Hi all, Had my first back packing adventure in the Smokies and part of the AT with my twin 14 yo boys and a group of scouts. It was great!! My boys and I are now planning a trip in Nov. to Shawnee National Forest in S. IL, River to River Trail and another trip in March to the same destination. I am working on lightening my load thanks to all the helpful tips in this forum.
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
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You may find this map helpful though I have not been to most of these places. I just started BPing a couple years ago when my son crossed over. I'm closing in on 10 lb base weight. They have a Scout section at backpackinglight.com, too.
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Welcome! I'm a former Illinoisan myself
Be sure to look into backpacking the Ozarks too. You're probably around a 7 hour drive or less to SW MO / NW AR and we have some great spots here. The Ozarks Highland Trail, the Buffalo River Trail, and some really nice wilderness areas to explore. I know there are parts of the BRT that you and your boys would love, and you can rent canoes and do float trips there and camp along the shoreline anywhere you want, then pick up a trail and backpack too. Best times to hike here are mid-October thru the end of March.
Please post a trip report with pics when you get back from the Shawnee National Forest. I'd love to go there one of these days!
Greetings! I have not been very active on the site since during the summer but I am from So. Illinois myself and had planned on doing the river to river trail this past fall. Due to finances and time constraints I was not able to do so but did small sections of it. I am planning to hike the whole trail next year and then within a couple years I plan on doing the Appalachian Trail. If you are planning to hike any length of the River to River trail I would suggest buying these two books:
I have the fourth edition of the R2R trail guide. The pocket sized version looks handy. Thanks for the link. We are leaving Friday morning for the 5 hour drive to Garden of the Gods where we will start from. Ending point will be Concord Cemetary. About 15 miles. We are really looking forward to getting out of dodge even though it is just for 2 nights. Weekend temps look to be in the 60s and 40s with no rain in the forecast. Couldn't be better as far as I am concerned.
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