Alerts & Notices

We may occasionally close roads or parts of the forest for the safety of people or to protect natural resources. For more details, see alerts and closures below.

Who do I call in case of an emergency?

Call 911 if you have an emergency while in Shawnee National Forest. See our Forest Emergency & Safety Brochure for more information.

Things to know before you go

  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Let someone know your travel plans.
  • Be aware of hunting seasons.
  • Be aware of changing weather conditions.
  • Carry plenty of water or boil/treat water before drinking.
  • Use protective spray or ointments and wash skin and clothing to protect yourself from bugs and poison ivy.
  • Venomous snakes occur in southern Illinois. Be cautious, watch where you step or place your hands.
  • Bug repellent is recommended.
  • Cell phone reception may be weak or non-existent in many parts of the Shawnee National Forest.
  • Use a map and compass or GPS device.
  • Practice the Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics. Learn more

Use extra caution in designated wildernesses (backcountry areas)

In wilder, more remote areas of the forest, search and rescue efforts often are slower than in urban places. Stay safe and use extra caution in our seven designated wildernesses.

Before you go, check out our rules and regulations

It is your responsibility as a visitor to follow our rules and regulations

Current Conditions

Visit Illinois Dept. of Transportation website for current road conditions.

Rivers, Streams and Roads

Large rains may cause rivers and streams to rise quickly and stay elevated for days after a rainstorm. Some roads and trails become flooded quickly. To stay safe, be aware of weather conditions.

Smoke on the forest?

We use prescribed fire as a tool to restore Southern Illinois forests. Prescribed fire is a planned fire that is overseen by professionals. To learn more about places where we are using or plan to use fire, check out our prescribed fire page. To report a fire, dial 911 or 866-684-2051. No recreation, camping, permits, or other information is available on this line.


  • Rim Rock - Partial Trail CLOSED
  • 2022 Fee - Free Camping Days


  • Forest Orders -Rules & Regulations