Hike & Go Seek – The Garden of the Gods

Green Tree Near Rocky Mountains
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Looking for spectacular views with a short hike among some of the most unique rock formations in the United States? Look no further than Garden of the Gods in Southern Illinois. The most popular hike in the Shawnee National Forest, Garden of the Gods gives tourists amazing insight into the geologic structure of Southern Illinois and a view that stretches for miles high over the pristine hills of Shawnee Forest.

More than 320 million years ago, the wind and rain patiently started to chisel away at large deposits of sedimentary rock located in what is now, Shawnee National Forest . Over the years, the elements have sculpted some of the most stunning and extraordinary rock formations known to man. There are also plenty of trails for backpacking and horseback riding, allowing nature lovers a welcome tour of what the lively environment has to offer.

Trekking The National Parks: The Family Board Game (Second Edition)

Trekking the National Parks Family Board Game

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There are many miles of diverse hiking and backpacking trails in the Shawnee National Forest including the 160-mile River to River Trail.

One of the most photographed locations in the state, Garden of the Gods’ scenic beauty is extraordinary. In the recreation area you can hike, camp, nature watch or picnic.

The Observation Trail features unique sandstone rock formations and panoramic views of the surrounding Garden of the God Wilderness. Interpretive signs explain the geological history. The 1/4-mile trail is made of natural sandstone and takes about an hour to walk. It contains short, steep grades and steps; benches are located along the trail and as a whole the trail is not tiring. Caution should be used due to the high cliffs in the area.

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Beat the Bite!

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With Summer upon us, the bugs, ticks, mosquitoes, black flies and other nasty pests try to invade out space.

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    Medella Naturals Insect & Mosquito Repellent, DEET-Free All-Natural Formula, Safe for Kids and Pets, Made in The USA, Travel 3-Pack, 2 oz, 4 oz, and 8 oz. Bottles

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Beat the Bite – Outdoor Toolkit to Protect Yourself

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With Spring arriving, so do the bugs, ticks, mosquitoes, black flies and other nasty pests.

Protect yourself from head to toe with the latest.

 

B07VPRM2CW

Medella Naturals Insect & Mosquito Repellent, DEET-Free All-Natural Formula, Safe for Kids and Pets, Made in The USA, Travel 3-Pack, 2 oz, 4 oz, and 8 oz. Bottles

  • PURE PROTECTION: Medella Naturals Insect Repellent provides a safe and effective way to keep mosquitoes, gnats, and other flying insects away while prevent irritating bites, all without leaving a greasy or oily residue.
  • NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Made in the USA from skin-loving ingredients like lemongrass oil, Vitamin E, purified water, glycerin, castor oil, and a hint of vanilla, which gives this spray its pleasant smell.
  • CHEMICAL FREE: The DEET-free formula is made without synthetic fragrances, dyes, phthalates, pesticides, alcohol, formaldehyde, preservatives, or petrochemicals.
  • FAMILY FRIENDLY: This easy-to-spray pump makes application a breeze and provides protection for adults, kids, and even pets. It has lasting power and is suitable for year-round usage.
  • STAY OUTDOORS WITH CONFIDENCE: Get back to doing what you love in the great outdoors without having to be bothered by bugs. This spray stands up to sweat and keeps you protected no matter the activity.

 

B0725NLB9B

Insect Shield Sport Crew Sock

  • 49% Polyester/47% Cotton/3% RUBBER/1% Spandex
  • Imported
  • Insect repellent
  • Repellency lasts the expected lifetime of the product (70 washings for apparel items)
  • Invisible protectiot
  • Durable, cushioned sole for comfort

 

B07FPKCLP7

ExOfficio womens Bugsaway Lumen Full Zip Hoody

  • 100% Other Fibers
  • Imported
  • Zipper closure
  • Machine Wash
  • Bugs Away hoody provides invisible, odorless protection from bugs
  • Ultra-lightweight, quick-drying, and breathable material
  • Zippered security pocket inside right-hand pocket holds passport

 

B001UO9M2W

ExOfficio mens Bugsaway Sandfly Jacket

  • 100% Nylon | 100% Polyester
  • Imported
  • Zipper closure
  • Machine Wash
  • 2″ high
  • 12″ wide
  • This lightweight hooded men’s jacket is great for buggy travels, off-trail hikes, or anywhere repelling insects like ticks and mosquitoes is one of your top concerns

 

Winter in the Midwest – Get Outdoors

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It might be frigid, but don’t let a snowy forecast stop you from setting aside time for a enjoying the great outdoors.  Head to the woods for a peaceful hike, snow shoeing or cross country skiing.  Here are some fun spots to explore.

 

Turkey Run State Park, Indiana

For picturesque views!

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You’ll marvel at the natural geologic wonders of this beautiful park as you hike along its famous trails. Nestled along State Road 47 southwest of Crawfordsville, the park offers the chance to explore deep, sandstone ravines, walk along stands of aged forests, and enjoy the scenic views along Sugar Creek.

Chicago, Illinois

Skating with the Chicago skyline as your backdrop!

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With its twinkling tree lights and stunning skyline backdrop, the iconic ice skating rink in Millennium Park is a must-stop each winter season.

More than 100,000 ice skaters glide, spin, twirl — and undoubtedly, stumble and fall! — on the downtown ice rink each year. Take to the ice yourself or just soak in the views. Right above the rink is Millennium Park’s famed Cloud Gate sculpture. Snap photos of your reflection in the shiny, snow-dusted “Bean” and watch the crowds below during your winter holiday visit. If you’re in need of a warm-up, head into the Park Grill Cafe on-site for hot chocolate and other snacks.

 

Door County, Wisconsin

Sightseeing along frozen Lake Michigan

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Many people call Door County the Cape Cod of the Midwest, and that’s no less true in winter, when snow covers the picturesque northeast Wisconsin peninsula. Shops, galleries and inns stay open for visitors who come for cozy shopping and peaceful walks along frozen Lake Michigan beaches. Sleigh rides, trolley tours and wine tastings round out a romantic weekend.

 

Interstate State Park, Wisconsin and Minnesota

Hardy hikers can snowshoe on fresh white snow

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Interstate Park comprises two adjacent state parks on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, both names Interstate State Park.  The staddle the Dalles of the beautiful St. Croix River, a deep basalt gorge with glacial potholes and other rock formations.

 

Southwest Lake Michigan shore

A stunning winter lighthouse road trip landscape!

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Every winter, lake-effect storms leave southwest Michigan’s lighthouses and sand dunes cloaked in ice and snow.  From South Haven to New Buffalo and beyond winter is the perfect time to  take a road trip  along Lake Michigan, especially since the beautiful scenes of winter are in full force now.