Groups join together to install signs along River-to-River Trail
The River-to-River Trail Society announced that on Saturday, Sept. 22, the final informational sign was scheduled to be installed at the Backpackers’ Parking Lot at Garden of the Gods Recreation Area in southeastern Saline County.
Installation of the sign concluded a more than year-long project to re-mark the entire length of the River-to-River Trail.
The River-to-River Trail is a hiking and horseback trail which stretches 157 miles across Southern Illinois, from Elizabethtown and Battery Rock on the Ohio River to Grand Tower on the Mississippi River.
As part of the project, blaze markers, bearing the trail’s familiar “i” logo, were installed along the entire trail to aid users in finding their way.
In addition, three portal signs were installed at Elizabethtown, Battery Rock and Grand Tower, and five mileage signs have been installed at Alto Pass, Giant City State Park, Ferne Clyffe State Park, Goddard Crossing and Eddyville, with the sixth and last being the one installed at Garden of the Gods on Sept. 22.
Smaller informational signs have been installed where the trail crosses Tunnel Hill State Trail, Millstone Lake, Dutchman Lake, Karbers Ridge Road, Rocky Comfort Road and Makanda.
Installation of the final informational sign on Sept. 22 was accompanied by a brief program, and was held in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service’s Trash Bash pick-up in the Garden of the Gods Wilderness.
Re-marking the trail was a project carried out jointly by the River-to-River Trail Society, the Shawnee Trails Conservancy, the Friends of the Shawnee National Forest, Illinois Ozarks, the U.S. Forest Service, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Southern Illinois University.
Funding was provided in part by a grant from the National Forest Trail Stewardship Partnership Funding Program, in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, American Trails, the American Hiking Society, Back Country Horsemen of America, the International Mountain Bike Association, the American Motorcycle Association and smarttrails.org.
The River-to-River Trail Society noted in a news release that completion of the project makes the trail “one of the finest hiking and equestrian trails of its length in the country, and a priceless resource in the promotion of Southern Illinois tourism. The Society praises the efforts of its partners in this undertaking, and especially wishes to commend the leadership provided by the staff of the Shawnee National Forest.”