Reintroduction of Ozark Tours for National Public Lands Day

Release Date: Aug 19, 2013  

Contact(s): Amanda Patrick

Ozark tour at Pounds site photo

HARRISBURG, IL – August 16, 2013 – Over the past year, the Shawnee National Forest and a variety of interested citizens and civic groups have been working together to reintroduce Trigg’s Trails, Tours and Detours, also known as the Ozark Tours, to southern Illinois. From 1931-1949, Col Lindolph Oscar (L.O.) Trigg annually shepherded government officials and area boosters on sight-seeing expeditions to various sites in southern Illinois. The purpose of the tours was to highlight the special places in southern Illinois, including both scenic and important historical sites, and to encourage the establishment of a national forest. Col. Trigg was an early and enthusiastic promoter of a national forest for southern Illinois and dedicated much of his life to showing others the beauties of the region. His dream was finally realized when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed the establishment of the Shawnee National Forest in 1939.

On Saturday and Sunday, September 28th and 29th, 2013, in celebration of National Public Lands Day (NPLD), the non-for-profit Friends of the Shawnee National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service – Shawnee National Forest, and a wide variety of outdoor recreation advocates will again be hosting an Ozark Tour! On Saturday, the group will load into air-conditioned buses for a weekend of recreation, sightseeing and exploration around the Shawnee. The tour will visit many of the sites that Col Trigg visited during the 1930s, including High Knob, the Pounds site, Rim Rock and Garden of the Gods, as well as Cave-in-Rock, the Rose Hotel in Elizabethtown and many other historic and scenic sites.  The cost of the weekend tour is only $100.000 and includes three meals (BBQ and all the fixings, a fish fry supper, and a pancake and sausage breakfast). Sign-up early and save- An early bird registration of $85.00 will be accepted through September 6th.  Please join us for an Indian Summer weekend of hiking and camping, storytelling under southern skies, sunsets, outstanding mealtime camaraderie, and few experiences you are not likely to have anywhere else -- except on an Ozark Tour!  Pre-registration is required for the Ozark Tour, please contact the Friends of the Shawnee National Forest at618-713-5352 (Susi Vacek) or online:

In addition, for those wanting to get their hands dirty and volunteer for NPLD, there will be other out-of-door activities on the Forest, including trail work in the Panther Den Wilderness, invasive species mapping, an educational aquatic adventure program and litter removal at Garden of the Gods. The Shawnee is also offering free camping at the Garden of the Gods, Pounds Hollow, Camp Cadiz, Pine Hills and Johnson Creek in honor of National Public Lands Day. Please note that concessionaire operated campgrounds are not included in the fee waiver. Pre-registration is also required for all service projects and can be done so by contacting the Mississippi Bluffs Ranger District office at 618-833-8576. Participants under the age of 18 signing up for service work will require parental consent, and participants under the age of 16 will also need to be accompanied by an adult. Volunteer work will kick off at the hands-on projects at 9:30 a.m. and will end at 1 p.m.    

NPLDis the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands and is a part of the National Environmental Education Foundation’s Public Lands Every Day Program, which encourages Americans to enjoy, protect and maintain public lands through public engagement, professional development and partnerships. For more information on NPLD, visit

Administered by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, the Shawnee National Forest is one of 155 national forests nationwide.As the only national forest in Illinois, the Shawnee offers numerous avenues for connecting with the natural world through its 280,000 acres of varied landscape. Whether your interests lie more in outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking or camping, or include learning about the unique natural and cultural heritage of southern Illinois, the fields, forests and streams of the Shawnee welcome you. To discover more about the Shawnee National Forest, visit and follow us on Twitter at: National information about the U.S. Forest Service can be found at:

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