top of page
2024 Calendar of Events

      Solar Eclipse Tour 2024

Come join us for a Cache River Canoe Solar Eclipse Tour like no other! The Cache River is in the path of totality for the Great American Eclipse! Observers will experience approximately 2:28 of totality! The day will be full of story, song, science and food.  Presentations include speakers Operations Manager Mark Denzer who will share the lore and stories of the Eclipse from around the world. Lead Guide Sam Buckner will share the elementary science of the Eclipse and what to expect during the event! Lastly, will be Ojibwe Traditionalists Jay and Sweetie Bird from northern Minnesota. They will share traditional Ojibwe star knowledge and songs about the eclipse and how astronomical events fit into there cosmology. We will set out on the swamp in the early morning - the perfect time to witness dozens of birds including warblers, great blue herons, ospreys, cormorants, egrets, kingfishers, and eagles. Southern Illinois is at the apex of the area of longest duration for viewing the eclipse which will occur at 12:42 p.m. on the Cache River. What better way to experience it by canoeing through an ancient cypress swamp, followed by a catered meal of BBQ pulled pork sandwiches or veggie option,. The trip will be for the duration of 4-5 miles.

Pricing & Info

Dates: April 8

Itinerary: 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Dress- Wear weather- appropriate clothing,

Location and Directions – Cache Bayou Outfitters, 

(Google Maps) 240 Dean Lane, Ullin, Illinois, 62992


Early bird registration 

Pricing $200.00/per adult, $115.00 per teen 12-17, $100.00 for ages 11 & younger; includes choice of single kayak, canoe, special eye glasses, life vest, snacks, water bottled water, catered meal and professional naturalists. 50% refund if its a rainy day. If it rains or cloudy we will still have the presentation, the tour and the meal. 

Sold Out !
162112117_106202404889000_8116610739927124688_n (1).jpg

Sam Buckner (Lead Guide)
Science of the solar eclipse 

Mark Denzer  (Director) 
Will focus on stories, history and lore of the solar eclipse 

Jay and Sweetie Bird (Ojibwe Traditionalists and Guest Speakers and Singers)


Eagle Tour at Horseshoe Lake - State  (Alexander County) March and November

Join the staff of Cache Bayou Outfitters for another adventure exploring the science and lore of America’s first national symbol the bald eagle. Our Bald Eagle Kayak/Canoe Tour is offered only during the months of March and November when paddling conditions are suitable, and visibility and abundance of eagles is at its greatest. Up close encounters with eagles are common as they swoop down from cypress trees and catch fish. 

Horseshoe Lake is a 2,007 acres natural oxbow lake in Alexander County, Illinois. It is the site of Illinois's Horseshoe Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, a state park 10,645 acres in size. It has a 20 miles shoreline and a depth of 4 ft, with a maximum depth of 5–6 feet


Don't forget to bring your camera to capture this unique wilderness experience. The still waters of Horseshoe Lake make this tour easy for all ages.

Canoes, single and tandem kayaks are available. March 10th! is available for registration! March 10th

$55.00 adult

$21.00 teens

10am-2pm Meet at the Horseshoe Lake Dam south end of the lake

Pink Moon Paddle

April 21st, 2024 

Join us on our Full Pink Moon Paddle. The Pink Moon symbolizes the sprouting of seed and the explosion of spring flowers particularly wild ground phlox or pink moss phlox which is one of the first flowers to bloom with the arrival of the spring.  Kayak the Cache wetlands and hear the swamp come alive with the sounds of spring peepers, southern leopard frogs and so much more.


We will meet at 15 minutes before the paddle at 240 Dean Lane, Ullin, Illinois, 62992 . We recommend bringing a flashlight and drinking water.

$40 for Adults 18-up

$21 for Teens 12-17

$18 for Youth 5-11


Blossom Moon Paddle

May 23rd



The Blossom Moon marks the arrival of high spring. Come Join river guide Mark Denzer for a night paddle around the Cache River Wetlands canoe trail.  Listen along the way for the sounds of spring and watch the moon rise over the water. 


We will meet 15 minutes before the paddle at 240 Dean Lane, Ullin, Illinois, 62992. We recommend bringing a flashlight and drinking water. Registration coming soon! 

