Shawnee National Forest Camping: Undeveloped Areas
Other areas around the Shawnee National Forest that could be utilized for camping.
Jackson Falls Camping
Jackson Falls in the Shawnee National Forest is a popular gem among many different user groups. There are numerous hiking and equestrian trails within and around Jackson Falls, it is a climbing and bouldering paradise, this is often a most preferred spot for chasing waterfalls, camping is allowed here and the nice gravel road to the site is perfect for gravel cyclists and jeepers to enjoy. Jackson Falls is truly a special spot in the Shawnee National Forest.
While on Ozark Road, look for Glen St Falls Road. There should be signs on each side of the road with directional arrows listing Jackson Falls. The road is a narrow gravel road that looks like someones driveway, but it is a road that everyone can use. The road does dead end on private property past Jackson Falls for your information.
Honey Hole Area Camping
Honey Hole in the Shawnee National Forest is a trailhead made popular by hunters and equestrians. It is an option for overnight parking so that you could backpack and camp in the National Forest around you. There are numerous trails in the area including the River-to-River Trail. This area is also historically the site of Miller Grove, a free black community where former slaves could live without fear of being enslaved again. There are numerous Underground Railroad sites in the area as well.
East Trigg Camping
Golden Circle Camping
One Horse Gap Camping
Shawnee National Forest Camping: Privately Owned Campgrounds
Privately owned campgrounds near the Shawnee National Forest and around southern Illinois.
Benton KOA Journey
Benton, Illinois website. This campground is open all year round. Reservation available online and by phone at 800-562-8619. There are over 50 sites available including full hook-up and even primitive tent camping sites. This is close to Rend Lake Recreational Area.
Goreville, Illinois 995-9130. Nightly rate is $30.00. Power and sewer available. Clean restrooms. Nearby recreation includes Ferne Clyffe State Park and Tunnel Hill State Trail. Goreville is the closest community and features restaurants, ATM, grocery, and fuel stations.
Four Seasons Campground
Herrin, Illinois website. 31 full hook-up sites. 14 pull-through sites. Storm shelter on site! Shower house, laundry services, fast Wi-Fi, and handicap accessible. Dump stations. Also 4 cabins for rent on site as well. For questions or reservations please call 618 942-2069 or e-mail at . Herrin City Park is nearby which includes many features including a public swimming pool, various sport ball courts and a walking/running path. Nearby City of Herrin offers many dining and shopping opportunities.
Shawnee Forest Campground
Main Brothers Campground
Ferne Clyffe State Park
Ferne Clyffe State Park has been known as an outstanding natural scenic spot for a century. 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.
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Shawnee National Forest Camping: State Park Camping
Campgrounds ran by the State of Illinois and mainly within State Parks:
Cave-In-Rock Campground is located within Cave-In-Rock State Park. There are 34 Class A sites that rent for $20 a night, and $30 a night on holiday weekends/weekdays . Each is equipped with electricity and can accommodate units up to 60-feet long. Twenty-five Class B/S tent sites also are available for $10 a night, and showers, restrooms and dumping stations are present in both camping areas. Each site has a grill. There are vault toilets in the campground. Camp site fees and permits can be paid at the camp host site or to the park superintendent. Accessible sites are also available.
You can find directions to this site on . GPS Coordinates to this site are located at: 37°2816.4N 88°0927.3W. There are hiking trails located within the State Park. The park had a lodge that is recommended for dining. The main feature of the area is the Cave which is a large deep natural cave-shelter that site right next to the Ohio River . During river flooding, the cave will be inaccessible. The cave was used by River Pirates and outlaws and one time, and it and the surrounding area has a unique but grim history.
Rauchfuss Hill Campground
Dixon Springs Campground
Fort Massac Campground
Ferne Clyffe Campground
Horseshoe Lake Campground
Giant City Campground
Trail of Tears Campground
Devils Backbone Campground
Lake Murphysboro Campground
Pyramid State Park Campground
Lake Glendale Recreation Area
Surrounded by tall pine trees and mixed hardwood forests, Lake Glendale Recreation Area offers a wide range of recreation opportunities including hiking, camping, swimming, boating, fishing and bicycling. The picnic area has a large picnic shelter near the lake with party grills for group gatherings.
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Rules For Shawnee State Forest
- Shawnee State Forest is open to visitors between 6 a.m. and 11p.m. daily. Legal campers, if applicable, hunters, and anglers may be present during other times.
- Operation of motor vehicles is restricted to roads provided for such travel. Speed limit on state forest roads is 30 MPH unless otherwise posted. Vehicles may not be parked where traffic or access to division service roads or trails are obstructed. OAC 1501: 3-4 Motor Vehicles
- Horses may be ridden along forest roads or on designated bridle trails.
- Fires are not permitted except in grills or fire rings provided, or in portable stoves. Fires must be attended to at all times.
- Trash must be disposed of properly.
