Explore Shawnee Forest Country!
Giant City State Park Visitor’s Center contains an exhibit hall with displays of the natural, cultural, and geological features of the park. Don't miss the 10-minute film about the park in the audio/visual room. There is a Discovery Corner that kids love to explore. Ask about the scavenger hunt for kids. Get a prize upon returning it at the end of the hike all filled out, but watch your time, the center closes at 4 PM.
Climbing and rappelling are permitted at the park in two locations. The areas of Devil's Standtable cliff and Shelter #1 bluff at the Makanda entrance are accessible to climbers, and ropes are permitted on these cliffs. Climbers should bring their own equipment and go directly to the bluff, no check-in is necessary. No permanent anchors are allowed. All climbing activities at the park are conducted at your own risk. Cliffs are steep and sandstone can be slippery when wet. Venomous copperhead snakes, an Illinois protected species, are found on sunny ledges. Please use caution. Southern Illinois sandstone bluff plant communities are fragile, so tread lightly in these areas. Always carry out what you carry in!
Exploration of the picturesque natural wonders of Giant City State Park can be enjoyed along the Post Oak, Devil’s Standtable, Giant City, Stonefort, Indian Creek, Trillium and Arrowwood trails. The Post Oak Trail has been designed for disabled visitors. The 12-mile Red Cedar Hiking Trail provides an invigorating challenge to the truly dedicated backpacker, and offers an overnight campsite at the halfway point. In Spring, Summer and fall, be sure to use insect and tick repellent. Trillium Trail is a great place to see spring flowers.
Winter is a great time to enjoy the slower, quieter side of Shawnee Forest Country in Southernmost Illinois. The cooler temperatures mean no bugs, and the trees are bare, allowing you to see much further into the forests. Bluffs hidden behind the summer foliage emerge dramatically into sight. Hiking is available year-round, and if you have visited in another season, winter can offer a very different experience. The weather is generally mild, and you can pretty much have the trails all to yourself. Enjoy a peacefulness that only winter can provide.