December 11, 2015

Veteran Adventures trips set for spring semester

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s new Veteran Adventures program is sponsoring a variety of trips during the spring 2016 semester. 

The program is already proving a popular way for veterans from SIU and other area colleges to explore and enjoy fun activities together at a nominal, “all inclusive” cost. Efforts are also continuing to obtain donations and sponsorships to further reduce the costs to the veterans of taking part in events such as goose hunting, trail backpacking, mountaineering, visiting the Everglades and canoeing. 

SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center and Veterans Services are partnering to sponsor Veteran Adventures. Any university student veteran is eligible to participate in the trips, and the cost listed for each covers transportation, food, gear, logistics/guides, and where applicable, lodging and fees. The prices indicated are the maximum possible cost. The actual cost could be less, depending on the donations and sponsorships received and the number of participants on any given trip. 

The schedule for the spring 2016 trips, along with a brief description of each trip and the maximum cost, includes: 

  • March 12-20 – Two spring break options are planned:

1-    River to River Trail Backpacking along the 180-mile trail from the Ohio River to the Mississippi River, exploring the flora and fauna along the way. $125.

2-    Colorado Mountaineering adventure offering an introduction to the sport of mountaineering by climbing to heights of up to 14,000 feet above sea level in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains. No previous experience is needed. $400.

  • May 23-29 – Big South Fork River exploration trip featuring six days of backcountry paddling in the waters of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Tennessee. Experience is helpful but not required. $300. 

The registration deadline for each trip is one week before the trip begins, although earlier registration is suggested to assure a spot. For more information, or to sign up for any of the trips, call Touch of Nature Environmental Center at 618/453-1121 or email Or, find out more or sign up online at

To make donations or sponsorship pledges to help reduce the costs and enable more veterans to participate in the Veteran Adventure trips, visit and click on “priorities” at the top of the page and then select “Touch of Nature Environmental Center” and finally, “Underway Adventures.”