WELCOME to the Shawnee National Forest

Garden of the Gods Recreation Area with Its all yours in text over the top with the Go.Play logo

Plan your visit

Button with outlines of a phone and tablet above the words mobile tour Maps and publications text below an outline of a map silhouette of a person walking up a hill with the words hiking below. Button with an illustration of a horseback rider with the words horseback riding underneath

About the Shawnee

Go play! You can camp, paddle, hike, horseback ride, photograph, swim, run, hunt, fish and picnic at Shawnee National Forest. So, come explore our 280,000 acres of glades, barrens, prairies, streams, lakes, ponds, waterfalls, woodlands, rocky outcrops — and more!


Kinkaid Lake

Let the Sun Shine In

A boat on Kinkaid LakeLearn about a new effort to protect Kinkaid Lake drinking water, reduce wildfire risk and restore a damaged forest, beginning with a salvage of blown-down trees.

A square photo of a butterfly and bee sharing a flowerOpen forests contain wildflowers and grasses for pollinators, such as butterflies and bees.

Biological Hot Spots

2016 Annual Review

Macro image of pink flowersOften called biological hot spots, natural areas support so many species that scientists call them genetic banks.

Three color squares with one bird photo.Shawnee National Forest truly is the people’s forest. About 1 million Americans recreated and spent time here last year alone.