Touch of Nature events

Touch of Nature events
Touch of Nature events
Touch of Nature events
Venues & Businesses
Touch of Nature

Touch of Nature events
Tara Janowick

SIU’s Touch of Nature is a hidden gem in Southern Illinois with several events throughout the year designed to get people out of their homes and into nature to enjoy its natural beauty.

Below are several events listed throughout the year.

Trail Stewardship Days

Groups and individuals are invited and encouraged to volunteer to help restore and expand Touch of Nature’s expansive trail system through Trail Stewardship Days. No experience in necessary.

Touch of Nature staff will provide the necessary tools, and how to use them properly and safely. The upcoming dates are Sundays, Oct. 15, 22 and 29, and Nov. 5, 13, and 19.

The times are 9 a.m. until 12 p.m., and 1 to 4 p.m. Volunteers can register for one or both sessions, but must preregister at least 48 hours before an event begins.

Community Service, Saluki Volunteer Corps and Environmental Ambassador Award hours are available for SIU students.

Kaleidoscope of Outdoor Living Skills

Kaleidoscope of Outdoor Living Skills is a series of courses designed to teach and aid participants in safe, successful and professional techniques to live, function and recreate in the outdoors.

“Land Navigation” covers compass and topographical map usage such as terrain features and association, the legend, key, bearings, protractors and Universal Transverse Mercator points. A basic course is offered 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11 for $15, with an advanced course 2-5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12 for $30.

“Rock Climbing” covers the essentials for safe top-rope rock climbing and basic sport climbing techniques. A basic course is offered 2-5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18 for $20, with an advanced course 2-5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19 costing $35.

“Leave No Trace” will engage participants in an active learning scenario for all seven Leave No Trace principles, including proper disposal of waste and minimizing campfire impacts. Leave No Trace’s vision is to sustain healthy, vibrant natural lands for all people to enjoy now and into the future. One basic course is offered 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26 for $15.

“Camp Crafts” is Oct. 27-28. The course covers how to effectively set up a campsite, including campfires, water purification, backcountry cooking and more. This class will consist of a one night overnight campout at the beautiful Rocky Ledges Trail at Touch of Nature. Check in is 5 p.m. Friday. The cost is $60.

All seminars are open to ages 15 and older.

Registration is available for all Kaleidoscope courses at


Camp BETA is an overnight camp for youth ages 8-14 with diabetes. Opportunities are also available for counselors-in-training for youth ages 15-17 with diabetes. Activities for campers include hiking, fishing, arts and crafts, ziplining, team building exercises and more. Other activities for both parents and campers include a reception, a closing ceremony and information on how to manage diabetes and increase self-confidence. Registration available at

Volunteer Vacation

For the second year in a row, Touch of Nature partners with the American Hiking Society to offer its Volunteer Vacation, Oct. 15-21. Volunteers ages 15 and older will stay at Touch of Nature’s rustic cabins and enjoy Mother Nature as they help clear pathways and create new trails at the facility. The cost for this weeklong adventure varies from $195 to $330. For more information and to register, visit

Seventh Annual Buffalo Tro

Touch of Nature’s signature fundraiser takes place Friday, Oct. 20 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. This annual event raises funds to enhance the facilities and services at Touch of Nature. Attendees will enjoy appetizers and refreshments from Southern Illinois businesses, live music, and have an opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items. Not to mention a sumptuous steak dinner. More details at

The Ninth Annual Haunted Hollow

The Haunted Hollow takes place Sunday, Nov. 5 from 1-4 p.m. and provides a perfect post-Halloween atmosphere. There will be interpretive nature walks, a haunted tram ride, a portable climbing wall, family games and more. Participants will also learn about and have the chance to hold snakes, lizards and other “creepy crawlers.” Everything is family friendly and suitable for all ages. Touch of Nature is wheelchair and stroller-accessible. A parent or guardian must accompany children to the event. The festivities will go on rain or shine so we encourage participants to dress accordingly for the day’s weather. For more information and to register, visit