Shawnee National Forest is a Great Place to Hike, Bike, and Go Birding.

Additionally, you will find great Wineries, a Breweries, Zip Lining, Boating of all types, and much more.


Check Out our Wine Trail Map

The Great Outdoors


Illinois Cypress Swamp

Cache River Wetlands, Belknap

Contact Number: 618-634-9678 — Totaling 14,960 acres and home to the Northernmost Cypress Swamp in Johnson, Massac, and Pulaski counties, Cache River State Natural Area is composed of three distinct management units – Little Black Slough, Lower Cache River Swamps, and Glass Hill. They provide food, cover, and water for an incredible diversity of plant and animal species, more than 100 of which have been listed as endangered or threatened by the State of Illinois.  The site offers a wide array of recreation opportunities, including hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing and seasonal hunting programs.  Visit the Henry N. Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center to learn more about the region’s natural wonders.

Cave in Rock State Park, Cave-In-Rock

Contact Number: 618-289-4325 — The heavily wooded park is named for the 55-foot-wide cave that was carved out of the limestone rock by water thousands of years ago.  Explore Cave in Rock State Park

Crab Orchard Refuge, Marion

Contact Number: 618-997-3344 — The National Wildlife Refuge visitor center is located at 8588 Route 148 in Marion. It is open daily from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The visitor center offers exhibits of local wildlife and habitats, as well as maps, regulatory brochures and entrance passes. Call for more information at 618-997-3344 ext. 1. Crab Orchard is home to many natural area and lakes.  Explore Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.

Ferne Clyffe State Park, Goreville

Contact Number: 618-995-2411 — Trails wind through picturesque woods, allowing visitors to view fascinating rock formations and inspiring vistas.  Explore Ferne Clyffe State Park

Garden of the Gods, Vienna

Contact Number: 618-658-2111 — This is the icon of the Shawnee National Forest. When one thinks of nature in Southern Illinois, their mind may wonder to the Garden. Visions of scenic vistas with gnarled rocks in the foreground and the vast Garden of the Gods Wilderness appear in the background.  Explore Garden of the Gods

Giant City State Park, MakandaShawnee National Forest, Orchards, and Golf, brewery, Giant City balancing rock

Contact Number: 618-457-4836 — Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest, Giant City State Park was named for the unique impressions made by its massive sandstone structures and a landscape like none other, clothed in lush garments of fern, moss, large flowering mints, hundreds of species of wildflowers and more than 75 varieties of towering trees.  Explore Giant City State Park

La Rue Pine Hills, Union County, IL

Contact Number: 618-715-5556 –  There are two hiking trails at LaRue Pine Hills. The Inspiration Point trail is a 1/4 mile trail that leads to a rock pinnacle called Inspiration Point. White Pine Trail is a T-bone trail with stretches of 2 miles and 2 1/2 miles. This moderate to difficult trail meanders through old wildlife openings. After the leaves have fallen, Bald Knob Cross can be seen.  Explore LaRue Pine Hills

Little Grand Canyon, Murphysboro

Contact Number: 618-687-1731 — Enjoy a three-mile hike with great views and the wonders of nature.  This remote trail winds along the top of the canyon and then down into bottomland forest.  Please note there is a steep hike back up to the parking area through a wet, rocky creek bed so dress accordingly.  Explore Little Grand Canyon

Pomona Natural Bridge, Murphysboro

Contact Number: 618-687-1731 — A real natural bridge you can walk over or under.  Spanning 90 feet over mature forest, this wonder truly is a site to behold.  Explore Pomona Natural Bridge

Trail of Tears State Forest, Jonesboro

Contact Number: 618-833-4910 — Trail of Tears State Forest covers more than 5000 acres in Southern Illinois and features multiple sites for camping, hiking, picnicking and more.  Explore Trail of Tears State Forest

Tunnel Hill State Park, Vienna

Contact Number: 618-658-2168 — A Great Place to Bike! At one time, the rumble of freight cars reverberated through the narrow tunnel. Wooden trestles, with their system of slanted supports and horizontal cross pieces, spanned numerous bluffs and creeks. Passengers in Pullman cars clocked the miles with these and other landmarks as they traveled one of Southern Illinois’s most scenic routes. Today, the railroad is gone but the bed, known as Tunnel Hill State Trail, remains, stretching 45 miles from Harrisburg to Karnak. The trail continues on a trails spur for 2.5 miles from Karnak to Cache River State Natural Area – Henry Barkhausen Wetlands Center on the old Chicago and Eastern Illinois railroad bed.  Explore Tunnel Hill State Park

Outdoor Recreation – Canoe, Kayak & Boat Rentals, Horseback Riding

Giant City Stables, MakandaView from Atop Horse

Contact Number: 618-529-4110 — Located in the heart of Giant City State Park, just 10 miles south of Rt 13 (Carbondale, IL) on Giant City Road. Giant City Stables offers guided horseback trail rides, as well as a variety of summer horse camps and horseback riding lessons for groups and individuals. For our younger horse lovers, we offer pony rides.  Learn More About Giant City Stables

Cache Bayou Outfitters

Contact Number: 618-210-4090 — Join us as we paddle through the ancient waters of the Cache River, Illinois’s hidden bayou. We will set out in canoes or kayaks and spend our time learning about the rivers history, geology, and ecology.Canoe instruction, life jackets, and paddles included in the price.  Learn More About White Crane Canoe Rentals

Little Grassy Lake Boat, Canoe, Kayak Rentals, Carbondale

Contact Number: 618-457-6655 – Pontoon boats, Jon boats, paddle boards, canoes and more, we’ve got you covered.  Whether you are looking for a relaxing canoe ride or a fun afternoon out with friends, you’re sure to enjoy the 1,000 acres of crystal clear water and over 30miles of shoreline.  Learn More About Little Grassy Lake Campground

