Giant City State Park – Illinois


Giant City State Park is a special place nestled deep in the Shawnee National Forest. I have been here a handful of times, but recently camped here for the first time.

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We really enjoyed the campground. I was surprised at how nice it was. The roads were in good shape and had been paved recently. The showerhouse also seemed pretty clean. We reserved campsite #25. I still have not quite figured out how to back up the camper yet so I chose this site as it was a pull through ☺️. There were a lot of pull through sites and all sites appeared really nice.

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We visited the historic lodge for breakfast one morning and it was pretty good! The rustic lodge was built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. There are also cabins at this park if you are looking for lodging and camping isn’t your thing.

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While visiting the lodge, be sure to go to the end of the parking lot and climb the stairs to the top of the water tower.

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The view is pretty good too! While up there, look to see if you can spot the Alto Pass Cross and the Makanda, IL smiley face water tower.

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The hiking at Giant City is top notch and not exactly what you expect in Illinois. The most famous trail at this park is the Nature Trail. This trail is a 1 mile loop trail and it features the iconic “Streets of Giant City”. This is probably the most popular trail in the park.

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My favorite trail in the park is the Indian Creek Nature Trail since it is often overlooked and typically less busy. A .7 mile loop trail leads to a rock bluff.

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I also love the bridges over the creek on this trail.

Another great trail is the Devil’s Standtable Trail. This .3 mile trail leads to one of the most unique features in the park. The standtable is best viewed in the fall or winter when the leaves on the trees do not block the view.

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I have also hiked the Stone Fort Nature Trail and the Trillium Trail and both are also really good!

Of course, the pups joined us!

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Overall, I really love Giant City State Park. The hiking really illusrates the beauty of the Shawnee National Forest. Have you visited Giant City before and have a favorite trail or a favorite campsite? Leave a comment below!

Categories: Giant City State Park, Shawnee National ForestTags: , , , , ,

4 comments

  1. The standing table looks neat! Looks like a great place to hike!

  2. Camped solo there last summer. Nice campground with very few people. Have you checked out Bell Smith Springs for hiking it is one of my favorite trails?

  3. I’ve driven by the area but never had a chance to stop. I think I will put this park on my list to visit in 2020!!

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