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Shawnee National Forest

River-to-River Trail

Hiking in Illinois from the Ohio River to the Mississippi River

Courtesy of the River-to-River Trail Society

Inspiration for the River-to-River Trail came with the establishment of the Shawnee National Forest. What could be better than a scenic hiking trail through this flora-rich park that bridged the land dividing two great waterways: the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers?  Unfortunately, until recently, despite several attempts over the past decades to establish a permanent route extending the full 160-mile proposed distance, the trail ran only 80 miles from Camp Cadiz near Cave-In-Rock to the crossing of Route 45.  Today, the American Discovery Trail (ADT), a coast to coast trail across the U.S. now overlays all 160 miles of the full River-to-River Trail, and is a designated "Discovery Trail" in the National Trail System.  The ADT enters Illinois from Indiana at New Haven, then turns south until its intersection with the River-to-River Trail in Hardin County. On the west side of Illinois, the ADT travels north from Grand Tower up roads and Mississippi River levees to Eads Bridge at St. Louis.  The more scenic segments are near the Garden of the Gods and High Knob. M 130-110