Learn more about the area and view a slide show of this scenic area. The trail system consists of eight miles of interconnected trails featuring strange and wonderful rock formations, such as Devil’s Backbone, Boulder Falls and a natural rock bridge. Hiking this system of trails is a favorite activity because of the rock features, scenic overlooks,hidden springs and lush flora and fauna.
Facilities: Parking, accessible restrooms and interpretive signs. Camping and picnic areas are also within the recreation area.
This single track trail meanders along the side of the hill above Kinkaid Lake.This trail links into the Kinkaid Lake Trail System to the west and the Crisenberry Dam Trail to the east. Facilities: Large gravel parking lot, picnicking, fishing, scenic hiking trails, and accessible bathrooms. *Accessible only by water or 2.5 mile trail.* *Portions of this trail are very narrow and steep.* U.S. Forest Service photo.
Facilities: Swimming area, picnic area with shelters and grills, beach house, boat launch, fishing pier, trails, group campground with a dump station, equestrian camping and parking which accommodates horse trailers.
If you are looking for a place in the center of the Shawnee National Forest, then Lake Glendale Recreation Area is for you. Lake Glendale Recreation Area offers a wide range of recreation opportunities including hiking, camping, swimming, boating,fishing and bicycling.
Facilities: Campground (electric & non-electric sites) with dump station, restroom with showers, drinking water, beach with bathhouse, children’s play equipment, lakeshore picnic areas with grills, Goose Bay picnic area with picnic shelter, boat launch, boating (electric motors only), hiking trails, paddleboat, canoe & rowboat rentals. To contact Lake Glendale concessionaire call (618) 949-3807.
Open Season: -Campground All year -Beach – May 31 to Sept. 6 (lifeguard on duty) -Picnic Areas March 15 to October 31 - Boat Launch/Goose Bay Picnic All Year
There are many activities you can enjoy at the Little Egypt Rec Area all year round. Boating,fishing,camping are popular activities and in designated areas water skiing, tubing, and jet skiing are permitted.
Facilities: There is ample parking, gravel roads and Buck Ridge Campground has accessible restrooms and more for a camper in need.
Diverse fish species in this area include: Bluegil, Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Hybrid Striped Bass, Crappie.
A beautiful setting, Pounds Hollow campground and lake are tucked away amongst the Shawnee Hills, where you can relax and get away from it all. Come to picnic, fish, swim, camp and hike.
Facilities: Campground(non-electric), drinking water, swimming area with shower, lakeshore picnic area with shelter and grills, accessible restrooms, fishing pier, boating (electric motors only), interpretive signs and hiking trails.
A scenic trail, Rim Rock National Recreation Trail leads around the rim of a rock escarpment, hence its name. Rim Rock has a long history of drawing people to its forested bluffs for hiking and picnicking.
Facilities: Accessible picnic area restrooms; interpretive signs and connecting trails to Pounds Hollow Recreation Area.
Located in Pope County the Bay Creek Wilderness is located adjacent to Burden Falls and near the Bell Smith Springs Recreation Area. Contained in the Wilderness is the Bay Creek Wild and Scenic River Study Corridor. Trails for hiking and equestrian use will take you by some indications of past use by people including homestead, fruit trees, cemeteries and abandoned roads. 2866 Total Acres. Facilities:Several small parking areas and trail heads adjacent to Forest Road 447.
Located near the Bell Smith Springs Recreation Area. Burden Falls Wilderness is covers over 3723 acres, comprised of a central hardwood ecosytem with some pine plantations. Trails for hiking and equestrian use will take you by some indications of past use by people including homestead, fruit trees, cemeteries and abandoned roads. There is also a small, but very scenic waterfall located on the southern edge of the wilderness.
Parking is limited and facilities are located at Bell Springs Rec Area.
Cave-In-Rock State Park is located in the eastern section of the adjoining Shawnee National Forest. Within a 25 mile radius of Cave-In-Rock State Park are the popular USDA attraction of Garden of The Gods, Pounds Hollow Recreational Area, Rim Rock Trails, and Tower Rock Recreational Area.
Boating, camping, hiking, picnicking, and exploring are just some of the many activities one can enjoy in this Illinois state park. There is also a marina, lodging, golf course and dining available for visitors.
Clear Springs Wilderness offers some great opportunities to view the Mississippi River Valley. Elevations range from 400 ft. to over 900 ft. This area covers 4370 acres of land and is generally regarded as rough terrain, with narrow ridge tops, steep slopes and narrow creek bottoms. Trails for hiking and equestrian use will take you by some indications of past use by people including homestead, fruit trees, cemeteries and abandoned roads. Bald Knob Wilderness also includes The Hutchins Creek Wild and Scenic River Study Corridor. The Wilderness also lies adjacent to LaRue-Pine Hills Ecological Area.