$40.00 for Adults 18-up

$21.00 for Teens 12-17

$18.00  for Youth 5-11

Sunday, May 12
Mothers Day Sunset Paddle 


What better way to spend Mother's Day than being greeted by the sounds of nature of the Cache River at sunset. We will launch from the boathouse at 6 p.m. and returned at sunset. We'll paddle for about 2 hours, stopping along beaver lodges, ancient cypress groves and learning about the river's historic past. 


Location: Cache Bayou Outfitters 

240 Dean Lane, Ullin Illinois, 62992

Registration coming soon.

$40 for Adults 18-up

$21 for Teens 12-17

$18 for Youth 5-11


Strawberry Moon Paddle

Friday, June 21st 

 What is the spiritual meaning of the Strawberry Moon? The Strawberry Moon's spiritual meaning is tied to the fact that it represents a time of new potential, renewal and abundance in line with ripening fruits. Join us for the beautiful summer paddle when wild fruits are in abundance. Guided tour includes choice of kayak, double kayak, or canoe, life jackets and paddle. Instruction for first timers is available by coming a half hour early. Join us for another Full Moon adventure!

7 p.m. launch time


Location: Cache Bayou Outfitters 

240 Dean Lane, Ullin, Illinois, 62992

$40.00for Adults 18-up

$21.00 for Teens 12-17

$18.00 for Youth 5-11

Father's Day Sunset Paddle 

The perfect Father’s Day activity. Kayaking/canoeing on the swamp with family and friends! What better way to spend Father’s Day being greeted by sounds of wildlife of the Cache at sunset. We will launch from the boathouse at 7 p.m. We’ll paddle for about 2 hours, stopping along beaver lodges, ancient cypress groves and hearing about the rivers historic past.


Location: Cache Bayou Outfitters

240 Dean Lane, Ullin, Illinois, 62992


Registration coming soon.


$40 for Adults 18-up

$21 for Teens 12-17

$18 for Youth 5-11

Love this photo

Full Thunder Moon Paddle

July 21st 

Join us as we paddle through the ancient wetlands of the Cache River at night and hear the call of this ancient wild place. We will be paddling under the first full moon of the summer sometimes referred to as the Thunder Moon. Your guides will share their knowledge of beavers, bats and owls of the Cache River. 

Location: Cache Bayou Outfitters 

240 Dean Lane, Ullin Illinois 62992

$40 for Adults 18-up

$21 for Teens 12-17

$18 for Youth 5-11

Green Corn Moon Paddle

August 19th 

Two moons fall under the moon of August. We will hold the first moon on July 29th (2 days before the actually full moon) to offer our guests a full moon paddle on the weekend. The second tour will take place on a Wednesday when the moon will be completely full. The August full moon is referred to as the Ripening Moon, Sturgeon Moon or Green Corn Moon. Come join us as we set out from the docks of Cache Bayou Outfitters and paddle out to Button Land Swamp and enjoy the peace and sounds of Illinois's Hidden Bayou under moonlight. Please bring a headlamp, bug spray, and water. This is a family event so we are discouraging alcohol. 

No prior canoe experience required. Please come early and get a lesson if needed.

Location: Cache Bayou Outfitters 

240 Dean Lane, Ullin Illinois 62992


$40.00 for Adults 18-up
$21.00 for Teens 12-17

$18.00 for Youth 5-11



    Ancient Waters 


     September 7-8th  

  Ancient Waters Gathering is a engaging two-day event that immerses participants in the world of ancient living skills and primitive technology. This unique small riverside gathering is designed to provide an authentic and hands-on experience, allowing attendees to explore the ways of ancient water themed skills and connect with the natural world.

During the event, participants will have the opportunity to learn and practice a diverse range of primitive living skills, including but not limited to primitive fire making, shelter building, traditional tool crafting, foraging for wild edibles, and basic survival techniques. Expert instructors and guides with a deep understanding of ancestral knowledge will lead workshops and demonstrations, offering valuable insights into the survival methods employed by our ancestors.

