Shawnee National Forest
Whether it’s camping in one of the various wooded campgrounds inside the Shawnee National Forest, there are eight campsites to choose from (varying from primitive sites to RV ready). Or you choose to stay in the various rustic to luxurious cabins in and around the Shawnee National Forest or you choose to stay in one of the many horse camps, there is lodging to meet every vacationers need.
There are almost 1300 miles of unforgettable, beautiful trails for hiking, wildlife viewing, and wonderful photo opportunities of the smallest, quaintest water-fed streams to the largest scenic vistas in and around The Shawnee National Forest.
These Shawnee National Forest trails have varying difficulties from handicapped accessible (some are flat enough to be stroller ready) to the most difficult trails (almost straight up ) with mileage from one quarter mile up to 165 miles long give or take. Most trails have many side trails to explore.
There are many recreational areas in and around the Shawnee National Forest. Some of the favorite activities of these recreational areas include camping, hiking, horse riding, fishing, mountain biking, hunting and swimming. All of these activities and more can be found here in the forest.
For those that are looking to slow down, relax and reconnect with the wildness of nature. The Shawnee National Forest acts as an oasis in the Midwest.
Shawnee National Forest Overview
The Shawnee National Forest, located in the Ozark and Shawnee Hills of Southern Illinois, consists of approximately 280,000 acres of federally managed lands. In descending order of land area it is located in parts of Pope, Jackson, Union, Hardin, Alexander, Saline, Gallatin, Johnson and Massac counties.
The Shawnee National Forest is divided into two forest areas the Eastside – Hidden Springs Ranger District, Vienna and the Westside – Mississippi Bluffs Ranger District, Jonesboro. Shawnee National Forests home headquarters are located in Harrisburg, Illinois.
The national forest contains not one, but seven congressionally Designated Wilderness Areas, which include six rivers that are candidates for the wild and scenic designation as well as eight National Natural Landmarks in-and-around the forest. This makes the Shawnee National Forest a treasured area in the United States. And a great place to enjoy camping in one of the many great campgrounds or hiking and horse riding the trails if you enjoy woodlands and wildlife. Some of the best lake recreation areas for fishing and swimming that nature can provide if water sports are what you enjoy.
In short the Shawnee National Forest is a great place to visit.