Looking for some cool and unusual things to see in the Shawnee Forest in Illinois? As a new traveler or even a returning visitor, there are plenty of cool and unusual attractions around Shawnee. This guide has some suggestions for travelers who may be ready to explore beyond the forest and the trees.
Pyramid of Southern Illinois
Along one of the lower hiking trails in Bell Smith Springs, visitors will find a huge boulder that resembles a huge Egyptian pyramid. Considering that Southern Illinois is often referred to as “Little Egypt,” it’s a fitting natural landmark hidden in the Shawnee National Forest.
Sometimes referred to as “Old Stone Face,” this natural wonder is the symbol of Saline County. The rock looks strikingly like an old wrinkled face with a nose, chin, forehead and a toothless mouth. The formation is located eight miles southeast of Harrisburg, in the Ozark foothills perched on top of Eagle Mountain, halfway between Cave Hill to the northeast and Womble Mountain to the southwest.
Golconda Memorial Bridge
The Golconda Memorial Bridge is a great place to view the Ohio River. The right bank of the river is the portion that flows past the Shawnee National Forest. Much of the lower Ohio River looks the same as it did when Lewis and Clark’s expedition floated down it back in 1803.
From the Golconda Memorial Bridge, you’ll witness the size and beauty of the Ohio River. Lewis and Clark documented their great impressions of this region in their journal writings. Along the bridge, you’ll find an informational plaque. It offers some historical information about the events that occurred along this portion of the river.
Shawnee Forest Bigfoot
We’d like to introduce you to a very famous pers—uh, monster? who resides in the Shawnee National Forest. The Shawnee Forest Bigfoot is so “famous” that he has his own Facebook following. The statue is a must-see attraction on Roadside America. Rumor around town is this giant Bigfoot stands at the crossroads where many claim to have seen the huge beast. It is located at the intersection of Garden of the Gods & Karbers Ridge Road.
This 7-foot tall Bigfoot is a great place to grab a snapshot on the way to Camel Rock.
Rocky Comfort Cabins
These days, travelers are on a quest for unique travel experiences. Channel your inner Frodo Baggins with a dreamy stay at the Rocky Comfort Cabins. Nestled on the Shawnee Hill Wine Trail, just a few steps from Blue Sky Vineyard, the Rocky Comfort Cabins offer a romantic getaway for two. The property features a fire pit, hot tub, and fireplace. The location is an ideal starting point to explore all the natural beauty and viticulture of the Shawnee Hills. Surprise your sweetheart with a stay here to embark on a grand adventure of your own.
Pomona Natural Bridge
The Shawnee National Forest has many interesting rock formations scattered around the region. The Pomona Natural Bridge is a popular one to visit because it is quite easily accessible. A short five-minute loop trail leads to this 90-foot long natural bridge made of sandstone. The bridge is about 12 feet above the tree-covered ravine.
Bald Knob Cross
Rising like a beacon in the foothills that surround the Shawnee National Forest, the Bald Knob Cross sits at over 1,000 feet above sea level. This allows the large, white cross to be visible for over 7,500 square miles. The purpose of this monument is to provide a place where all people can unite and experience the presence of God. It serves as a monument of faith, peace, charity, and hope. At over 111 feet, the Bald Knob Cross is one of the largest crosses in the United States. It is located in the town of Alto Pass and closes at dusk.
Complete Insider Guide to Shawnee National Forest
Have you discovered any cool and unusual sights in the Shawnee Forest in Illinois? Let us know and we’ll add them to the article for fellow travelers.