The Shawnee National Forest

The Shawnee National Forest is located in southern Illinois, between the Mississippi and the Ohio rivers. Its topography consists of a mix of woods, hills, and lakes. Bald eagles are among the wildlife that may be found. The Garden of the Gods wilderness region is known for its old sandstone cliffs and formations, which date back thousands of years. Trails include the lengthy River to River Trail and the Rim Rock National Recreation Trail, which circles an escarpment and offers spectacular views. Jackson Falls is characterized by high cliffs and a cascading cascade. More interesting reads.


Shawnee National Forest, which encompasses 289,000 acres and is located in southern Illinois between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, is a popular tourist destination. It is home to stunningly magnificent oak-hickory woods, thriving wetlands, lush valleys, razorback ridges, and a variety of other geologically interesting characteristics. A unique confluence of six natural biological areas results in a rich variety of plant and animal species due to the convergence of these regions. With almost 1 million visitors every year, the forest offers a respite for urban dwellers in the United States; more than 30 cities in the United States are within a six-hour drive of the forest.


The Shawnee National Forest has a lot to offer, which makes it perfect for family vacations or a romantic getaway. What many people don’t realize, though, is that the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois is also a great place for both recreation and mindfulness and being a retreat from the hustle and bustle of big city life. If you are planning a vacation to the area, then check out these sites with free online guides to help you find places to visit as well as things to do while you are here: visit the Special Places, Beaches & Dunes, Bicycling, Camping & Cabins, Climbing, Fishing, Hiking, Horse Riding & Camping, Hunting, Nature Viewing, OHV Riding & Camping, Outdoor Learning, Picnicking, Scenic Driving, Water Activities, Other Activities


The Shawnee National Forest’s goal is to connect people with their natural surroundings in order to build a sense of stewardship for the land. Education topics include non-native invasive species, wilderness, trails, forestry, wetland restoration, aquatic ecosystems, wildlife, outdoor safety, and the mission of the Forest Service. Before venturing outdoors be sure to visit the Outdoor Safety & Ethics Page for tips on how to prepare for a safe and enjoyable visit.


There’s a lot to see, do, explore and experience in the Shawnee National Forest. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking for new trails to hike or bike, a photographer seeking unique photo opportunities, or a history buff looking to learn more about the region’s past, there are many special places to visit.


Shawnee National Forest is becoming an incredible location because of the efforts of some genuinely wonderful individuals.


Approximately 200 organizations – as well as hundreds of volunteers – contribute to the stewardship and enrichment of the forest. We will be able to provide more education programs, better manage natural resources, market the forest as a tourist attraction, and enhance local communities as a result of their collective efforts.


Shawnee National Forest is becoming a better place as a result of our efforts together. Next blog >>>