My niece and I took a little detour to do this while on our drive to Missouri for our summer vacation and it was well worth it. Joe was our guide and he was very knowledgeable about the area which made our paddle even more interesting and informative. It is reasonably priced and these unique and valuable wetlands have been protected by the RAMSAR Convention as “Wetlands of International Importance". It was my third time to southern Illinois and I enjoy checking out a new area or activity each time. I had been wanting to paddle the cypress swamps when I was down in Louisiana but the thought of alligators did not really thrill me so this was a nice option. We saw some turtles, egrets, cranes, etc. and since theAsian carp were active it provided a little excitement too (although it would be best if they were not there since they are very invasive) If you are looking for a nice paddle destination, I would highly recommend it. You can do a guided tour, as we did, or they do provide maps and you can paddle on your own. I would recommend booking a guided tour at least once so you learn some info on the area.