California to Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware and is over 5,000 miles. Several access points are available throughout the route.

While on the trail, hikers have the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful scenery in this country including the Shawnee National Forest Wilderness, Giant City State Park, Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge, Ferne Clyffe State Park, Devil’s Backbone Park, Cedar Lake, Camel Rock, Battery Rock, the Gap, and small towns such as Alto Pass, Makanda, and Rock Creek, IL.

The trail serves as the intersection of southern/northern and eastern/western ecosystems, so hikers may see a wide assortment of wildlife including the river otter, coyote, bobcat, and rattlesnakes. Birding enthusiasts delight in the chance to catch glimpses of the bald eagle, wild turkey, blue heron, and yellow warbler.

The trail is approximately 160 miles and takes about 2 to 3 weeks to travel in its entirety. The terrain is considered easy to difficult with no long sustained climbs but several grades that are described as “rugged”.

Directional trail-markers are white diamonds with a blue “i,” but it is suggested that hikers also use a map and compass and pack plenty of water. The trail is accessible and passable year-round except for the coldest days in January and February; however, average winter temperatures are usually in the 40s.

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The Stablehouse

1642 Milligan Hill Road, Alto Pass, IL 62905

618/893-1425 or 213/712-3274 cell

The Stablehouse is a fully furnished two-bedroom (and futon couch + rollaway) guest rental adjacent to one of the barns and stables of the beautiful 75 acre Herold Farms in Alto Pass. The interiors have a western theme, and a … Continue reading

Kite Hill Vineyards B&B

83 Kite Hill Road, Carbondale, IL 62903

618-684-5072

We are situated on 26 acres which includes a pond, a vineyard and a winery. Mother Nature has done a beautiful job of presenting the Shawnee National Forest. Kite Hill Vineyards presents a beautiful place to stay along with great … Continue reading

Country Schemes B&B

3220 Old Metropolis Rd., Vienna, IL 62995

618-658-9044

Country Schemes B&B is located on a third generation centennial farm nestled in a quiet, peaceful and relaxed atmosphere in Southern Illinois. Slow to the pace and enjoy hiking biking, sightseeing or simply relax on the deck or front porch.