In most areas of the Shawnee National Forest stock use is generally allowed with the following exceptions
- Stock is not permitted in natural areas.
- Stock is not allowed on hiker-only trails.
- Stock is not permitted in developed recreation areas, unless specifically authorized by instructions posted at the site. Within the exception, stock is allowed in Camp Cadiz campground and Johnson Creek campground.
Special Information for Stock Use in Watersheds
Inside Lusk Creek, Upper Bay Creek, Big Grand Pierre Creek and Eagle Creek Watersheds, the rules governing stock use are different than in the remainder of the Shawnee National Forest. Rules pertaining to stock use in these four watersheds (see reverse side for map) include the following:
- Stock is allowed only on designated equestrian trails, public roads, designated stock confinement areas, equestrian trail heads and parking areas designated for equestrians. The routes and areas authorized for stock are identified on the Shawnee National Forest Hiker/Equestrian Trails Map.
- Stock is not permitted in developed recreation areas unless specifically authorized by instructions posted at the site. In these four watersheds, stock use is authorized at certain trails and trailheads at the Garden of the Gods (Backpackers Parking Lot, River to River Trail, Trail#108K and the Garden of the Gods hitching rail just north of the Observation Trail parking lot).
- Stock is not permitted at Millstone Bluff.
- In the Lusk Creek Wilderness, stock users are not allowed to stop and tie their stock on or along the “Ride-Through Only Trail” across from Saltpeter Cave and then east along Lusk Creek past Natural Bridge as identified on the trails map.
- Lusk Creek, Bay Creek and Garden of the Gods Wilderness Areas are closed from December 1st to March 31st. Additionally, during the months of April, May, September, October and November, Lusk Creek Wilderness will be closed to stock use whenever more than one inch of rain falls within a 24 hour period. This closure will last a minimum of one day. Current information on wilderness rainfall closures can be obtained by calling the trail hotline at (618) 658-1312.
- Group size for all users in the Lusk Creek, Bay Creek and Garden of the Gods Wilderness Areas is limited to no more than 10 people. Where stock confinement areas are located in wilderness, group size at these locations varies, but it is limited to the number of tying points on the high lines that are there. Groups are asked to stay out of sight and sound of one another. If encounters with other groups cause you to exceed these limitations, please separate out of sight and sound of one another as quickly as possible.
- Camping with livestock is prohibited in the Lusk Creek, Bay Creek and Garden of the Gods Wilderness Areas.
- Stock is not to be tied within reach of a live tree. Stock will be cross-tied, hobbled or restraine
Note to Wilderness visitors
Please be aware you could face inherent risks of adverse weather conditions, isolation, physical hazards, and lack of rapid communications. Search and rescue may not be as rapid as expected.
List of Outfitter and Guides permitted with the Shawnee National Forest