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IDNR posts closings at downstate national parks, including Shawnee National Forest

Posted by on Saturday, May 6th, 2017 @ 1:45 pm.

Garden of the Gods

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS - Illinois' Department of Natural Resources has announced closures across many of the public parks in southern Illinois that they maintain.

Below is the announcement:

Southern Illinois currently is responding to flooding. As rain continues to fall, many of our streams and rivers have yet to crest, or reach their highest level. While Shawnee National Forest works to assess the impacts of flooding, it’s important people remain safe while visiting the forest.

We have closed Opossum Trot Road and Stoneface Road due to flood damage. We know other sites have water in them, including:

·         areas around the Big Muddy River, including the camping area at Turkey Bayou;

·         Oakwood Bottoms Greentree Reservoir; and

·         Tower Rock Campground.

We strongly encourage people to stay out of flood waters. Places that may have water in them include:

·         All recreation sites and trails bordering on lakes, such as Kinkaid Lake (Johnson Creek and Buttermilk Hill), Cedar Lake, Panther Den Wilderness and Pounds Hollow.

·         All recreation sites and trails in close proximity to major streams, such as Illinois Iron Furnace, Bell Smith Springs and Snake Road.

Most of the trails on the forest have creek crossings, which may be unsafe until flows return to normal levels.  Of particular concern are:

·         Little Grand Canyon

·         Clear Springs and Bald Knob Wildernesses

·         Lusk Creek Wilderness

·         Garden of the Gods Wilderness — Thacker Hollow — Pounds Hollow area trails

·         One Horse Gap and Big Grand Pierre area trails

·         Bay Creek and Hayes Creek area trails

Before visiting the forest, please know:

·         Our rivers, streams, and creeks are running very high, fast, and cold.  They are extremely dangerous and conditions can change rapidly.  Avoid recreating near any waterbodies until this flooding incident has fully subsided.

·         Do not walk or drive across flooded roads or bridges.  The water may hide an impassable hole or weakened structure, and it takes less than 2 foot of water to carry away your vehicle.

·         The trails in Lusk Creek Wilderness are closed to equestrians for a minimum of 24 hours following the cessation of the rain, in accordance with Forest Closure Order #R9-08-11-10.

Even those areas not directly flooded have been heavily impacted by the tremendous rainfall. The ground is extremely muddy, slopes are slippery, downed trees may block trails or access points. Please be careful as well as conscientious – under these conditions every user has a much more extreme impact on the soil, the vegetation and the infrastructure. Try to restrict your activities to well-hardened trails or sites, or better yet, consider postponing your visit until conditions improve.

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Posted by on May 6 2017. Filed under Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Saline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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