Shawnee National Forest lies between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, in southern Illinois. Its terrain spans woodlands, hills and lakes. Wildlife includes bald eagles. The Garden of the Gods wilderness area features ancient sandstone cliffs and formations. Trails include the long River to River Trail and the Rim Rock National Recreation Trail, circling an escarpment. Jackson Falls has steep bluffs and a waterfall.
Address: Herod, IL 62947, United States
Most Popular Hiking Trails in Shawnee Forest
- Garden of the Gods
- Cave in Rock
- Heron Pond
- Pomona Bridge
Fist of God
The Fist of God / Haskins an unique formation that looks like a fore arm and fist sticking out of the ground. Some think it also looks like a morel mushroom. The formation has a waterfall behind it and pond in front of that was used by a local church for baptisms, hence the name.
Ideal Locations for Fishing in Southern Illinois
Travel a large waterway that courses through 6 states including Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia. Southern Illinois offers a truly unique Ohio River experience. Catch a wide assortment of over 150 different species of river fish native to the area.
Mississippi River Sport Fishing
Canoeing and kayaking opportunities abound on the Mississippi River. Bring a kayak or boat and fish the waters of the Mississippi for walleye, catfish, and large- and small-mouthed bass. This underutilized fishery is likely to give you the opportunity to catch the big one.
Rend Lake Refuge
At over 10 miles long and 3 miles wide, Rend Lake is the second largest lake in Illinois and provides a wonderful stage to explore summertime fun. With over 19,000 acres of water to explore, Rend Lake is perfect for jet skiing and water skiing.
Shawnee National Forest Hunting
The Shawnee National Forest is the single largest publicly owned land in Illinois and is by far the most popular hunting destination in the entire state. With an astoundingly large size of over 280,000 acres over 200,000 football fields, this Southern Illinois forest sprawls across 13 sparsely-populated counties which are home to over 146 miles of rivers and more than 200 individual lakes. This count doesn’t include the massive Ohio River and Mississippi River that dominates the forest’s borders. It’s no wonder that this forest attracts hunters from all over the country who are looking for prize game harvests and getting face-to-face with the primal origins of man.
Where to Stay While Hunting
Southern Illinois offers many cabin and camping accommodations in and around Shawnee National Forest. Whether you want to get off the beaten path for a week and tent camp near your hunting site in the Shawnee National Forest or prefer a spacious cabin for your large hunting party, Southern Illinois has the perfect cabin for you. Some cabins offer private kitchen and living areas, even private washers and dryers for laundry while other log cabins have hot tubs to relax your muscles after a long trip into nature. No matter how you choose to make the most of your trip to Shawnee National Forest, you will find the perfect evening adventure is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.
Boating in Southern Illinois & Southern Illinois Marinas
With so many unique waterways to experience, Shawnee Forest is one of the most varied and adventure-filled locations for boating in Southern Illinois. Southern Illinois marinas at some of Shawnee Forest’s premiere lakes and river passages offer a variety of services such as docking, boat rentals, full service stations, and outfitting equipment and supplies. Engage with local culture by night and experience amazing boating opportunities by day when you visit any of the water-filled attractions in Shawnee National Forest.
Major Rivers in Southern Illinois
From the mighty Mississippi to watershed canoeing opportunities, the flowing waters of Shawnee National Forest offer boating enthusiasts picturesque vistas and ample fishing opportunities. Whether your goal is sport fishing on the Ohio River, wildlife viewing by canoe, or simply a weekend relaxing and soaking-in the local culture while floating your personal boat down river; Shawnee Forest Illinois rivers offer adventurers like you any experience your heart desires.
- The Mississippi River near Southern Illinois
- The Ohio River near Southern Illinois
- Kincaid Lake
- Lake of Egypt
- Rend Lake
Tour Southern Illinois Vineyards and Wineries
Spend your afternoon, or the whole weekend, unwinding and chatting over a glass of locally prepared wine. Feel free to enjoy a quiet stroll through a vineyard, or attend one of the many festivals offered nearly year-round at the wineries. Music festivals, local artisans, and even grape-stomping are featured activities! Enjoy the good life taking in the breathtaking scenery of southern Illinois, while visiting the region’s booming wine industry.