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Save Your Cash - Visit Cache River, Illinois
If high gas prices are keeping you close to home this year, consider one of the many great places to visit in the Midwest. Midwest family vacations can take you to the city, the great outdoors, and all points in between. The best Midwest vacation is the one that engages your family and offers something for everyone. If you like to spend time communing with nature, the Cache river in Southern Illinois is one of the best places to visit in the Midwest.
Cache River, Illinois is Paradise For Outdoor Enthusiasts
Camping, boating, fishing, biking and hiking all make for great family vacations. Midwest recreation spot Cache River flows through the heart of the region. Much of the area has recently been protected by a system of easements on agricultural lands, state parks, and Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge.
Cache River State Natural Area is located in southern Illinois inside a floodplain created by glacial floodwater of the Ohio River. This land has retained some of the highest quality aquatic and terrestrial communities in Illinois. Because of its importance to migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, The RAMSAR Convention Wetlands in 1996 designated the lands in this area a Wetland of International Importance. Two National Natural Landmarks, Bottomland Swamp and Heron Pond, are within its borders. In addition, there are three Nature Preserves: Section 8 Woods, Heron Pond-Wildcat Bluff, and Little Black Slough.
Things to Do in Cache River
The diversity of the environment provides food, cover and water for an incredible number of plant and animal species, including over 100 that have been listed as endangered or threatened by the State of Illinois. Birders can expect to see bald eagles, great horned owls, great blue herons, least bitterns, snow geese, sora rails, quail, mourning doves, red-headed woodpeckers, black vultures, and turkey vultures. Kids love to see deer, and there are plenty here. Also look out for squirrels, raccoons, beavers, gray foxes, red foxes, opossums, skunks and mink. If you're lucky, you may even see a river otter or bobcat. Frogs are plentiful too.
Avid anglers will love to fish for channel catfish, crappie, bass, and bluegill. You can also expect to catch less sought after swamp fish including bowfin, needlenose gar, grass pickerel and yellow bullhead catfish.
The Lower Cache River Trail offers a 3 to 6 miles canoe trip through the spectacular cypress-tupelo swamp. The highlight of the trail is Illinois' largest, state champion bald cypress tree. This tree is special, but it's only one of many in the Cache River State Natural Area that dates back over 1,000 years.
Hike & Bike
The Tunnel Hill State bicycle trail is an 8 mile ride through the Cache River State Natural Area. From the bike path you can access hiking trail heads. Most of the 18 miles of designated foot trails are easy to walk.
Cache River Links
- Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge
- The Nature Conservancy
- Natural Resource Conservation Service
- Ducks Unlimited
- Shawnee National Forest
- Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau
For more information on tourism in Illinois, call the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs' Bureau of Tourism at 1-800-2Connect.