Shawnee National Forest – Illinois

I spent a couple days down in Shawnee National Forest exploring and getting back to nature. It had been almost six years since I was last down here! Shawnee is located about two hours southeast of St. Louis so it makes for a nice weekend trip. There is so much to see and do that you could easily spend a whole week here. Since I only had a couple days, here are a few things I saw:

The view from Skyline Drive.

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This back road stretches between Cobden and Alto Pass. Along the way, there is a picnic area with an amazing view. You can even see the Bald Knob Cross perched high on top of Bald Knob Mountain.
Pomona Natural Bridge.

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A short 1/3 mile loop trail leads to the 90 foot long natural bridge. I loved all of the rocks and plants in this area.
Giant City State Park.

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The rock formations are amazing. This state park is worth a stop since the trails are short and scenic. Be sure to climb the water tower too!

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Overall, this was a much needed short vacation. Southern Illinois has so much to offer. I can’t wait to go back!

Categories: Giant City State Park, Pomona Natural Bridge, Shawnee National ForestTags: , , , , , ,


  1. My family is planning a trip there later this summer- what are the MUST sees?


    • Awesome! Shawnee is a beautiful place, but it is also very big since it stretches all the way across the state. Depending on where you are staying the must sees are Garden of the Gods Recreational Area, Giant City State Park, I also really like Ferne Clyffe State Park. Little Grand Canyon is an awesome hike, but very difficult. I have not been to Rim Rock Rec Area yet, but it looks awesome! Hope you have a great time! If you have any other questions, just ask!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As usual, beautiful pictures! Loved the very first picture the best 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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