Shawnee National Forest encompasses a total area of about 270,000 acres of land located in the Southern tip of Illinois. The national forest was established in August 1933 and is today managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Access to the park is possible through several roads including the US 45 and US 51 as well as through the IL 1, IL 13, IL 127, IL 145, IL 146, and IL 151.
Civic and metropolis areas close to the forest include Carbondale, Cairo, Marion, Harrisburg, and Murphysboro. Several special features within the forest include geological, historical, and biota attractions. Some of these include the following. First, you will come across the Inspiration Point Bluff, that rises 350 feet above Mississippi River bottomland at the LaRue Pine Hills/Otter Pond Research Natural Area.
You will also find the Millstone Bluff Archeological Area, that includes a stone fort, cemetery, petroglyphs, and a village site from the Mississippian period. Last but not least you will find the Little Grand Canyon, that features geological attractions like cave-like overhangs as well as attractive flora like wildflowers, and unusual ferns.
Besides these attractions, there are several recreational activities that visitors can engage in at the Shawnee National Forest Park. Some of the popular activities at the forest include fishing, hunting, boating, camping, hiking, horseback riding, bike riding, swimming, horseback riding, and rock climbing.
If you love the outdoors and taking your dog with you on such excursions, then you should be happy to know that the Shawnee National Forest will welcome you. That said, there are some restrictions in place that are not only meant to protect you and your pet but to also prevent your pooch from having a negative impact on the protected areas of the forest.
As such, you are expected to always maintain immediate control of your dog. Furthermore, you should know the areas of the forest that you can and cannot visit when with your dog. Even for areas that you are allowed to visit with your dog, you should ensure that your dog is always on a six-foot leash.