Developed Recreation Sites Closed Due to COVID-19 Precautions

In alignment with current federal, state and local guidance for social distancing and to ensure the health and safety of its employees, visitors and volunteers, the Shawnee National Forest has temporarily closed the following areas:

  • All US Forest Service managed campgrounds.
  • All restrooms.

Other recreation opportunities, such as fishing, dispersed camping, hiking, backpacking and backcountry camping on the Shawnee National Forest remain available to the public. To protect public health and safety, all visitors to the Forest are encouraged to:

  • Avoid visiting the forest if you are sick and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene and social distancing before and during your visit to the forest.
  • Take your trash with you when you leave.
  • Trash overflowing the receptacles becomes litter and can be harmful to wildlife and attract predators.
  • Please make arrangements to use the restroom before or after your visit to the forest.
  • Unmanaged waste creates a health hazard for our employees and for other visitors.
  • If an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location.
  • Also consider avoiding the forest during high-use periods.
  • If taking part in dispersed camping, should you choose to have a campfire, please exercise absolute caution, keep the fire small, never leave It unattended, and drown the fire when done. Learn more about campfire safety.

The USDA Forest Service continues to assess and temporarily suspend access to recreation areas that attract large crowds and cannot meet social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  We are urging all National Forest visitors to follow the guidance of the CDC and the Governor’s “stay at home” executive order.  Though enforceable by fine or imprisonment, we are appealing to the better nature of our Forest users to voluntarily comply with these temporary restrictions to assist the nation in containing this virus and limiting its spread.  Hoosier National Forest employees continue to work during this event, but regular services must be limited, or provided in a different manner, in order to protect the health and safety of our employees and of the public who makes use of these public lands. 

Visitors to national forests are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).. Information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is also available.

Continue to follow our website for up-to-date information.

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WELCOME to the Shawnee National Forest


Dutchman Falls Wintertime
Winter waterfall at Dutchman Lake Photo taken by USFS Jan. 12


Plan Your Next Visit

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Draft Recreation Facility Strategy

Lake Glendale Beach house

Review and provide feedback on the draft Recreation Facility Strategy.  Deadline for comments is March 31, 2020.

Shawnee Celebrates 80 Years

Shawnee Celebrates 80 years

September 6, 2019 marked the 80th Anniversary of the Shawnee National Forest. Celebration of the only national forest in Illinois continues with special programs at SIU Museum.


Proposed Recreation Fee Changes


The initial comment period has ended. Many comments on the proposal were received. This spotlight will be updated as the project develops.