September 27, 2016

Outdoor Adventures offers fall, winter excursions

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two special opportunities to explore scenic America are available to students and community members through Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Outdoor Adventures during coming months.

Trips are planned during the fall and winter breaks at the university and each adventure is an all-inclusive excursion open to people with various levels of outdoor experience. The fall break trip takes place Oct. 7-11 and transports participants to a backpacking adventure in North Carolina and Tennessee when fall foliage should be in full display. Adventurists will spend four nights on the Appalachian Trail, observing all of the flora and fauna in the region.

The cost is $300 per person and that includes all transportation, equipment, accommodations and food. The deadline to register is Oct. 2. An optional informational meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 in the pool lounge on the second floor of the Student Recreation Center.

The winter break trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas takes place Jan. 8-15, 2017. The area is often called three parks in one as its 800,000 acres include the Rio Grande River, the Chisos Mountains and the Chihuahuan Desert. The warm temperatures and scenery promise a fun escape from Illinois’ winter.

The $450 price covers all travel, gear, accommodations and food. Registration is required no later than Dec. 31. A meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 8 in the second floor pool lounge at the Student Recreation Center will offer anyone who is interested in the trip the opportunity to learn more; attendance is optional.

Experienced outdoors adventurers and newcomers alike are welcome at both Outdoor Adventures. Register online or find more information at For additional details, contact Shey Lambert at Touch of Nature Environmental Center, 618/453-1121 or by emailing

SIU’s Recreational Sports and Services and Touch of Nature Environmental Center collaborate to offer the Outdoor Adventures series. Organizers say the trips are a chance for students to enhance their SIU experience and for all participants to see the country with friends old or new as they enjoy Mother Nature at an affordable price.