Woman Dies in Fall at Popular Wilderness Area in Illinois

A Kentucky woman died after falling off a cliff at a popular wilderness area in southern Illinois Wednesday.

Saline County police said they received a 911 call just before 11 a.m. after a 37-year-old woman fell about 100 feet near the Table Rock formation at the Garden of the Gods.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name was not being released, pending notification of her family.

The incident remained under investigation Thursday by the Saline County Coroner’s office, the Saline County Sheriff’s office and the U.S. Forest Service, but authorities said it did not appear to be suspicious.

Garden of the Gods is a wilderness area with several hiking trails and out croppings of rock formations in the Shawnee National Forest in southeast Saline County, about 12 miles southeast of Harrisburg.

Saline County Sheriff Keith Brown reminded visitors to wear appropriate shoes and clothing and bring water and a fully charged cell phone when exploring the area. 

“This is a wilderness area and there is wildlife in the area, that includes snakes,” he said in a statement. “It takes awhile [sic] for first responders to arrive to that park and the [sic] even longer to locate someone in the park.”

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