April 20, 2018

Veterans and families invited to canoe the Cache for free

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — All veterans and their families can enjoy a free cookout and professionally guided canoe tour of one of the nation’s most ecologically diverse areas courtesy of Veteran Adventures at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Canoe the Cache

The canoe expedition to the Cache River Wetlands, home to the state’s widest assortment of plants and animals, is set for May 26. Veteran Adventures, a Touch of Nature Environmental Center program, is hosting the voyage and all veterans, current service personnel and members of the National Guard, the Reserves and the ROTC are welcome. Children and family members are invited to join the fun, too.

All canoes, paddles, personal flotation devices and lunch will be provided at no cost. Participants only need to bring sunscreen, hat/sunglasses, and a water bottle; they should also wear appropriate clothing. If they prefer, veterans can bring their own canoes or kayaks if they transport them to the site themselves.

No experience necessary

Participants don’t need any previous canoeing experience. A certified American Canoe Association guide will provide paddling expertise and assist all who attend.

Shuttle service provided

Veterans and their families can meet at the Lower Cache River Access in Ullin, Ill., at noon on May 26. Or, they can catch a free shuttle, which will depart at 11 a.m. from Touch of Nature, located at 1206 Touch of Nature Road in Makanda, about eight miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road.

The cookout and canoe adventure will be from noon to 4 p.m.

The shuttle will arrive back at Touch of Nature about 5 p.m.

For more information

Participants can register in advance at www.ton.siu.edu. The deadline to sign up is May 23.

For additional information, contact Greg Nejmanowski, Underway Adventures Program trip leader, at 618/453-1121.