The Best Places For a Hiking Adventures in Southern Illinois

Next time you are looking for a hiking adventure check out Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. Shawnee National Forest offers a vast array of hiking trails with interesting rock formations, waterfalls, and lakes and the winding wooded paths are perfect for a great hiking experience. Along with hiking there are many other recreational opportunities here, such as; fishing, hunting, camping, horseback riding trails, mountain biking, kayaking and more.Shawnee National Forest offers these great hikes; Garden of the Gods, Ferne Clyffe, Millstone Bluff, Little Grand Canyon, Cave in Rock, Heron Pond, and Pomona Natural Bridge.Garden of the Gods covers 3,300 acres of forest throughout Southern Illinois counties and consists of 5.5 miles of interconnecting trails located near Harrisburg, Illinois. Massive pillars of sandstone create this Garden of the Gods and its breathtaking views.

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Ferne Clyffe State Park offers hikers 18 different trails to choose including a picturesque view of the lake from the bluffs, impressive rock formations and a waterfall. Ferne Clyffe is located near Goreville, Illinois.Millstone Bluff is an ancient Indian village that was utilized by Woodland and Mississipian Indians. It is a 3/4 mile trail to the archaeological site, located atop of a bluff near Glendale, Illinois.Little Grand Canyon offers a 365 foot climb from the canyon floor with panoramic views and a 3.6 mile hike near Murphsboro, Illinois; Cave in Rock is located near Marion, Illinois and offers hiking trails and an impressive 55-foot wide cavern that was burrowed out by winds and water. The cave borders the Ohio River.Heron Pond is a nice little hike with beautiful scenery of wetlands and wildlife. There is a picturesque bridge were two creeks converge to a beautiful sound of rushing water over the rocks below. Heron Pond is located near Belnap, Illinois.Pamona Natural Bridge located in Pamona, Illinois. A short hike, only about 1/3-mile. The bridge is 90-foot long and 8-foot wide at its widest point, with a stream just below.

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As you can see Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois has lots of hiking opportunities for every level of hiking experience whether you need an easy hike or more difficult one you are sure to find it with its vast array of hiking trails.You will enjoy the beautiful picturesque views, the wildlife you will discover, the history of the land and much more. Autumn is an especially beautiful time to enjoy these hikes, with the cooler weather and majestic autumn colors the views can be spectacular. I suggest going in early to mid October, to enjoy the autumn color.What ever time of year you decide to go it will definitely be worth the effort. So spend the day a little closer to nature and go for a great hike.