Adjoining the wilderness of the Shawnee National Forest in southeastern Illinois lies Illinois Audubon Society’s 523-acre War Bluff Valley Sanctuary, a gift from the late, renown ornithologists, Drs. Richard and Jean Graber. Upland and bottom land forest, shrub and regenerating forest, and open land offer habitat for a wide variety of birds, mammals, herps, insects and plants. Simmons Creek is a beautiful rock bottom clear creek that runs through the middle of the property, with its many tributaries encountered throughout. Other features include seven ponds, old homestead sites, and interesting geology.
Join us on a day-long hike as we explore along the trails for early spring species of both plants and animals. Our knowledgeable guides will explain the history and future hopes for the sanctuary along the way. A good time of year for wildflowers and early spring birding. We will lunch in Kestrel Hall and plan to wrap up by late afternoon.
Expect to hike approximately 6 miles on uneven ground with some changes in elevation; this time of year can bring some wet or muddy spots and slippery conditions. There will be an optional meet-up on Friday for dinner in Golconda and if the conditions are right, we may visit the sanctuary afterwards for an evening walk to listen for owls and chorusing frogs.
Registrants will be responsible for their own overnight accommodations. Suggested lodging for this field trip is the San Damiano Retreat Center located 6 miles from the sanctuary overlooking the Ohio river.
Trip cost includes light breakfast, lunch, snacks and water
Trip Leaders: John Wallace and Nick Seaton
Cost: $35Maximum Field Trip Capacity: 16