- Camping is only permitted on designated areas for such use. OAC 1501:3-3 Camping
- Hunting and fishing are permitted in most state forests as regulated by the Division of Wildlife. Shooting is prohibited within 400 feet of any building, facility, or recreation area and from or across any road or driveway. Discharge of any firearm is not permitted except during lawful hunting season.
- Public display or consumption of any alcoholic beverage is prohibited.
- Disturbance, defacement, or destruction of any property, material, natural feature, or vegetation is prohibited. Berries, nuts, and mushrooms may be gathered and removed except from posted areas.
- State forest boundaries are indicated with yellow blazes on the trees and/or posted signs.
- Other general rules for visitation are found at OAC 1501:3-2 Rules for Visitation
Trail Of Tears State Forest
Trail of Tears State Forest is situated in western Union County, five miles northwest of Jonesboro and 20 miles south of Murphysboro. Just over 5,000 acres are within the state forest. The state forest system in Illinois was established to set aside lands for the growing of timber needed in production of forest products, for watershed protection, and to provide outdoor recreation.
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The Best Shawnee National Forest Camping
The Shawnee National Forest is located in the Ozark and Shawnee Hills of Southern Illinois. It consists of 280,000 acres of land thats the largest publicly owned body of land in the entire state of Illinois.
With officially seven designated wilderness areas in the forest, it has an array of rock formations, scenic views and diverse vegetation and wildlife. The forest is ideal for people who love hiking, photography and camping as the forest is full of life.
Shawnee National Forest Camping: Privately Owned Equestrian Campgrounds
Privately owned equestrian campgrounds around the Shawnee National Forest and southern Illinois.
Simpson & Eddyville areas website. Please call 618-695-2670 to make a reservation. Open all year long.
Eddyville area website. Bear Branch is now Wi-Fi equipped 80 campsites with water and electricity a heated and air-conditioned shower house and laundry and cabins and lodging are with private baths, except the Rawhide Cabin. Campers must provide their own linen for the beds. Please ask the bed size of the cabin you are renting to be sure of the correct sheet size. Information on Reservations. Also offers guided horse-riding experiences using their own horses. This is one the friendliest horse camps I have personally encountered.
Eddyville area website. Hayes Canyon Campground has 34 RV campsites available for rent for a day, weekend, week, or longer! Reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons and holiday weekends, when we often are fully booked months in advance.
Eddyville area Maps. Not much information can be found online. 672-4748.
High Knob Campground
Double M Campground
Some of the nicest folks youll ever meet. This awesome equine campground welcomes everyone whether you ride a horse or not. They have an awesome restaurant within the campground. Over 200 campsites and cabins available. Near Pounds Hollow/Rim Rock, Cadiz, and Thacker Hollow area. See their website for more information.
Cedar Lake Campground
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Where Can I Camp In Rend Lake
Old Bates Campground
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The Old Bates Campground sits on 20 acres of wooded wilderness and is located 4 miles from Rend Lake. In addition, its also nearby Black Berry Nature trail, Sesser, and South Sandusky beach. Its slightly north of the Shawnee National Forest, however, is ideal if youre interested in exploring various wilderness areas and not just the Shawnee National Forest.
The campground offers visitors the ability to stay in either an RV or tent. The RV sites come fully equipped with hookups and trash services as well. The campsites for tents are primitive and offer picnic tables and fire rings, however, all users have access to the shower house and restrooms.
Whats great about this campsite is that they do have a swimming pool, so you dont need to leave the campsite if you want to cool off. In addition, they also have a restaurant thats located in front of the campground called Stringers and Moore.
So, if youre tired of cooking and want a break, youll able to eat in or order out. Rend Lake has great swimming and fishing spots, so you can spend your days at the lake, or wandering around the surrounding nature such as Pyramid State Recreation Area, Trail of Tears State Forest, Crab Orchard Lake or Shawnee National Forest.
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The campsites have either water and electric or offer no hookups, depending on what you need. The sites are shady areas with a picnic table and grill for each site.
What Is There To Do In North Shawnee National Forest
The Northern area of the Shawnee National Forest is full of activities to do and experience. Visitors are able to camp, canoe, hike, horseback, photograph, swim, hunt, fish and lounge in the Shawnee National Forest. With over 280,000 acres of barrens, lakes, ponds, bluffs, barrens and glades to witness. If youre wanting to experience nature in any form, then this is the spot to be.
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Bell Smith Springs Recreation Area
A hikers haven, the Bell Smith Springs Recreation Area is as family-friendly as it gets when it comes to Shawnee National Forest camping. The campground is small, offering only 21 borderline primitive campsites on a first-come, first-served basis, but the perks of staying here are plenty: smaller crowds, excellent trails and an authentic wilderness experience marked by summer flower blooms and unique rock formations.
This campground had just over 20 primitive sites. A well is near the entrance for drinking water, and the sites are very clean. Its very quiet and remote. The park ranger said the campground is rarely used, but the upkeep is amazing. Miles of trails to explore with canyons, waterfalls and the famous cliff jumps of Bell Springs.The Dyrt Camper Nick D.
