Best Hiking in Southern Illinois

Hiking Shawnee National Forest

Hikers and backpackers come from far and wide to get the chance to see the myriad of wildlife and beautiful views available in Southern Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest. From avid hikers that want to hike the extensive River to River Trail to less experienced hikers who want to pack a variety of hiking experiences into a weekend, the hiking trails in Illinois have everything you could possibly want spread across the beautiful rolling hills of Southern Illinois.

Backpackers can find loads of adventure living off the grid with hiking trails in Illinois through some of Illinois’ most beautiful public areas. The River to River Trail starts at Grand Tower on the Mississippi River and meanders across the southern tip of Illinois all of the way over to Elizabethtown on the Ohio River covering 157 miles from end to end.

Trying to break up your hiking adventure into smaller chunks? Check out  Bart Lane’s Shawnee Guided hiking tour and shuttle service. Having grown up in Southern Illinois, Bart offers hikers that are not familiar with the area an in-depth peek into the little-known beauties of the Shawnee Forest. “What I hope to achieve through my services is an opportunity to take individuals and groups of hikers that would benefit from being guided along unfamiliar trails to places they would not see on their own” (Bart Lane).

Bart’s shuttle service is not limited to hikers, but is also available for kayakers wanting the convenience of being dropped off at their launch point so that they can float down to their waiting vehicles.

If exploring on your own is more ideal for you, you will definitely want to check out some of the amazing hiking trails in Illinois that you will find featured below.

Best Hiking in Southern Illinois

Garden of the Gods


Cave in Rock


The Little Grand Canyon


Heron Pond


Pomona Natural Bridge


Pounds Hollow Lake


Ferne Clyffe Waterfall Hike


Rim Rock Trail Illinois


Burden Falls


Bell Smith Springs


Iron Furnace


Jackson Falls


Millstone Bluff


Sand Cave


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