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canoeing and kayaking

Our Outdoor activities provide shared adventures and individual growth through experiential education and adventure-based learning. We use group processes to help participants increase self-confidence, self-reliance, and awareness of self and the environment. Program courses can be designed to meet specific needs, goals, and interests of social, corporate and private organizations, scout groups, church organizations and an array of educational based groups. Our courses are designed to increase environmental awareness, appreciation and stewardship, while offering learning experiences in natural resource education, nature interpretation and resource management.

Register your group today!

Individual or group experiences are not measured by end results, but by the attempt of an individual or group to achieve goals that they have set for themselves.

Contact Touch of Nature for more information 618-453-1121 or email

Hiking Trails

SIU Touch of Nature Hiking Trails

Our 2.5 mile Lakeview Trail connects both of our camps, provides great views of Little Grassy Lake, and takes visitors out to the popular Rocky Ledges site.

While a portion of the trail includes a self-interpretive section we encourage groups to schedule a guided hike with our talented staff.

Mountain Bike Trails

SIU Touch of Nature Bike Trails

The TON Trails system offers over 10 miles of multi-use trails for bikers, hikers, and runners only. The Alan and Pat Rausenberger Kid’s Terrain Park will include a pump track, a push bike track, and .25 mile fun loop to introduce kids to riding on trails. The trail system offers a variety of difficulty levels for users and can be accessed just off of Giant City Road after entering Touch of Nature.

Team Building

Team Building

The teams course is a series of powerful leadership and team-building experiences designed to maximize individual and team potential, and is a fun way to build camaraderie and cooperation in any group or organization.


Canoeing on Cache Wetlands

Canoeing is a great way to experience the waterways of Southern Illinois, helping participants develop technical, communication, and group expedition skills while they work together to navigate, explore and learn about the aquatic environment. Touch of Nature has a fleet of over 40 canoes and are able to put over 80 people onto the water.



Kayaking is a versatile sport that can be done in practically any body of water and is easily paired with other activities, like camping or fishing. Whether you're a single paddler or using a tandem kayak, it is a great way to take in the sights or get a low-impact workout. Touch of Nature has a fleet of kayaks of different sizes.

Rock Climbing

rock climbing

Rock climbing offers participants an opportunity to experience the beauty of Southern Illinois from a bird’s-eye view. Rock climbing and rappelling give participants a chance to push themselves past their limits while closely interacting with nature. Our trained facilitators maintain safety standards at all times and help groups reach their goals while having fun in a safe environment.

Custom Courses

SIU Touch of Nature Custom Courses

Our programs aren't just for campers and children. University groups and the community can also take part in and benefit from the programs we offer. 

We work with a number of different colleges and universities for classroom and student organization support at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

We serve Greek organizations, student alumni organizations, University Housing, cultural groups, outdoor adventure groups and orientation programs, just to name a few.

These courses include:

  • Interpretive Hikes
  • Maple Syrupin'
  • Trail Building
  • Interpretive Paddles
  • Night Time Programs