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Shawnee National Forest annual notice of seasonal closures

Winter is on its way, temperatures are cooling, and Shawnee National Forest is closing some of its recreation sites and roads for the season.

For trail enthusiasts, please remember the seasonal wilderness trail restriction prohibiting stock use between December 1 and March 31 within Lusk Creek, Garden of the Gods and Bay Creek Wildernesses. These restrictions protect wilderness resources.

Campgrounds closing December 15 include Red Bud Campground at Bell Smith Springs, Pine Ridge Campground at Pounds Hollow, Pine Hills, Tower Rock and Johnson Creek campgrounds. Most campgrounds reopen March 15; Tower Rock Campground reopens May 1.

For those who enjoy camping in all seasons, check out Pharaoh Campground at Garden of the Gods, Oak Point Campground at Lake Glendale and Camp Cadiz.

Seasonal road closures start mid-December. For exact dates and roads, please refer to the Motor Vehicle Use Map. Maps can be obtained from Shawnee National Forest’s Harrisburg, Jonesboro and Vienna offices. More information is available on our website: .


About Shawnee National Forest

Administered by the USDA Forest Service, Shawnee National Forest is one of 155 national forests nationwide. As the only national forest in Illinois, the Shawnee offers numerous avenues for connecting with the natural world through its 280,000 acres of varied landscape. Whether your interests lie more in outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking or camping, or include learning about the unique natural and cultural heritage of southern Illinois, the fields, forests and streams of the Shawnee welcome you. To discover more about the Shawnee National Forest, visit Follow us on Twitter at and Facebook via

The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations The Forest Service’s Eastern Region includes 20 states in the Midwest and East, stretching from Maine, to Maryland, to Missouri, to Minnesota. There are 17 national forests and one national tallgrass prairie in the Eastern Region. For more information,

The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit