Garden of the Gods Recreation area

Garden of the Gods Recreation Area Picnic Rd

Southernmost Illinois
Written By Southernmost Illinois

Explore Shawnee Forest Country!

The most Instagrammed spot on the forest

Easily the most photographed location on the forest, this is the place to be photographed. Its flagstone trail makes hiking easy. Pack a lunch for the picnic area, (bring a refillable water bottle) or venture into the wilderness. Be sure to pack out everything you pack in.

A great quarter-mile observation trail makes its way over 300-million-year-old rocks while offering outstanding vistas of the Garden of the Gods Wilderness Area. Spectacular rock formations such as the famous Camel Rock, Anvil Rock, Table Rock and others make great photo opportunities. The wilderness area offers solitude for backpackers and horse riders, as connecting trails lead to the River-to-River Trail which winds its way through this wilderness area.

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The Observation Trail features unique sandstone rock formations and panoramic views of the surrounding Garden of the God Wilderness. Interpretive signs explain the geological history. The 1/4-mile trail is made of natural sandstone and takes about an hour to walk. It contains short, steep grades and steps, however, benches are located along the trail and, as a whole, the trail is not tiring.

Caution should be used due to the high cliffs in the area. Wear proper footwear.
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