Recreation

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.

Trip Planning Tools

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.

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

  • Reset Map
    Reset Map
Loading Icons...

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Garden of the Gods Recreation Area    Water is no longer provided at the Garden of the Gods Observation Trail. The water pump at the trailhead has been permanently closed. Campground water pump is now open and potable water is available.
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    Beginning April 2013 the main loop in Pounds Hollow Pine Ridge Campground is closed due to campsite constrution improvements. There are 22 campsites that remain open for use. There is no date for when the main loop will re-open.  We are sorry for the inconvenience.