Trail society plans to offer hike on Halloween night

The River-to-River Trail Society this fall again plans to offer guided hikes in and near the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. 

All hikes are free and open to the public. The trail society said in a news release that although the hikes vary in level of difficulty, all are intended for people in good health who have done some hiking in the past. 

On Saturday, Oct. 31, the society plans to offer its popular Halloween night hike to the mysterious “Vortex” at Max Creek in Johnson County. 

This hike has not been offered in several years, but as before will be led by Brian DeNeal, editor and publisher of Springhouse magazine. To register, call DeNeal at 618-499-2055.

Hiking sticks and boots or sturdy shoes are strongly recommended. All hikers should bring their own water and a snack. Hikers are asked to not bring dogs.

The trail society said that in order to protect the health of leaders and hikers, a number of new procedures will be in effect during the coronavirus emergency and are mandatory. 

All groups will be limited to no more than 15 hikers, except in certain wilderness areas where the U.S. Forest Service has limited groups to no more than 10. 

In order to achieve that goal, all hikes will require advance registration with the hike leader. 

Starting times and meeting places will be communicated to registrants over the telephone. 

All hikers must bring a face mask capable of covering nose, mouth and chin. The trail society shared the following message: “No Mask, No Hike.”

While hikers need not wear face masks while hiking, they must wear them when standing near other hikers or when passing on the trail. 

Proper social distance must be maintained whenever possible. 

Because the route of all hikes will be either a loop or out-and-back, the society will not provide any transportation. 

All hikers will be responsible for transporting themselves to the trailhead, and all will be expected to sign a waiver of liability. 

Any other conditions required by executive order of the governor or recommendations of the CDC must be complied with.


The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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