Located in southern Illinois, the Shawnee National Forest’s natural beauty is ideal for all types of outdoor recreation. Nestled between the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers the Forest’s landscape features rolling hills, forests, open lands, lakes, creeks and rugged bluffs. The area’s mild weather throughout the year makes a visit during any season enjoyable. 

On our recreation webpages you will find information on all of the developed recreation sites as well as the variety of activities the Forest has to offer.  The Shawnee National Forest does not take reservations for campsites.

For information on Trails, activites and recreation sites see our Recreation Opportunity Guides.

Prior to your visit plan ahead to prepare for a safe and enjoyable trip:

Forest Emergency & Safety Brochure 
Rules and Rescrictions and Area Closures
Outfitters and Guides


Trip Planning Tools

There are a number of chamber of commerces and tourism bureaus that can assist you. For your convenience below is a list of these partners in tourism.   


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

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Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Johnson Creek Recreation Area    There is no longer a beach and swimming allowed at Johnson Creek Recreation Area.  The Boat Launch is open, but recommended for use by small water crafts, such as canoes, kayaks, and small motor boats.
Pounds Hollow Recreation Area    Electric campsites are now available at Pounds Hollow Lake - Pine Ridge Campground (20,30 & 50 amp). There are 11 electric campsites and 24 non-electric sites.