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Garden of the Gods Wilderness, Shawnee National Forest, IL (Oct 6th - Oct 12th 2019)

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A relatively small part of the 286,000 acre Shawnee National Forest, the Lusk Creek Wilderness was designated as a wilderness area in 1990. It encompasses approximately 6000 acres of flat ridges, deep sandstone gulches and narrow ravines in southern Illinois. This beautiful wilderness is unusually rugged for Illinois with sheer rock walls, scattered caves, and a creek that is a candidate to become one of our nation's Wild and Scenic Rivers. This dramatic change in topography from the flat farmlands of the Illinois Grand Prairie is due to the scouring effect of glaciers that covered all but the southern tip of Illinois during the last Ice Age (2 million years to about 10,000 years ago). Lusk Canyon Wilderness is home to a variety of wildlife including bobcat, bald eagle, red fox, armadillo and red-tailed hawk. The River to River trail runs over 150 miles from the Ohio River to the Mississippi River, passing through the Lusk Canyon Wilderness and some of the most scenic areas in southern Illinois.

If you prefer your service projects with plenty of variety, with no two days work being the same, this project is for you! Our volunteer group will be assisting the USFS with 3 different projects throughout the week. The first project will be serving as a ground crew to load and unload gravel from pack animals. The gravel will be hauled from the river to River Trail in the Garden of the Gods Wilderness. The second project will focus on brushing and clearing the trail. Our volunteer team will make minor tread repairs on trail #108H (a hiker only trail) in the Garden of the Gods, Wilderness. The third project entails removing invasive plants (honeysuckle, autumn olive) along the Indian Point Trail in the Garden of the Gods Wilderness.

This project is rated as a strenuous project.

Check out more photos from previous Lusk Creek trips in our gallery.

Please join us for a week of meaningful work in the Garden of the Gods Wilderness!


Oct 6th - Oct 12th 2019

Service Project

Bridge reconstruction and trail maintenance

Agency logo

Free Days

Day hikes to nearby lakes & peaks, fishing, relaxing, photography


Tent camping near cars

Project Difficulty

Strenuous : Hiking, bending, lifting, digging, hauling.


Todd Kane
Jeffrey Wright

Equipment List