February 20, 2018

Calling all vets: Spring Break 2018 River to River Veteran Adventures Backpacking Trip

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Service personnel past and present can enjoy a special weeklong spring break backpacking adventure courtesy of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Veteran Adventures. 

The multi-sport trip along the famed River to River Trail will take place March 10-18. 

Free for all veterans and current service members welcome

The trip is open to all current military service members, all veterans, and members of the National Guard, the reserves and ROTC. There is no cost to participate as Veteran Adventures provides transportation, food and gear, courtesy of fundraising efforts. 

SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center, located about eight miles south of Carbondale, will host the outdoor adventure. 

Hike, canoe, climb and zip line through Southern Illinois

Participants will explore many of the scenic natural sites located in Southern Illinois during the trip. It all begins at Touch of Nature and they’ll travel by canoe on Little Grassy Lake to reach the first trailhead on the River to River Trail. The walking portion of their backpacking excursion begins there. 

Walking an average of 6-10 miles daily, participants will camp and hike through the Shawnee National Forest. Destinations include:

  • Panther Den Wilderness
  • Ferne Clyffe State Park
  • Lusk Creek Wilderness
  • One Horse Gap
  • Garden of the Gods Wilderness 

As they go, the veterans will climb the ancient sandstone bluffs of Jackson Falls, zip line through the forest canopies of the Shawnee Hills and much more. 

Register now

While there is no cost to participate, advance registration is necessary. Register for the River to River Backpacking Trip online or by calling 618/453-1121 or emailing tonec@siu.edu.

To learn more about Veteran Adventures or the numerous programs, services and facilities offered by Touch of Nature, visit www.ton.siu.edu, call 618/453-1121, or email tonec@siu.edu.