The setting for Ancient Waters Gathering is carefully chosen to enhance the immersive experience, typically taking place in a natural environment with access to water sources, making it a perfect backdrop for learning these ancient skills. Whether you are a seasoned outdoors enthusiast or a novice looking to reconnect with nature, this event provides a unique opportunity to gain practical skills and deepen your appreciation for the wisdom of our ancestors.

Join us for a transformative journey into the past, where the echoes of ancient wisdom reverberate through the landscape, and the skills of our forebearers come to life. Ancient Waters Gathering promises not only a weekend of skill-building but also a chance to forge connections with like-minded individuals who share a passion for primitive living and a reverence for the natural world. Friction fire, Atlatl making, paddle making demo, Medicines & Food of the Cache, flint knapping, guided tour, acorn processing, and much more! 

$200.00 per adult

$150.00 per teen


  Cache River Days Tou                   


Join us for a once a year offering of a free guided tour on the Lower Cache River as we celebrate the river with the town of Ullin, Illinois!  Open to the public on a first-come, first- served basis. This tour is a 1.5 hour paddle through the Buttonland Swamp, Eagle Pond and the main channel of the Cache River!  We will share its rich history from its prehistoric Native American past, through its French inhabitants, to its American settlement and more. Additionally, we  will share its rich ecological significance as America's northernmost cypress/tupelo swamp! 


This is a free tour for the public, however tips and donations to our non for profit 501c3 are excepted, but are not mandatory! All 100% of donations go to the Eagle House, a facility for outdoor education for local and regional youth! When you register it will give you the option of a custom amount. So please consider helping us!  Please bring water, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Arrive 10-15 minutes early for registration. 

9 a.m. Tour 

3 p.m. Tour 


Harvest Moon Paddle

September 17th 

Come join us as we set out from the docks of Cache Bayou Outfitters and paddle out to Buttonland Swamp and enjoy the peace and sounds of Illinois's hidden bayou under moonlight. Referred to as the Harvest Moon, this month's special theme reflects an ancestral time of the year where cultures sing, dance and celebrate a bountiful harvest.

No prior canoe experience required. Please arrive early and get a lesson if needed.


$40 for Adults 18-up
$21 for Teens 12-17
$18 for Youth 5-11

Ancestral Earth Skills Paddle & Atlatl Making  

Dates TBA


$75 per Adult 

$55 per teen


9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Mark Denzer (primitive technologist) leads a paddle through the river and talks about traditional Native American uses of plants, trees, animals and other resources of the area. Learn how to make traditional Atlatl (spear dart thrower) and plant cordage from local sources, friction fire from local native woods, explored and gathered food plants and hear how local Native Americans once lived from the land on the Cache River through stories passed down to Mark from local Native people. A display with locally made items will be present for participants to ask questions about.


Hunters Moon Paddle

October 17th 

The full moon that appears in October is called the Hunters Moon, so named as the preferred month to hunt summer-fattened deer and fox unable to hide in now bare fields. Like the Harvest Moon, the Hunters Moon is also particularly bright and long in the sky, giving hunters the opportunity to stalk prey at night. Probably because of the threat of winter looming, the Hunters Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes. We will discuss and share some of the history and lore surrounding the Cache river and surrounding areas. Please come early and get a lesson if needed. 

Location: Cache Bayou Outfitters

240 Dean Lane, Ullin Illinois, 62992

$40 for Adults 18-up

$21 for Teens 12-17$

18 for Youth 5-11            


Mysteries of Fire: Methods, History, & Our Ancient Connections 


Dates TBA

Sponsored by Friends of the Cache River!


Join Mark Denzer, Primitive Technologist, and Professional Wilderness River Guide, as he takes you on a journey through the lens of human’s ancient, complex and romantic relationship with the technologies of fire. This lecture will cover how fire was and still is used by humans for cooking, heating, rituals, festivals and transforming landscapes. Following the lecture, a demonstration and hands-on workshop will be given on the various methods of creating fire from friction and percussion, including flint and steel, hand drill and bow drill. Mark's knowledge of fire comes through study and teaching primitive technologies for over 25 years, including academic research though experimental archeology and attending and working for various wilderness programs throughout the country.

Location: Eagle Lodge at Cache Bayou Outfitters 

Subscribe to Newsletter and Receive Discount Offers, Articles and Exclusive Content

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page