Daily Archives: May 20, 2017

Cache River





Cache River State Natural Area is situated in southernmost Illinois within a floodplain carved long ago by glacial floodwater of the Ohio River. When the Ohio River adopted its present course, it left the Cache River to meander across rich and vast wetlands. Among the outstanding natural features are massive cypress trees whose flared bases, called buttresses, exceed 40 feet circumference. Many are more than 1,000 years old, including one that has earned the title of state champion bald cypress because of its huge trunk girth, towering height and heavily branched canopy.

The Cache River State Natural Area holds onto some of the highest quality aquatic and terrestrial natural communities remaining in Illinois. Wetlands within this area are so important to migratory waterfowl and shorebirds that in 1996 the Ramsar Convention collectively designated them a Wetland of International Importance, only the 19th wetland in the United States to receive the distinction.

Totaling 14,960 acres in Johnson, Massac and Pulaski counties, Cache River State Natural Area is composed of three distinct management units – Little Black Slough, Lower Cache River Swamps and Glass Hill.  They provide food, cover and water for an incredible diversity of plant and animal species, more than 100 of which have been listed as endangered or threatened by the State of Illinois.

The site offers a wide array of recreation opportunities, including hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing and seasonal hunting programs.

Visit the Henry N. Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center to learn more about the region’s natural wonders.

Local Wineries & Breweries


All local wineries and breweries may not be listed on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, but they are still a must-drink destination near Alto Pass and our vacation rental. Take your weekend getaway and enjoy!

  • Lincoln Heritage Winery  (Cobden, IL)
    • lincolnheritagewinery.com
  • Big Muddy Brewing (Murphysboro, IL)
    •  bigmuddybrewing.com
  • Scratch Brewing Company (Ava, IL)
    • scratchbeer.com




Shawnee Hills Wine Trail



The Shawnee Hills is a federally recognized AVA in the midst of the Shawnee National Forest. Explore and experience the 11 unique wineries that make up the wine trail. Indulge in what our land has to offer and enjoy the beautiful scenery when you stay at our vacation rental, Havisham House.

Alto Vineyards | www.altovineyards.net | www.facebook.com/altovineyards
Pomona Winery | www.pomonawinery.com
Owl Creek Vineyard | www.owlcreekvineyard.com | www.facebook.com/owlcreekvineyard
Von Jakob Vineyard | www.vonjakob.com | www.facebook.com/vonjakobvineyard
Peachbarn Winery and Cafe | www.peachbarn.com | https://www.facebook.com/PeachbarnWinery
Blue Sky Vineyard | www.blueskyvineyard.com | https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Sky-Vineyard/239648383702
Starview Vineyards | www.starviewvinyards.com | www.facebook.com/starviewvineyards
Kite Hill Vineyards | www.kitehillvineyards.com | www.facebook.com/kitehillvineyard
Hickory Ridge | www.hickoryridgevineyard.com | https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hickory-Ridge-Vineyard/114726981922648
Feather Hills Vineyard and Winery |http://www.featherhillsvineyard.com | https://www.facebook.com/featherhillsvineyard
Honker Hill Winery | www.honkerhillwinery.com

Bald Knob Cross


Among the foothills of the Ozark Mountain range that stretch into Union County and southern Illinois, rises a beacon, a monument of peace, faith, charity, and of hope. Towering above the landscape at over 111 feet, and visible for over 7,500 square miles, this is the Bald Knob Cross of Peace. Bald Knob Cross is situated in the Shawnee National Forest near the small town of Alto Pass, Illinois. BK Mountain itself towers 1000 feet above sea level. But how did a mountaintop in rural southern Illinois become first the site of an annual sunrise service, and later the location of an 111 foot cross? The story begins in the spring of 1936…



Things to do in southern Illinois




SOUTHERNMOST ILLINOIS – Check out this website for upcoming events and amazing attractions in southern Illinois such as wineries/breweries, golfing, hiking, biking, kayaking, parks, trails, restaurants, shopping, horseback riding, Balk Knob Cross, festivals, etc. Our vacation rental is just minutes away from all of this.

Photo by Dirt Road Photography – Jericha Carter (Taken at Giant City State Park)



Annabelle Market is located about 10 minutes away in Anna on Main Street.



The Mud Dress is also located in Anna on Main Street.  Their styles are curated just for YOU — mama, sister, friend, entrepreneur — They specialize in sizes S-XL and have a boho, chic, casual vibe with styles that are easy to pair and go out to rock your day in.



Nalee Rae’s Boutique and Home Decor is a must-visit boutique in Anna. Cute and fun for all ages.