Click on any image to reveal a larger jpeg. That larger image is really BIG
even if your browser scales it. You can right-mouse-click that bigger image to
keep it on your machine.
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 https://genealogytrails.com/ill/stark/BradfordAnniversaryIssue2.html . I've taken the text and dressed it up and put it in a word .doc at:
https://w9fz.com/scouting/amaquonsippi/Early 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."
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
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.
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.
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.
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
I assume the TeePee to be the "first" repeater. I base this on how often I've found it.