On our trip from Washington, DC to Branson, MO, we decided to stop in Southern Illinois to rest and hike some of Shawnee National Forest. Unlike most family campers, we don’t look for a playground and pool first; we look for a fishing spot and lots of open green space. Room to run and enjoy nature is why we RV as much as we do. Shawnee Forest Campground offered all of this and more.
When we first pulled into the campground, we didn’t think it had much to offer, but we were so wrong. We pulled into a picturesque lakeside campsite with room to stretch out, a paved walking path around the water and great shade from a big tree.
Other than that, it is a pretty basic campground. They have laundry and bathhouses on-site. There is a small grocery store in town and a great Mexican restaurant not far away. The closest Walmart is about a half-hour away.
We went to hike Shawnee National Forest, but we ended up at Ferne Clyffe State Park instead. The park is home to one of the largest bluff shelters in the southern part of the state. Don’t miss this hike! It is breath-taking.
We also hiked to Burden Falls, and it was a total disaster. It is not worth the effort AT ALL. We met quite a few people that said Garden of the Gods is beautiful, but we don’t usually hike with little kids for one pretty view. It is lost on them.
If you’d like to get family photos taken while you’re in the area, Radianthem Media will join you on a hike and take gorgeous pictures for you. I highly recommend booking her for your next vacation. She took all of these beautiful photos for us.