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Maple Syrup Festival

Welcome to Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center! 

Welcome to Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center, where nature comes alive and learning takes on a whole new dimension. Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois, our center offers a unique and immersive outdoor educational experience like no other.


Whether you're a student, teacher, outdoor enthusiast, or simply someone seeking to reconnect with nature, Touch of Nature provides a diverse range of programs, activities, and serene surroundings that inspire discovery, personal growth, and environmental stewardship. Step into a world where adventure meets education, and let Touch of Nature ignite your passion for the great outdoors.


Interested in scheduling a retreat, program, field trip or more at Touch of Nature? Fill out our program inquiry form and a member of our staff will reach out regarding your inquiry.


Touch of Nature Program Inquiry


Upcoming Events 


September 23-24, 2023

Family Weekend Rock Climb

September 29, 2023

Family Weekend Moonlight Paddle

September 29, 2023

Family Weekend Rocky Ledges 5K

September 30, 2023

Little Grassy Get Down

October 6-8, 2023

Haunted Hollow

October 22, 2023

The Spooky Catalyst Race

October 28, 2023

The Buffalo Tro

November 17, 2023

2024 Solar Eclipse Weekend

April 6-9, 2024



Touch of Nature hosts experiential education programs, ranging from outdoor education and youth focused workshops to inclusive recreation programs. These programs utilize the many natural resources located here in beautiful Southern Illinois.

Camps - Camp Little Giant

Camps and Retreats

Touch of Nature offers a variety of exciting, educational, and adventurous summer camps, including outdoor adventure camps and Camp Little Giant, offering a great way to mix education, fun and an appreciation of nature.

TON Trails

Veteran Adventures

TON Trails includes 12 miles of multi-use trails for bikers, hikers, and runners. Click here for trail information or check our Facebook page for trail open/close status and updates.

Base Camp


Base Camp offers a variety of equipment available to rent for your next outdoor adventure, regardless of whether it's for a day or several weeks.

Rentals open to SIU students, faculty, staff, and the community. 

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

Touch of Nature offers Leave No Trace trainings, including Master Educator courses, Trainer courses, and awareness workshops, teaching ethical outdoor conservation. 

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Let Us Host Your Next Event!

We offer several hospitality services, including outdoor spaces, indoor facilities, lodging, dining, and custom activities for your next event, meeting, and conference. Please note that Touch of Nature no longer provides wedding services.

Fill out our program inquiry form