Shawnee national forest help

Posted by: Natenite

Shawnee national forest help - 08/27/17 01:46 PM

Hey all! New to the forums. Thought I would try and pick some brains. My wife and I are headed to Shawnee national forest in Illinois for the Labor Day weekend. Looking to do some day hikes to knock the rust off before our backpacking season begins. Trying to find info on combining the must see things in the forest together for some longer day hikes. Sites like the mini Grand Canyon or the garden of the gods etc. anyone know the area or know any resources I could tap into to build some hikes from? Thanks!

Posted by: wgiles

Re: Shawnee national forest help - 08/27/17 08:49 PM

I was at the Little Grand Canyon in April and found it pretty well overgrown. There is a tricky stretch in the trail that goes down a gully. If water is flowing, this can be slick and I don't feel comfortable doing this section without a rope. I was walking back up the trail when I met some people who asked whether I had seen any snakes. I told them that I had seen plenty of poison Ivy, but no snakes. A few hundred feet up the trail where they had been,I saw a Rattlesnake crossing the trail. I gave it plenty of room and it kept on going.

Most of the information that I had came from the Forest Service, either online or at the office in Jonesboro. I hadn't been on the west side of the Shawnee National Forest for many years. I started at the Trail of Tears State Forest and then explored my way up Pine Hills Road to Inspiration Point. After that, I took a trip to Pomona Natural Bridge and Little Grand Canyon. This trip was just a series of short day hikes. The Godwin Trail takes off from Pine Hills Road and heads into the Clear Springs Wilderness. I had printed maps from

On the East Side, Garden of the Gods and Pounds Hollow are nice trips. Garden of the Gods and Belle Smith Springs get a lot of traffic. Again, the best source of information is the Forest Service.