Shawnee Hills e-Bike Rentals

Contact Number: 618-967-4918 – Looking for a new way to experience the hills of southern Illinois?  Shawnee Hills e-Bike Rentals brings a whole new level of fun and excitement to your vacation with their pedal assist power e-bikes.  Learn More About Shawnee Hills e-Bike Rentals

Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch, Makanda

Contact Number: 618-201-2822 — From Farm to Fiber, this family owned business offers guided tours featuring their fabulous alpacas, special events like yoga and paint classes and an onsite store, where you can purchase handmade items using alpaca fibers.  Learn More About Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch

Historical Sites

Lincoln Memorial Picnic Grounds, Jonesboro, IL

Contact Number: 618-833-8576 – Great place for a short hike around the pond, read the history of the community and the famous presidential debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas and have a picnic.

Bald Knob Cross, Alto Pass

Contact Number: 618-893-2344 — Among the foothills of the Ozark Mountain range that stretch into Union County and southern Illinois, rises a beacon, a monument of peace, faith, charity, and of hope. Towering above the landscape at over 111 feet, and visible for over 7,500 square miles, this is the Bald Knob Cross of Peace. Bald Knob Cross is situated in the Shawnee National Forest near the small town of Alto Pass, Illinois. BK Mountain itself towers 1000 feet above sea level. But how did a mountaintop in rural southern Illinois become first the site of an annual sunrise service, and later the location of a 111-foot cross? The story begins in the spring of 1936…  Learn More About Bald Knob Cross

Stinson Memorial Library, Anna

Contact Number: 618-833-2521 – Named after it’s benefactor, Robert Burns Stinson, and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, this monument to the times sits among other local businesses along main street in downtown Anna.  Learn More About Stinson Memorial Library

Brewery Your Thing

Big Muddy Brewery, Murphysboro

Contact Number:  618-684-8833 – Located in Murphysboro, the BBQ Capital of Illinois, this small brewery features a nice selection of local beer including their Saluki Dunkel Dog and Galaxy IPA.  Also look for the Big Muddy Monster Brew Fest in October.  Visit Big Muddy Brewery

Scratch Brewing, AvaScratch Brewery Beer and Food

Contact Number:  618-426-1415 –  known for it small batch beers made with locally foraged ingredients. The off the beaten path setting and country feel is a favorite with our guests.  Visit Scratch Brewery

Von Jakob Brewery, Alto Pass

Contact Number:  618-893-4600 – Also a Shawnee Hills Wine Trail winery and restaurant, this brewery is best known for their Southern Illinois Ale and German Pilsner.  Visit Von Jakob Brewery

Route 51 Brewery, Elkville

Contact Number:  618-568-2739 – See what all the buzz is about.  This brewery offers hand-crafted brews, live music and a delicious food menu.  Visit Route 51 Brewery

Saint Nicholas Brewing, DuQuoin

Contact Number:  618-790-9212 – A bicyclist themed micro brewery and restaurant, enjoy an ever changing line of specialty beers and foods from their pub menu.  Visit Saint Nicholas Brewery

Union County — Orchards & Berry Picking

Shawnee National Forest, Orchards, and Golf

Blueberry Hill Farm, Cobden

Contact Number:  618-893-2397 – The farm is open May through July, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm, 7 days a week. Visitors may choose to pick their berries or select a pre-picked pack.

  • Strawberries, Blackberries, & Blueberries: May 10 – June 10
  • Blackberries & Blueberries: June 20 – July 31
  • Red & Black Raspberries: June 7 – July 14

Learn More About Blueberry Hill Farm

Flamm’s Orchard & Fruit & Cream Stand, Cobden

Contact Number: 618-893-4241 – Take a drive out to the orchards and buy in-season strawberries, peaches, and apples. Flamm’s Fruits & Cream Stand offers treats like homemade strawberry shortcake, cobblers, apple dumplings, and pies. Learn More About Flamm’s Orchard & Fruit & Cream Stand

Rendleman’s Orchards Farm Market

Contact Number:  618-893-2771 – During harvest season, which runs from June to December, Rendleman Orchards also offers retail packages of our best quality farm-fresh, tree-ripened peaches, nectarines and apples along with a wide selection of other fruits and vegetables, as well as jams, jellies, pickled items, baking and soup mixes, ciders, salsas, snack mixes, candles, linens, apple cider donuts, apple gift boxes, in season, and specialty food gift baskets!  Learn More About Rendleman Orchards Farm Market

Area Golf Courses

Keller’s Crossing at Stone Creek, Makanda

Contact Number: 618-351-4653 — This golf course is under new ownership and has been completely renovated. The clubhouse is open in season. A beautiful golf community with a Championship Course. Home and building lot opportunities are also available.  Learn More About Keller’s Crossing at Stone Creek

Hickory Ridge Golf Course, Carbondale

Contact Number: 529-4386 – A beautiful 18 hole championship public golf course offers a challenge to golfers of all skill levels.  A beautiful course where the fairways are long, the sand and water hazards are demanding and the greens are smooth.  Learn More About Hickory Ridge Golf Course

Kokopelli Golf Course, Marion

Contact Number: 618-997-5656 – Enjoy terrific views and challenging play at this southern Illinois course.  After a round, be sure to enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at Koko’s Sports Bar.  Learn More About Kokopelli Golf Course

Union County Golf Course, Anna

Contact Number: 618-833-7912 – Whether you’re looking to play 9 or 18 holes, this incredible course has what you need for a relaxing day on the fairways.  Learn More About Union County Golf Course

Other Attractions

Allen Christmas Farm, Buncombe

Contact Number: 618-658-5678 | website