Horseback Riding Camps Trails And Guided Tours Shawnee Forest
Horseback riding in the Shawnee National Forest is a unique adventure that you wont want to miss out on. With miles and miles of equestrian trails, riders come from all over the country to enjoy the scenic woodlands while camping with their favorite four-legged friend.
Equestrian trails available in almost every area in the Shawnee National Forest allow seasoned riders to explore this unique piece of American history. Equestrian campsites and cabins are also available in and around Shawnee National Forest. This region is home to the trail riding capital of Illinois: Eddyville, IL. Trail guides are available to ensure that you get an up close and personal look at some of the most beautiful icons of the Shawnee National Forest.
If trail riding is a new experience that you would like to add to your repertoire, you may want to start out riding the smaller trails available at any of the several horse ranches located throughout Southern Illinois. The winding equestrian trails in the Shawnee can be difficult to navigate, so be sure to reserve time with a trail guide to make sure you dont miss a single moment of the adventures available in Southern Illinois.
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Best Backpacking & Camping In Shawnee National Forest
Explore any of the Shawnee National Forests amazing and beautiful hikes for spectacular views and getting intimate with rock formations and indigenous history, or for family-friendly adventures with stunning waterfalls, natural land bridges, and so much more. Shawnee, with hundreds of acres of forest, rock sculptures, and a smattering of lakes and waterfalls, offers a comfortable respite from daily life.
Hunt Fish Hike And Camp In Our Alluring Natural Surroundings
The Shawnee National Forest provides the perfect backdrop for all of your camping needs. Take a day to visit the tallest falls in Illinois at Burden Falls. Hike through the scenic canyons of Bell Smith Springs and then dive into the primitive swimming holes. We have some of the best fishing in the area located right on our campground. Enjoy a day of hunting in the area, and then come back to relax in your private room at night. The stunning natural surroundings offer numerous valleys, hills, and wood lots for your adventuresome spirit.
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Shawnee National Forest Camping: Other Federal Camping
Other campgrounds within federal public land management agencies.
Crab Orchard Campground
Crab Orchard Campground is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. You can find more information about camping there at this link. The campground is open April 1 to October 30. Each site limits up to 2 vehicles and up to 8 people. There is a beach open Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. You can only swim at the beach and nowhere else on the lake. There is no reservation system first come, first serve. Full hookup is $25/day . Electric/Water is $20/day . Electric is $15/day . Non-electric is $10/day .
Devils Kitchen Campground
This campground has 8 primitive sites with a shower house available. Find it at 1625 Tacoma Lake Road Marion, IL 62959 / 997-3345. $10/day and $40/group.
Little Grassy Lake Campground
Full electric and water hookup camping is available. Check out this linkfor more information. Online reservation is possible you must reserve two nights minimum. Campground is open from March to November. Full hookup is $30/night to $35/night. Other sites are $25/night. Call 618-457-6655 for more information.
Rend Lake Campground
Nearly 800 primitive and full hookup campsites in 5 public campgrounds are available at this campground.
Garden Of The Gods Recreation Area
The Observation Trail features unique sandstone rock formations and panoramic views of the surrounding Garden of the God Wilderness. Interpretive signs explain the geological history. The 1/4-mile trail is made of natural sandstone and takes about an hour to walk. It contains short, steep grades and steps benches are located along the trail and as a whole the trail is not tiring. Caution should be used due to the high cliffs in the area.
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Touch Of Nature Environmental Center
Touch of Nature Environmental Center serves Southern Illinois University Carbondale, the region, and the nation as an outdoor laboratory for experiential learning, a field site for research, and a provider of therapeutic recreation, environmental education, outdoor adventure, personal and interpersonal growth experiences and conference service facilities.
Where Can I Camp In North Shawnee National Forest
High Knob Campground
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A larger campground, the High Knob campground comes with 150 camping sites all supplied with water and electric, most also including tie lines. The campground is spread over 50 acres, so theres plenty of space between neighbours.
A great fact about the campground is that its the only campground that has the River to River trail running right through the centre of the camp. The Shawnee Forest surrounds three sides of the campground and has seven separate trails leading into the forest. Needless to say, High Knob is in a great location for hiking and trail riding as youre nearby giant rock bluffs and the Garden of the Gods.
The campground itself has 90 covered box stalls for your horse, plus camping areas with tie lines. In addition, theres a laundry room, a shower house and restrooms for all your basic needs. They have a country store on the property which sells firewood, ice, snacks, horse tack, and other camping supplies if you forgot to pack it yourself.
In the surrounding area, there are a couple attractions which are extremely close by. You can go for a dip in the Pounds Hollow Lake, hike the Rim Rock and visit the Cave-in-Rock state park.
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Around the campground, youll be able to explore the River to River trail, Blue Hole, Haystack, Vulture Bluff, Beaver trail and the entire Cadiz trail system. Youll never have to explore the same area twice unless you want to.
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