This will be a 2.6 mile hike through one of the largest old growth floodplain forests in Illinois. We will explore different aspects of this very dynamic environment and get some nice fall colors as well. The hike would be rated as easy to moderate. Participants should bring boots or hike shoes that can handle water up to ankle deep with good thread for gripping muddy soil. A hiking stick or pole for balance would also be good. Wear orange because it is Bow hunting Season.
Weather Note: Event not held if thunderstorms immediately threaten area or heavy rain. Call 217-899-9996 if you have concerns about if the event will be held.
Allerton is perhaps the outdoor jewel of Central Illinois. Operated by the University of Illinois, this area was designated a National Natural Landmark by the US National Park Service because of its outstanding old-growth floodplain and upland forest covering 1200 acres. It is one of only three areas in central Illinois with over 500 acres of contiguous forest. It is home to over 1000 plant and tree species, 200 types of birds, 60 species of mammals, 45 types butterflies and 28 types of reptiles/amphibians including state endangered species as diverse as the black-billed cuckoo, mudpuppy and eastern massasauga rattlesnake. Listed as one of the 7 Wonders of Illinois by the Illinois Department of Tourism.
Park website: http://allerton.illinois.edu
All attendees will need to sign a Sierra Club waiver of liability. Limited to 20 participants, RSVP with Steve Soltys at email@example.com or 217-793-2178.
Minors need to be accompanied by a legal guardian or by a guardian who has a properly filled out Sierra Club minor release of liability/medical treatment authorization form completed by the legal guardian.
Directions from Springfield (about 1.25 hours): Take I-72 East and take Exit 164. Follow the signs but if you miss them here are the directions: Turn right on to Bridge Street, cross the Sangamon, turn right on Market Street, right on Marion Street, left on Allerton Road. When you see the sign for Allerton Park turn right into the park main entrance, cross the Sangamon and at the stop sign take a left. Drive past the Visitor Center (last chance for bathrooms), past the House in the Woods and stop at the next large parking area on the left. If you get to the Sun Singer Statue, you have gone too far.