Shawnee National Forest

Shawnee National Forest

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Shawnee National Forest Hikes

Welcome to the Shawnee National Forest, one of the 155 national forests nationwide, and the only national forest in Illinois! Enjoy the charming climate and beauty of the area where you will find an abundance of wildflowers, blooming dogwoods, and redbuds. One of the forest’s most famed attractions has to be the Garden of the Gods, a landscape sculpted millions of years ago by the wind and rain on the large pillars of sandstone reserve. The garden is also surrounded by a wonderfully scenic trail called the Rim Rock National Recreation Trail, one of the many trails found in Southern Illinois. Another famous trail that is home to Shawnee is the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail with vineyards that overlook the beautiful forest.

Plenty of hiking and trekking opportunities await you; whether they are a visit to the Cave in Rock, a 55 foot mouth wide cavern, or the Ferne Clyffe Waterfall Hike, with fantastic rock formations and a ¾ mile path. There are a plethora of activities you can enjoy at the Shawnee National Forest, ranging from ziplining through the Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour, to horseback riding and fishing in the Giant City State Park, to even rappelling and rock climbing into Jackson Hollow- the choice is up to you. And after a long and tiring day you may want to look into the various lodging options available nearby for travelers; choose between a cozy bed and breakfast in one of the many cabins, a hotel, or some good old fashioned camping. Only the best family adventures happen at the Shawnee National Forest!

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is a garden of sandstone sculptures and untouched wilderness. Over the years, the elements have sculpted breathtaking and unbelievable rock formations. The most popular trail is the Observation Trail, which is a loop only 0.5 miles long that features impressive bluffs dropping more than 100 feet, and rock formations with names such as Camel Rock. Garden of the Gods is sure to please anyone looking for adventure.

: Observation Trail, Herod, IL 62947

Business Hours

Mon - Sun : 6AM To 10PM

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Heron Pond

Heron Pond

Heron Pond is located near Belknap, Illinois and is a Designated Illinois Nature Preserve. It is a wetland nestled within the bottomland forests of the Cache River State Natural Area and dominated by cypress and tupelo trees. A boardwalk makes its way into this forested swamp, providing visitors a chance to step back in time and observe wetland and aquatic ecosystems that have remained relatively undisturbed for thousands of years.

: Little Black Slough Nature Preserve, Vienna, IL 62995

Business Hours

Mon - Sun : 6AM To 10PM

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Cave In Rock

Cave In Rock

Found in the village of Cave-In-Rock in Southern Illinois, Cave-In-Rock State Park is named for the 55-foot-wide cave that was carved out of the limestone rock by water thousands of years ago. The cave is just on the shore of the Ohio River where you can fish and boat as well. In addition to the magnificence of the cave itself, the park provides many hiking trails for exploration of intriguing forests and awe-inspiring views.

: 1 New State Park Rd, Cave-In-Rock, IL 62919

Business Hours

Mon - Sun : 6AM To 10PM

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Pomona Natural Bridge

Pomona Natural Bridge

The Pomona Natural Bridge, located in Pomona, Illinois, is a short loop trail the leads through an oak, hickory, and beech forest. Even though this trail is 1/3 of a mile, what it lacks in length, it makes up for in scenery. No man sculpted what is known as the Pomona Natural Bridge which spans 90 feet and is 8 feet wide at it's widest point. As time went on, water in the area carved this bridge from limestone making a natural arch.

: Natural Bridge Rd, Pomona, IL 62975

Business Hours

Mon - Sun : 6AM To 10PM

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