While staying in the Shawnee National Forest, we visited the Trigg Observation Tower near Simpson, Illinois. The fire tower was once used to spot fires that were usually caused by lightening strikes or sparks from trains passing through. There were sixteen fire towers located throughout the Shawnee National Forest at one point.
The Trigg Tower was constructed in 1934, originally of wood, and then later replaced with steel. As fire towers became obsolete, the top portion of the tower was removed and the shorter tower was opened to the public. Today, you can climb the four flights of stairs to the top for a panoramic view of the rolling hills of the Shawnee National Forest. We were there in October and the trees were bursting with color.
The tower is known for vandalism, but that shouldn’t deter you from visiting. In the first picture I took below, you can see toilet paper laying around. I think someone TP’ed the tower. Luckily, I had a trash bag in my backpack so I did a bit of clean up before we left! I hope the Trigg Observation Tower looks a bit cleaner at least for the timing being!
If you are looking for another great place to check out near by, Millstone Bluff Trail is right down the road.