Amaquonsippi Trail
Bradford, Illinois

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Last Edited: May 25, 2017


Many people, but primarily Scout groups, hiked the Amaquonsippi Trail during the years it existed.

I have gathered here all the information I've been able to gather so far. In time, I hope to flesh out the history of the trail and its founders. Additionally, I will welcome memories and photos from those who actually hiked the trail.

From the book "Indian Placenames in America Volume I" by Sandy Nestor, I share this short excerpt germane to the trail.

Googling the words Amaquonsippi Trail bring up a bunch of memorabilia items for sale on ebay. But sprinkled through them are links with a bit of history.
I found an article in a newspaper at: .
The best history I've found came from . I've taken the text and dressed it up and put it in a word .doc at: history news.docx

A local blurb from an Arlington Heights, IL newspaper from November 29, 1962 had

"Local Boy Scouts Take 18-Mile Hike. Seven Boy Scouts from Troop 159, Arlington 
Heights, braved the rain and cold recently to hike the 18-mile Amaquonsippi Trail at 
Bradford, Ill. The Scout hikers were: Charles Crumrine, 110 S. Kennicott; Michael 
Krysh, 422 Sigwait; John McDonnell, 210 S. Dunton; Bill Gieser, 1402 Grove; Bob 
Schoeniger, 1709 Miner; Joe Smith, 432 S. Lincoln Lane, and Mark Spears, 129 S. Burton. 
They were driven to Bradford by fathers Dan Krysh and John McDonnell, who also hiked the 
trail. The boys received a special Rain Dancer Patch along with the Silver Medal awarded 
for hiking the trail, which is kept up by a Scout committee in Bradford. ' The trail starts 
at Highway 93 by the east branch of the Spoon River. It follows the river to Modena (pop. 26), 
then up the west branch for two miles. At this, the half-way point, hikers cross the river 
on a plank bridge, then continue on the other side back to the starting point. It took the 
Troop 159 Scouts seven hours to complete Hie trail. They saw signs of deer, beaver, raccoon 
and possum. Scouts wishing to hike the trail should let the Amaquonsippi Trail Committee 
know at least three days in advance."

I have scanned brochures and have them as .pdfs at the following locations:
You can click on the links to view the .pdfs or right-mouse click them to download them. They are 2.5MB, 8.2MB, and 4.7MB respectively.

I noticed that one of the brochures mentioned that topo maps of the Bradford and Kewanee quadrangles would be helpful. So I went to the USGS website and downloaded .jpg and .pdf copies of the maps. They are zipped to save space. Clicking on the links below will start to download them and they are 2MB/9MB/2MB/9MB respectively.

Trail Patches

Gallery View--for more detail see below

Trail Neckerchiefs

Other Stuff

Gallery View--for more detail see below

Trail Patches

This patch design was adopted from what was being used at Camp Lowden in Blackhawk Area Council. Camp Lowden began using the design as a staff patch probably around 1956 but certainly by 1958. Blackhawk Area Council continued to use their design into the mid 60s but changed it from "Camp Lowden Staff" to "Blackhawk Area Council Camp Staff" and "Blackhawk Area Council Camp Leader". The Amaquonsippi Trail had no official relation with either Camp Lowden or Blackhawk Area Council. The trail's location was in an entirely different council. However, many Blackhawk Area Council troops hiked the trail since it was not too far away and a fine Scout activity.
This patch was issued to anyone who camped in the campground at the start of the trail. It is very common and has been found with and without a dangle-loop. Those without the dangle are suspected to have had the loop cut off.
This patch could be purchased if one hiked the trail when the temperature was above XX degrees F.
This patch could be purchased if one hiked the trail when there was snow on the ground or the temperature was below XX degrees.
This patch was earned (could be purchased) if one hiked the trail in the rain.
This patch was earned by any girl or woman who hiked the trail. It's assumed that ALL the patches had cloth dangle tabs. When a patch is found without it, it usually can be determined that the tab has been cut off. Note the DARK BROWN thread on the pack and moccasins.
This patch was earned by any girl or woman who hiked the trail. Note the LIGHT BROWN thread on the pack and moccasins.
Here is the striking back patch. Many Scouts and Scouters affixed this large patch to their red coats and got "ooohs and ahhhs" wherever they went. It's a beautiful patch. This has a twill cloth background. Twill Left and Twill Right varieties are reported. Also, it is reported that a version exists with a button loop/tab at the top. XXXmm tall. There is a variation (that is exceedingly rare) of "white moccasins".
Here is a rare version of the back patch. This one is fully embroidered. It is earned for hiking the trail for the fourth time. So it is a "repeater" patch. There are pins for the first three "repeats". From a distance, it is hard to distinguish between this patch and the MUCH more common twill background. I'm checking to see if the thickness of the green in the shield is enough of a reliable indicator. XXXmm tall.
A beautiful and special back patch. This "100 Miler" implies the earner would have hiked the 18-mile trail at least six times. I'm not sure of the actual rules and verification required. The patch used to draw over $100 on ebay but now moves in the $30 to $50 range. XXXmm tall.

Also, there are "200 Miler" patches. It was not a manufactured issue, rather, Don Dennison's wife picked at the "1" and stitched in a "2". There is more than one of these supposedly.

Other Stuff

This bolo truly seems to be an official issue as the mechanism on the back seems to be machine formed like those on other bolo slides. There are reports of "homemade" bolo slides.
Mug image provided by Rick Pixler.
Rick Pixler supplied this image and the story that it was sold to him as a official item-- a hiking staff medallion. On one hand, it's an attractive piece and the curvature sure looks like it would be perfect for a hiking staff. Rick is pretty sure it was a repurposed neckerchief slide. Seems like a great use if one has too many neckerchief slides in stock.
I assume the TeePee to be the "first" repeater. I base this on how often I've found it.
For "second" repeater or "third" repeater, I don't know which pin is which. But these three came on this medal and are the only ones I've seen so far. There's the quiver and the tomahawk.
Here is an image of a mint medal in original packaging.

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