Touch of Nature Environmental Center | SIU

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Touch of Nature Environmental Center

SIU's Outdoor Laboratory and Retreat Center

Touch of Nature Environmental Center Main Content

Rocky Ledges TrailTouch of Nature Environmental Center serves Southern Illinois University, the region and the nation as an outdoor laboratory for experiential learning, a field site for research, and a provider of therapeutic recreation, environmental education, adventure education, personal and interpersonal growth experiences and facilities services. Through its four entities,

Adventure Education

Environmental Education

Therapeutic Recreation

Facilities and Services

Touch of Nature strives to create a safe, and fun learning environment for all its guests and participants.  Let's get in touch.  


Backpacking Basics and Paddling with a Voyageur: October 2

Voyageur Canoe

Free for students.  Bus leaves the Student Center at 9 a.m.

Learn what equipment to carry on your back and what knowledge to have in your head. Master backpacking basics and develop a deeper respect for the outdoors, those who travel with you and for yourself. In the afternoon, experience firsthand the obscure French history of Illinois with our resident Voyageur!  

Wade Benson Landry: October 10

Swingin' Cajun Style

The Gathering Place O)ff Broadway presents all of the way from the God and Country Theater in Branson, MO, award-winning and premier Fiddlin’ Cajun Entertainer, Wade Benson Landry, brings his south Louisiana Cajun influences to the stage with its hot sounds and energy!Tickets:  $40 General Admission; VIP seating available at $55 per ticket

(Doors open at 6:00 pm, Dinner 6:30 pm, Show at 7:30 pm  -   Advance Ticket Purchase Only.)
Visit the Gathering Place Off Broadway's website for more information.  

Buffalo Tro: Friday, October 16

Buffalo TroNow in its fifth year, Buffalo Tro raises funds to enhance our facilities and services at Touch of Nature to offer the best to its customers…you. Our event features dinner, refreshments, and a variety of silent auction and live auctions items to bid on. Save Friday, October 16th for a night of great food and astounding entertainment.

Breaking the Surface. October 3

Breaking the SurfaceTake a ride in the Voyageur Canoe.  What better way to welcome in the fall foliage on Little Grassy Lake than with friends and family.  Music, interpretive hikes on Rocky Ledges Trail, snacks served up by local volunteers, and of course, paddling will fill your afternoon out at Touch of Nature! Canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, paddleboats, and Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ 34-foot Voyageur canoe will all be available for your paddling pleasure! The event lasts from 1-6:30 p.m.

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