Parking and Trail heads are availabe along Forest Road 236.
Ferne Clyffe has been known as an outstanding natural scenic spot for nearly 100 years. An abundance of ferns, unique geological features and unusual plant communities create an atmosphere that enhances the many recreational facilities offered at the park.
Trails wind through picturesque woods, allowing visitors to view fascinating rock formations and inspiring vistas.
Picnics, camping, hiking, swimming, hunting and fishing are some of the activities visitors can enjoy while getting away from it all. Facilities: accessible restrooms, showers and electric camp sites.
With its breathtaking natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation, a trip to Giant City State Park near Carbondale is sure to delight visitors of all ages. From camping and horseback riding to fishing and rappelling, it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise. Visitors will marvel at the many wilderness trails, and a sure treat awaits anyone hiking the Giant City Nature Trail, home of the “Giant City Streets” formed 12,000 years ago by huge bluffs of sandstone. Learn more about the geological formations.
High Knob was once the site of a forest fire lookout tower. The old tower’s concrete footings still remain. A picnic area provides daytime parking and trailhead for the 5-miles of interconnecting trails below the Knob. Forty-foot cliffs, clear creeks and deciduous forest are just a few of the features along the path.
More info The bluff is a unique topographical feature rising 320 feet above the surrounding comparatively flat terrain. It appears as an “island” amidst the hills. It was so named because the early settlers in the area carved milling stones along the base of the northwestern edge of the bluff.
Panther Den Wilderness offers some great opportunities to view some lakeside panoramas. Devils Kitchen Lake borders Panther Den Wilderness, making it a favorite for those who love the water. Trails for hiking and equestrian use will take you by some indications of past use by people including cemeteries and abandoned roads. Panther Den Wilderness received it's name from a rock formation known as the Panther Den that is located within the Wilderness area.
Facilities: Large gravel parking area off of Panther Den Lane.
Fishing information An interconnecting levee system within Oakwood Bottoms Greentree Reservoir offers the naturalist wonderful opportunities for hunting, fishing and bird watching. Visit these near by areas:Oakwood Bottoms Greentree Reservoir, Little Grand Canyon, LaRue-Pine Hills, Fountain Bluff.
Cedar Lake and Little Cedar Lake are beautiful, deep,clear lakes perfect for fishing, boating, canoeing, swimming, primitive camping, wildlife viewing and photography. Fishing and Boating information
Facilities: Pomona Boat Launch parking area offers accessible restroom, boat launch and trailer parking. Cove Hollow trailhead and River to River trailhead have small parking lots. Landreth Rd. access has unimproved parking (small vehicles only). *U.S. Forest Service photo.
Murphysboro, IL 62966, , South Region (618) 684-2867
View scenes from the Kinkaid area and surrounding areas. Kinkaid Lake is one of the few large lakes in this region that offers a variety of recreational activities. Popular activities for this area include primitive camping, fishing, hunting, canoeing/kayaking, horseback riding, biking and hiking. Facilities: Johnson Creek Recreation Area trailhead will accommodate equestrian trailers; Buttermilk Hill Picnic Area (hike-in or boat access only) has a vault toilet but no drinking water. Other trailheads offer small parking lots.
Glendale Lake offers a wide range of recreation opportunities including hiking, camping, swimming, boating,fishing and bicycling. Relax at this 80-acre lake nestled along a pine tree-flanked road. Hikers will enjoy a hike along the Signal Point Trail and several other short trails that wind around Duck Bay.
Trail highlights and more. The trail system provides access to One Horse Gap Lake, War Bluff and Big Grand Pierre Creek (a candidate wild & scenic river) and the River to River Trail (a 160-mile linear trail spanning southern Illinois). Hikers and backpackers share the area with horseback riders and hunters. *U.S. Forest Service photo.
Enjoy recreational activities like fishing, boating, camping, and swimming. Relax at this 28-acre picturesque lake nestled in a deep wooded valley. Enjoy a hike along the Rim Rock Trail were you can explore an ancient Indian wall, Fat Man's Squeeze, and Ox-Lot cave. *U.S. Forest Service photo.
Relax and enjoy the seclusion of this 96-acre lake. Plenty of brush-laden fishing holes will delight the novice and entertain the experienced. No camping at this site but boating and fishing are available year round.
