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Shedd Aquarium

The Shawnee Hills

32 M 17th St, Murphysboro, IL 62966

State Parks & National Forest

Take a scenic drive along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, surrounded by the Shawnee National Forest. Follow a 50 mile route, along Hwy. 127, 146, Old Hwy 51N, to Makanda Road and into Giant City State Park.

Murphysboro is Illinois’ BBQ capital, and on the northern end of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. BBQ aficionados have long known the trip to Murphysboro, is more than worth it, and is perhaps the only town in the country with two Barbecue Hall of Famers. In addition to the BBQ history, experience a booming craft beer movement that is vibrant and exciting. Explore a variety of shops and the General John A. Logan Museum.   

Travel south on the rolling hills of Hwy. 127, along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. Enjoy the distinctive character of six wineries on the west side of the wine trail, as you explore the scenery of the Shawnee National Forest with a short hike at the Pomona Natural Bridge, or a more in depth adventure at the Little Grand Canyon area. 

Explore the village of Alto Pass, then take the scenic drive up Bald Knob mountain for spectacular views of the forest valley.

Back on Hwy 127 continue south to Hwy. 146 east to Jonesboro, where one of the historic Lincoln and Douglas debates was held. Lincoln Memorial Park offers easy paths to stretch your legs, and get your photo with Lincoln and Douglas! 

Continue east to Anna, offering a variety of shops and restaurants. After you cross the railroad tracks, at the 4 way stop, turn left and follow Old Hwy. 51 north to Cobden. Five more wineries to discover on the east side of the Wine Trail, as you travel Old Hwy. 51 through the countryside where it will lead to new Hwy. 51 and crosses over to Makanda Road, which leads into the village of Makanda – the gateway into Giant City State Park.

While in Makanda, see if you can find the ‘secret garden’.   Giant City State Park was named for the unique impressions made by its massive sandstone structures and home of the "Giant City Streets" - huge bluffs of sandstone formed 12,000 years ago. The Visitor Center provides interpretive displays and area information, and the Lodge offers dining and cabin options.

You might also be interested...

Johnson Creek Recreation Area


Located on a northwest finger of beautiful Kinkaid Lake, Johnson Creek Recreation Area offers a variety of outdoor activities.

Read more about Johnson Creek Recreation Area

Little Grand Canyon


Little Grand Canyon is a recreational area within the Shawnee National Forest.

Read more about Little Grand Canyon

Lake Murphysboro State Park


Beautiful rolling hills and woods surround star-shaped Lake Murphysboro and provide a wonderful backdrop for boating, fishing, picnicking, camping and hiking.

Read more about Lake Murphysboro State Park

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