In 2023, I want to start Community Hikes as a new feature of Hiking with Shawn.

Community Hikes will be planned group hikes that you register to join. These hikes will be free to the community. The community is anyone who wants to hike, no matter where you’re from.

These hikes will show you around the Shawnee National Forest and our state parks and let you get outside in nature.

Since the hikes are free, you do so at your own risk. You will be responsible for yourself! But rest assured, I am a responsible hiking guide (permitted by the US Forest Service) who is experienced in private hikes and group hikes. I’m also a certified first responder.

While these community hikes will be free, I want to request those who participate in bringing a canned good or two or some non-perishable food item.

Each time we host a community hike, we can choose a local southern Illinois community to collect canned food for and donate to their local food pantry. Alternatively, you could donate a bag of dog or cat food, and we could donate to a local humane society.

It’ll require registration to keep the community hikes from getting too large. I don’t mind leading 20 people (only 10 in wilderness areas per USFS regulations), but I don’t want to lead a group larger than one person can handle.

So, what I’d like to hear from you is your requests about where you’d want to hike at. Also, please keep parking in mind.

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Thanks again for checking out another one of my articles and until next time, I’ll see you on the trail!

Shawn Gossman

Shawn Gossman

Founder, Hiking with Shawn

Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. Click here to learn more about Shawn Gossman

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