This southern Illinois lake was named after the Shawnee Indian Chief Tecumseh, while the forest itself was named after the Shawnee Tribe. Relax and enjoy the seclusion of this 13-acre lake. Open year round for nature enthusiasts. Fishing and boating are popular activities. *There are noe restroom facilities at this site.
Hidden Springs Ranger Station The Hidden Springs Ranger District’s Elizabethtown Office closed in October 2007. Hardin County Main Street is now providing information and brochures regarding the Shawnee National Forest. They are in the Old Heritage Shop on First Street (Hwy 146) in Elizabethtown, Illinois, and their hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They can be reached by phone at 618-287-4333.
Explore the Garden of the Gods The wilderness features an outstanding scenic views along with very unusual rock formations. Trails for hiking and equestrian use will take you by some indications of past use by people including homestead, fruit trees, cemeteries and abandoned roads. Being adjacent to the Garden of the Gods Observation Site, this wilderness is the most popular of Shawnee's Wilderness area's.
Little Grand Canyon features a 3.6 mile loop trail that has drastic changes in elevation. The trail follows rocky creek beds, winds next to sheer, majestic bluffs. From the higher elevations there are panoramic views of the canyon, the Big Muddy River bottoms and Fountain Bluff. Interpretive signs explain the geological history. A unique feature of this trail is that both the approach and exit from the canyon is via steps carved into the rocky creek beds.
A wonderfully scenic trail, Rim Rock National Recreation Trail leads around the rim of a rock escarpment, hence its name. Rim Rock has a long history of drawing people to its forested bluffs for hiking and picnicking. Interpretive signs along the trail explain the history of the area.
Located in Saline County, Stoneface research natural area, contains relatively undisturbed examples of xeric upland forest, dry upland forest, dry-mesic upland forest, loess hill prairie, barrens, sandstone glade, and sandstone cliff natural community types.
Learn more about Lusk Creek Wilderness and surrounding areas. The wilderness features an outstanding scenic view called Indian Kitchen (Lusk Creek Canyon Nature Preserve). Trails for hiking and equestrian use will take you by some indications of past use by people including homestead, fruit trees, cemeteries and abandoned roads. Canoeing is very a popular activity on Lusk Creek during the spring and early summer. Camping along the creek is discouraged because of the probability of flash flooding. *Camping is not allowed in Lusk Creek Canyon Nature Preserve. Come and explore over 4796 acres.
Watch a slide show and listen to riders as they ride a long the River to River trail on horseback. Four trailheads provide access to the Cedar Lake trail system. For the perfect day-hike try either Wolf Den Hollow loop trail or Little Cedar Lake loop trail. Both feature spectacular scenic overlooks, views of the lake, rock shelters and rock walls. For the long distance hiker or equestrian, the River to River Trail passes through the area from Lirley trailhead to Alto Pass. If you enjoy winter hiking, this area offers beautiful snow and ice covered landscapes. Primitive camping is permitted off the trail, at least 150 feet from the lake shore and a maximum of 14 days continuous use applies.
Facilities: Pomona Boat Launch parking area offers accessible restroom, boat launch and trailer parking. Cove Hollow trailhead and River to River trailhead have small parking lots. Landreth Rd. access has unimproved parking (small vehicles only).
This trail meanders through several creek crossings and the hardwood forest near Kinkaid Lake. The trail provides access to Hidden Cove, Deer Run Trail and Kinkaid Lake Trail System.
Facilities: Parking lot at Gum Ridge YCC Camp will accommodate horse trailers. Parking lot at Johnson Creek Recreation Area will accommodate horse trailers, restrooms and drinking water available. Dispersed camping is allowed.
For the perfect day-hike try either Wolf Den Hollow loop trail or Little Cedar Lake loop trail. Both feature spectacular scenic overlooks, views of the lake, rock shelters and rock walls. For the long distance hiker or equestrian, the River to River Trail passes through the area from Lirley trailhead to Alto Pass. If you enjoy winter hiking, this area offers beautiful snow and ice covered landscapes.
View a side show of spring flowers in the Shawnee Forest. Atwood Ridge is a relatively undisturbed Natural Research Area of Southern Illinois. Located in Union County this area is home to many endangered plant species and it remains a site endangered American bald eagles return to each winter.
Camp Cadiz is the site of an old Civilian Conservation Corps work camp. The old foundations are still found in the campground where the buildings were about 50 years ago. The only structures left standing from the CCC days are the two large fireplaces.
Panther Den was designated a wilderness area by Congress in 1990. Of the 1,195 total acres, 1,081 acres are in the Shawnee National Forest with the remaining portion in the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. The Panther Den received its name from a rock formation known as the Panther Den that is located within the Wilderness area.