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Southern Illinois--please help

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Although I have lived in Illinois all my life, I have never been to southern Illinois. DH and I are planning a three night vacation there in mid-October. Because it is about a three hour drive, we will have most of the first day there, even including the driving time. For the same reason, we will be able to stick around the area for a good portion of the last day before driving home. (The advantages of taking a close vacation, instead of an exhausting and stressful 16-20 hour travel day.) We are staying in the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Marion, Illinois. We are looking to enjoy beautiful scenery, rest and relaxation, and lots of hiking. I would like to share my ideas for our time down there and would love some suggestions on our plans. I haven't organized it by what day we will do what, but instead just a general idea of what we want to do, lumping close areas together. Hopefully that makes sense.

Garden of the Gods
Rim Rock
Cave-In-Rock state park

Burden Falls
Bell Smith Springs
Jackson Falls
Dixon Springs State Park

Cache River State Natural Area (Heron Pond)
Ferne Clyffe State Park
Giant City State Park

Little Grand Canyon
Lake Murphysboro State Park

Ideas, suggestions, comments? We aren't interested in shopping or anything like that. We will be driving a smaller vehicle, so there won't be any taking our car off a road to explore hidden waterfalls far off the beaten path.

One last note: I am recovering from a really bad ankle injury. While I have mostly healed and hope to be fully healed by mid-October, I'm thinking we will probably have to be extra careful (we always are, but even more so than usual) and probably go at a much slower pace. So please keep that in mind when offering suggestions.

I greatly appreciate everyone's assistance with this. We haven't taken a real vacation in so many years, and I am super excited about this. Thanks in advance for your help.

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