Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

SIU chancellor, Austin Lane, poses for a portrait in his office on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 in Anthony Hall at SIU.
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SIU Carbondale School of Aviation senior Maya Marenda, left, and certified flight instructor Graci McDaniel finished second in the collegiate division of the 47th Air Race Classic.
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Jason Nugent sits with some of the books hes published.
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Apples, mazes and ziplines: Shawnee Hills offers much more than wine

Apples, mazes and ziplines: Shawnee Hills offers much more than wine

Along with the infamous wine trail, there’s a long list of activities in southern Illinois Shawnee Hills to get you into the fall spirit. From pumpkin patches and corn mazes to orchards and festivals, and even hiking and ziplining!

Rendleman Orchards, located in Alto Pass, just celebrated its 150th anniversary. Well known for its U-pick fields, Rendleman currently has its mum field, pumpkin patch, zinnia field, teddy bear sunflowers and cosmos field open.

The orchard also offers seasonal fresh-picked apples of all sorts, as well as apple cider slushies, floats, donuts and fresh-pressed apple cider by the pint, half-gallon and gallon. There are so many fall photo ops, and a gift shop where you can buy many of its home made products.

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But Rendleman isn’t the only orchard in the area. Flamm Orchards, located in Cobden, is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Earlier this month, the orchard was officially in apple season. You can take home pre-picked Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Gala and Fiji by the half-peck, peck or bushel.

Flamm is also offering a variety of homemade treats including apple pie, apple dumplings, apple bread and donuts.

Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch is going into its 37th year of business. Located a little further north along Interstate 57 in Johnston City, Bandy’s is open 9 a.m to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m on weekdays until Oct. 30. The patch celebrated the first day of fall this past weekend with a little shout out to “Hocus Pocus.” The Sanderson sisters created some bewitching memories with families from all over the area.

This fall season, Bandy’s space-themed corn maze has a double-wide path that goes all the way around the maze. The path can be used not only as an escape route, but also as a walking track. Entry to the maze is $5 for those aged four years and up; children three and under are free.

Bandy’s has booked more than 4,000 school children for field trips over the next month. To avoid this crowd, the patch suggests paying a visit after 1 p.m. on weekdays. Other activities that the patch offers include hay rides that are wheelchair accessible, a corn cannon, play barn and sensory area for those of all ages; prices vary by activity.

Corn shocks, straw bales and mums are available for purchase, and pets are welcome as long as they are on a leash.

If hiking trails are more of your idea for fall, southern Illinois has so much to offer. Giant City Park and Little Grand Canyon are staples of outdoor life in the area. With cool temperatures and the changing of leaves, fall is the perfect time to check out the outdoor scene.

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Little Grand Canyon is approximately 30 minutes from Carbondale, and is a three-mile hike that can be made shorter by hiking only segments. It is especially beautiful in the fall season when the wild flowers and fall colors are at their peak.

Giant City State Park is another beautiful location to hike in the area, with a number of different trails and pavilion areas for gatherings. The park is well known for its spectacular woodlands and sandstone walls that create a challenge for rock climbing.

A short distance from Giant City is the historic Makanda Boardwalk, located at 520 Makanda Road. There is a strip of shops that continue to grow the history of Makanda, offering everything from crystals and metal work to ice cream and stories from the shop owners.

Visions Art gallery, Makanda Trading Company and Rain Makers Studio are just a few of the shops on the boardwalk. A walk through the back of Rain Makers Studio takes you to a secret garden with a fish pond, stone pathways and beautiful artwork.

Not only is Makanda known for its shops, it is also a great place to watch the solar eclipse this spring. It is also the host of the annual Vulture Fest, which will be Oct. 21 and 22 this year.

Looking for a bit of a thrill? The Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tours is also located near Makanada and consists of eight zip lines, three suspension bridges and three hikes. These tours are a different and exciting way to experience the nature and wildlife of southern Illinois. Tours must be reserved and can be booked on Tripadvisor.

Staff Reporter Joei Younker can be reached at [email protected].

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