Shawnee National Forest Illinois

Shawnee National Forest

Southern Illinois

We live with in the hills of the forest. Surrounded by its beautiful landscape, the animals that roam around with in it, and the people who have lived here all their lives, The forest covers 280,000 acres

Picture of a White tail deer
White Tail Deer Taking by Vicki

There are 9 separate counties that are included in its acreage. As well as 7 designated wilderness area’s you can visit and, hike, camp, and much more.

It is Government protected, to remove anything from this forest you have to get a permit, there are somethings that they will let you have but few, This is for preservation purposes. Which we adhere to strictly in our area, we love the forest and enjoy its many attractions.

The different flowers and tree’s, the white tail deer’s and the fox’es, as well as the Birds’ and other critters that come into the yard during the day. If you enjoy this type of life then you will love it here.

My Research

I researched this on Wiki, have been doing this research for many years, visited many websites, hiked several trails, and talked to many people of the small surrounding town’s. The People are very private, and it takes’s them awhile to get use to new comers, but one thing is for sure, If they trust you, then you have made New Friend’s

The Geology 

Laurentide ICE Sheet is very fascinating reading, to know that it was the thaw of these ice sheet’s that actually created the area we see, and enjoy today, beginning Thousand of years ago. And progressing to now, The landscape changes with every day that passes, rain, wind and time, in the earlier days the government went in, and planted trees, and foliage to keep the soil from eroding, but the heat and rain, along with the wind, have changed some of the rock formation, the stones have broken or fallen, but still it is picturesque, and  in the passing of time, with the trees have grown so that what you could once see from the roadside, as you drove by, has made it hard to see now.

The forestry still takes care of the park’s and forest area’s,  keeping them safe for people to visit, adding rock pathway’s, and building small bridges across areas’s that wouldn’t be passable. Like in the Garden of the God’s.

Picture of a bridge at the Garden of the god's in Illinois






National  Forest Got Its Name  (Shawanoese)

Tecumseh was the Indian chief who died in 1813 in the Battle of the Thames, where he fought with the British against the United States, His tribe was the Shawnee (Shawanoese) Indian’s, who were native to this area before the settlers came, The Shawnee National Forest was named after this tribe.

There is a statue of Tecumseh that visitors can see at Glen-O-Jones lake. located at the base of the hill’s, that leads up to Garden of the God’s.

 Image of a Shawnee Indian Statue

The plaque that stands with him in honor of his Tribe, I wanted it to be big enoughso you could red the writing on it, they call  Tecumseh a legend.

Image of a plaque that stands by Tecumseh a Shawnee Indian






The First Settlers to Cross the River

There names were Major James Lusk, and his wife Sarah McElwaine Lusk, In 1797 the couple with a party of 34 Mostly children were making their way to what they thought to be their promise land. Read more here 

I have looked for pictures of the pair but to no avail, from what I understand Mrs. Sarah Lusk was a very strong lady, living in the wilderness and even taken over the ferry business after her husband died, the town of Golconda Il was once named Sarahville, as you go on to read her strength dwindled down after remarrying, but her legend lives on.

Pope County Historical Museum

Although I am not sure if they are still operating, you can visit there page to see more about the museum

Click Here



My research will continue and as it progress over time I will tell you more about this amazing area we live in. So check back often to see new pictures ney place and new Faces of Southern Illinois. My journey begins again.

Shawnee National Forest, and the Surrounding

Town’s, counties and communities would love to hear from you, and and are always glad to answer any questions you may have, or you can contact me at





7 thoughts on “Shawnee National Forest Illinois

    1. Thank you Donny, you are right I am very passionate about our area, and the beauty it has with in. I have been studying the history for a long time, the more I research the more amazed I am at how it all started. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the reading that I forget the rest of the world is out there.
      Thank you for visiting my site, I hope you enjoyed it Best Wishes VickiG

  1. Beautiful site, overall. I love the colors and pix. It’s informational and makes me want to continue my read. I sense your level of affinity, throughout the piece. It comes through loud and clear which makes me feel happy. I’ve always been a huge fan of nature.

    1. Thank you Clare,
      I hope you liked it enough to check back and read more info on the history, I have so much more to share, am really just getting started
      Thank you for visiting VickiG

  2. Hi Vicki,

    I really like the way your article is layed out. I took interest
    Immediately because I’ve been doing a little more traveling here in Washington and exploring some of the landscape. Landscape does change over time but it still holds it’s great values like you pointed out. I like the usage of images to represent the information you can find there. I have family out in Illinois, and it would be nice to see something like this in the future. Good read! Thanks for expanding my knowledge.

  3. This is pretty interesting information. I’ve never been to Shawnee National Forest but this article made me a bit curious about it.
    Sorry to ask, I’m just curious…
    I’m more of the urban type, so I wonder how it is to live right in the forest area. Do you get to see lots of animals close to your house? Anything dangerous?

    1. Hi Eliane,
      It is awesome! we do see a lot of animals, most of the time it is just the little rabbits,raccoons or the beautiful white tailed deer, however, we have seen bobcat’s, rattlesnakes,there has also been sightings of black bears.They are so use to being around people we had a problem with a little black bear in one of the small towns he was looking for food in the trash can’s I probably would have done the wrong thing and fed him (LOL I love the animals) the Forestry set a trap, caught him, and took him back up to the hill’s where he belongs. Thank yo for visiting our site and hope you might one day get a chance to visit our area. Please feel free to ask all the questions you want I am prejudice, love talking about our are. Have a wonderful day VickiG

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