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Shawnee National Forest
The Shawnee National Forest is famed for its awesome Garden of the Gods, and is home to the Rim Rock Recreational Trail (the forest has a system of 403 miles of equestrian/hiking trails). Hikers are greeted by magnificent jutting walls of rock covered with emerald-green moss, and paths that meander through canyons under the forest canopy. Nestled between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the stunning Shawnee National Forest landscape features rolling hills, lakes, creeks and rugged bluffs. If you’re into climbing than a must-see is Jackson Falls, located near the town of Ozark in the Hidden Springs Ranger District in Shawnee National Forest. The climb takes place on 60 feet of sandstone cliffs and boulders that include numerous freestanding towers.
Located near the town of Ozark in the Shawnee National Forest, Jackson Falls offers arguably the best rock climbing in southern Illinois. There are roughly 60 climbing areas along the sandstone bluffs and freestanding boulders, each with multiple named routes on them. There are over 500 named routes in all. Most of the routes are 50-60 feet in height. The whole area sits in a very scenic glen. Most of the routes at Jackson Falls are sport routes, though there are a number of traditional routes, and a few areas suitable for setting up a top-rope. There are also many excellent bouldering opportunities here.
Little Grand Canyon Trail
The Little Grand Canyon trail is located within the Shawnee National Forest. Experience the easy 3.6 miles of beauty it offers as you ride your bike or hike these fun trails that meander past lush wooded canyons, riverside bluffs, songbirds, woodpeckers and deer; while hawks and vultures soar high above the cliffs. Explore towering rock walls, eroded sandstone canyons, craggy bluffs and moist bottom lands, too.
It's all about the water at Rend Lake, where you can swim, boat, water ski and fish. Relax at Rend Lake Resort, tee off at the 27-hole Rend Lake Golf Course or do some target practice at the Rend Lake Shooting Complex. Also located at Rend Lake is the Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center, featuring more than 800 artists.
Rend Lake Cabins in the Woods
Two cabins. Located off the southwest side of Rend Lake complete with full kitchen, two bedrooms, satellite TV, washer and dryer, front porch with swing, fire pit, barbecue grill and just 15 minutes off of Interstate 57.
Lusk Creek Canyon
Lusk Creek Canyon is the most well known whitewater run in Southern Illinois. The creek starts out in woodland bottoms with relatively minor gradient but soon is surrounded by rocky hillsides and cliffs. These cliffs rise out of the water to heights over one hundred feet. After the canyon section, the cliffs recede and the creek is surrounded by forest for the final mile. Rapids on this creek are at low to moderate levels and are mostly Class II in nature. However, this is not a good beginner run. This creek flows through forests before entering the canyon.
Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park
The gateway to the largest outdoor playground in southern Illinois includes Rend Lake, the second largest manmade lake in the state. Wheelchair access.
Saline Creek Pioneer Village
This fascinating pioneer village includes the original Saline County Pauper Farm (now a three-story museum), an old jail, an 1859 one-room schoolhouse, the Cain Church, several 1800s log cabins, a barn and country store.
Rend Lake Resort and Conference Center
Situated on Rend Lake in Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park, this modern resort offers cabins and boat rental suites, courtesy boat docking slips, restaurants and more. Guests can enjoy golfing, hiking, horseback riding, swimming and other water sports.
Rend Lake Golf Course
Named one of the best courses in the Midwest, this 27-hole course has paved cart paths, fountains and many challenges. There's also a lighted driving range, a pro shop with a pro, and special lodging/golf packages available year round. On the eastern shores of Rend Lake.
Williams Hill Pass
The bunkhouse cabins accommodate four people. Each cabin includes heat, air-conditioning, electricity, table and chairs, a full bed bunk bed and linens. Picnic tables and fire rings are provided outside the cabins for meal preparation. Showers and bathrooms are located in the air conditioned shower house at the Welcome Center. Williams Hill Pass is a family-oriented OHV park located between Mitchellville and Rudement just off Illinois Route 34 in southern Saline County on the north slope of Williams Hill, the highest point in Southern Illinois.
Economy Inn & Suites
Well established, friendly hometown motel. Queen beds, specials, kids free under 12, free coffee and tourism information. Close to Shawnee National Forest and Garden of Gods Recreation Area.
Bryant's Miniatures features miniature horses, llamas and George the camel. Children and adults are welcome to enjoy the animals at this hands-on facility.
Seasons Lodge & Condominiums
Provides affordably priced and beautifully furnished accommodations. Optional spa and fireplace suites. Restaurant and golf course on site.
Super 8 - Harrisburg
Hot tub- suites available free continental breakfast- non smoking & handicapped rooms available.
Bluegill Music Festival
March 16, 2015 - Bluegill Music Festival will lunch its inaugural event on July 4, 2015 for a one-day festival packed with some of country music's hottest acts. The all-day festival will be complete with Southern Illinois' largest fireworks display, along the shores of the Rend Lake Dam, in Benton, IL. The lineup includes Eli Young Band, LoCash, Clayton Anderson and more exciting acts to be announced. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, March 20th and can be purchased at www.bluegillfest.com and at Black Diamond Harley Davidson. Drawing fans from around the country, including Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana, the festival is at the intersection of some of the nation's most dedicated country music fans. Bluegill Music Festival will feature nationally recognized BBQ vendors from around the country. Interactive entertainment for fans will also include activations, like: bags, washers, bubble soccer, Illinois longest slip n' slide, helicopter rides from Black Diamond Harley Davidson, a mechanical bull, a kids area with a large inflatable slide and the "Bluegill Lagoon", featuring a 60 x 100' VIP beach, with cabanas, private wading pools & lounge area. Additionally, Southern Illinois' largest fireworks display will begin at 9:30pm, and is free for all guest.
Located in three historic structures covering 2/3rds of the city block, two blocks west of the public square on Route 13.
Benton Country Club
This semi-private, nine-hole course features a historic three-story clubhouse, surrounded by Lake Moses. Host of the annual Benton Gold Cup, the course also features a well-stocked pro shop, driving range, rental clubs and carts, and a golf pro on site.
Ratcliff Inn Museum
1828 Stagecoach Inn -- Abe Lincoln stayed here as he was campaigning. White County artifacts also on display.
Shawnee Hills Country Club
This fun, challenging course includes nine, 36 par holes, and is open spring, summer and fall. The club offers a full pro shop and snack bar.
The Porch Basket
A unique one of a kind shop in downtown Eldorado, the Porch Basket offers a large line of hand woven baskets, country decor items, and a large line of basket weaving supplies. Call about basket weaving lessons.
Southern Illinois Artisans Shop and Visitors Center
More than 25 categories of arts and crafts from fine art to the traditional crafts from more than 900 Illinois artisans. Also, home to the Southern Illinois Art Gallery. Special workshops and events throughout the year.
The Bar B Q Barn
One of Harrisburg's most popular home cooking restaurants, the speciality is fresh pit style BBQ sandwiches. Open Monday through Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stop in before hiking in the Garden of the Gods.
Ten Mile Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area
5,800 acres vary from flat bottomlands to rolling forestlands. Fields throughout the site provide for 1,000 acres of planted food for wildlife. Game hunting for rabbit, quail and waterfowl is allowed. Fishing is available at 25 strip-pit lakes and ponds.