After taking a couple months off to regroup, I’m excited to share a couple hikes from my trip to Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. While I went to college in nearby Carbondale, Illinois, I didn’t get out to experience some of the amazing spots in the forest while I lived in the region as much as I would have liked.
On my anniversary trip, we first stopped at Fern Clyffe for a short hike down to the waterfall before we continued on into Shawnee. The trail isn’t well marked but when you get to the bottom where it opens into a field, head left to continue following the trail back into the woods. This was an easy hike and the trail was positively LUSH with bright green growth and mossy rock formations.
When we reached the peaceful green water, we were almost alone if not for one very stoned looking individual lost deep in thought. He didn’t speak or move while we were there and was still staring off into the waterfall when we left.
It was a little chilly but I still swam a little in the cold water, careful not to disturb the tadpoles. Just two weeks later, we find ourselves deep in a Midwest summer, only able to enjoy a glimpse of spring this year. This little waterfall hike was the perfect way to enjoy the couple of pleasantly warm days we had this spring.
I should also note that many of the areas in Shawnee National Forest and the surrounding parks have fairly steep areas with drop-offs. It is heavily advised to stay on the trails, particularly near the waterfalls.