Day two Gain the ridge and continue west for 3.3 miles to Concord Cemetery, a pioneer-era graveyard. After 4.5 miles, you’ll descend into Lusk Creek Canyon, which is walled in by 100-foot bluffs. Stash your pack to sidehike two miles south along the creek to a sharp left curve. Here, a collapsed stone wall and narrow trail lead to Indian Kitchen, a large niche in the rocks 100 feet above the stream believed to be an ancient Shawneee cooking area. “You could spend a whole day here just exploring all of the side canyons,” notes John Heneghan. Head back to the main trail and turn left for the 4.3-mile stroll back to the Lusk Creek trailhead.
Driving From St. Louis, take I-64 east for 75 miles to I-57, then head south for 43 miles to exit 54A. Take IL 13 east for 24 miles to IL 34; go south for 15 miles to a left on Karber’s Ridge Rd. and the Garden of the Gods parking area.
Map and Guide USGS quads: Herod, Eddyville ($9, store.usgs.gov); River-to-River Trail Guide ($20; rivertorivertrail.com)
Contact (618) 253-7114, fs.fed.us/r9/forests/shawnee