Prairie Dog in South Dakota
Prairie Dog in South Dakota
Shawnee National Forest is a Midwest destination unlike any other. Traverse 403 miles of hiking trails, discover local wineries and craft breweries, and don’t miss the Garden of the Gods.
n southern Illinois, fields give way to forested hills, rugged bluffs and sweet surprises in Shawnee National Forest.
Outdoor enthusiasts make tracks to Giant City State Park, which gets its name from the steep, carved sandstone cliffs that resemble city streets fit for a giant. Hikers explore miles of trails or gather their gear and tackle rock-climbing and rappelling on the massive bluffs. Giant City Stables leads guided horseback tours along wooded paths. The clear and calm waters of Little Grassy Lake, part of the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, are ideal for a day of fishing and boating. For a colorful detour, the quirky Makanda Boardwalk showcases the works of local artisans, including metalwork and gemstone jewelry.
Traverse City, Michigan
The days are warm, the nights are cool, and you won’t find a prettier place to take a color tour. Rolling hills are painted in deep reds, bright oranges and sunny yellows – a striking contrast against the sapphire blue of Grand Traverse Bay.
Some of the best hiking, biking, fishing and boating is all here.
Formed millions of years ago by the tremendous force of an underground river cutting through solid limestone rock, the Olentangy Indian Caverns today offer an exciting excursion into ancient Indian lore with a maze of beautiful winding passages and spacious underground rooms. There is evidence that the Wyandotte Indians used these caverns as a haven from the weather and from their enemies, the Delaware Indians. One of the large rooms “Council Chamber” is believed to have been used by the Wyandottes for tribal ceremonies. This room contains a large rock table referred to as Council Table. The first white man believed to have entered the caverns was J. M. Adams, a member of a westbound wagon train that camped nearby in 1821. During the night one of his oxen broke loose and wandered off. In the morning the ox was found dead at the bottom of the entrance to the ancient Indian cavern. After exploring the entrance, Adams carved his name and date on the wall. The carving still remains but is hard to see due to being partially covered by Flowstone.
Various artifacts found in the caverns indicate that the Indian Council Room was used by Wyandotte Indians for making arrows and other stone implements until as late as 1810. These items were found when the caverns were opened and some are on display in the Museum. This remarkable geological wonder is now accessible to everyone from the Museum atop the entrance. Concrete stairways descend 55 feet to the maze of natural passages and rooms occupying three different levels. The second level contains Indian Lover’s Bench, Battleship Rock and The Crystal Room. Fat Man’s Misery is a passage leading to Cathedral Hall and Bell Tower room which is 105 feet below the earth’s surface. Beyond are passages and rooms still unexplored. A fourth level where an underground river is flowing to the Olentangy River has been partially explored but not opened to the public. It is known that the river has formed a lake but its size has not been determined. Many miles of passages have never been explored.