Top 10 Hiking with Shawn Videos to Watch Today

Ready for the top 10 most viewed Hiking with Shawn videos in 2023?

Now that 2024 is here – let’s rewind back to last year and see what videos were the best that I put out. I always like to review this sort of thing just to see what everyone enjoyed seeing the most.

Chances are, you probably saw a few of these videos. If you haven’t, though, feel free to take this as your opportunity to check them out.

I’ve been uploading videos since December of 2016. I’m really honored to be able to provide hiking entertainment to those who enjoy it.

Now, on to the most viewed Hiking with Shawn videos in 2023!


My 10 Most Viewed Hiking with Shawn Videos in 2023

Here are my most viewed Hiking with Shawn videos in 2023. I hope you enjoy these videos. Comment on this blog telling me which of the 10 below you enjoyed the most.

1 – Near Garden of the Gods

This hike was the day after one of my free group hikes.

It was at the same place you led the group hike. We came back to pick up trash that we had seen the previous day. But we also enjoyed the views and followed everything the bluffage had to offer.

This hike is moderate and out and back. There is a faint trail, but most of what we did was off-trail.

If you’re looking at the Golden Circle Trailhead information sign, it’s the first bluff line to your left. We followed it until it ended.

There was a lot to see, including banding, cave shelters, formations, and rock scrambles to climb around on. As always, make sure you put safety first when visiting areas like these.

2 – Spelunking Illinois Caverns – Episode 1

This was from the first time I ever went into Illinois Caverns State Natural Area.

It was my first wild caving experience.  Michelle, some friends, and I “hiked” about three miles out and back throughout a large portion of the cave. It was one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever seen.

This cave is wild, rugged, dangerous, and does not come with a tour guide. We went with someone who knew where she was going.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources manages Illinois Caverns State Natural Area. It is only open on weekends during a specific season.

Check out my article in Terrain Magazine about exploring this cave for more information. Remember, this is a wild cave with no tour guide. Safety must be prioritized if you decide to visit.

3 – Old Abandoned Mine in the Shawnee National Forest

This is a video featuring an abandoned mine in the Shawnee National Forest.

This mine is near Eddyville, Illinois, in Pope County. That is all the location I can share about this place. I encourage you to look for these places but to keep “direct locations” private to prevent those who may want to try to explore them further.

These mines are gated and fenced off. Attempting to access them is illegal. There may or may not be hidden trail cameras in the area.

It’s one of the most sophisticated abandoned mines I’ve visited in the Shawnee National Forest. We like to look for these old mines.

We never enter mines. Aside from it being illegal, it would be extremely dangerous. Always look, but don’t enter or get too close. Put your safety before anything else.

4 – Liesegang Banding near Garden of the Gods

This is part two from video number 1 of my Hiking with Shawn videos in 2023 series.

We finish up the hike exploring more natural shelters and cave-like features where bluffs rest beside one another, creating little hiding holes.

Of course, there was loads of Liesegang banding that we had to check out, too. I think you’ll love that feature on the video the most.

This area is near the Garden of the Gods in the Golden Circle area. It’s full of banding features like most of Garden of the Gods.

5 – Lionel the Calf and Slone’s Wilderness – Snake Road Fall 2022

The title of the video is 2022, but the video came out in 2023.

In order to protect the locations of migrating snakes, I delay posting my Snake Road videos until well after the migration has ended. I do this solely to protect snakes because I care about their well-being. I encourage others to do this, too.

This trip on Snake Road was extra special.

I got to meet up with Slone’s Wilderness Expeditions again. I really like those two Father and Son creators. They’re both really good for one another. They’re both educational and have taught me a lot, too.

And I got to meet Lionel the Calf, which was a treat all on its own.

Snake Road is where snakes migrate. Many of the snakes you will see there are venomous snakes and can harm you if you’re bitten. Please use caution and remember that handling or harming wildlife of any kind is a federal crime.

6 – Best Camping Spot on the Ohio River

This was one of my and Michelle’s favorite hiking spots.

This was at Battery Rock in the Shawnee National Forest. It’s the initial eastern terminus of the River to River Trail. The terminus was moved to E-Town because Battery Rock is so rural and remote.

In this episode, we hiked the bluff line. It is one of the prettiest bluff lines that we’ve ever seen. It would make a perfect camping spot along the Ohio River.

The bluffs were full of banding, rock formations, scrambles, scenic videos of the Ohio River, and natural caves.

Because it was off-trail, the hike was much more rugged and hazardous. Please use caution when visiting areas like these and always put safety first.

7 – A lot of cottonmouths – Snake Road Fall 2022

Another Snake Road video featuring mainly cottonmouths.

As stated above, I don’t release Snake Road videos until well after the migration is finished in an effort to protect the wildlife. This video occurred in 2022 but I didn’t upload it until 2023.

My Snake Road videos typically get the most views.

But they probably should – it’s pretty much the only road in the world that shuts down twice a year so snakes can safely cross the road.

Cottonmouths are venomous and dangerous to get bit by. Please use caution if visiting this area.

8 – Hiking to the Christmas Star

The Christmas Star is no longer up.

This is one of my favorite places to hike. It starts at Hitching Post Trailhead, crosses the road into Garden of the Gods Wilderness, and goes to a very large scenic overlook where you can see almost everything Garden of the Gods Wilderness has to offer.

It has a tough hill that me and Michelle lose our breath on but I still add it to my list of favorite hikes in that area.

At the main overlook, a cedar tree used to have a large iron Christmas Star on it. It had lights powered by a little solar box. Since 2023, the star has been removed. I think the whole tree has been cut down.

The star was liter to begin with. The view is much better without it. Just be careful around the edges because you don’t want to fall from that height.

9 – Rim Rock Trail Full Tour

Rim Rock is an incredible trail in the Shawnee National Forest.

Rim Rock has a lot to offer. There is a Native American stone fort. There are large bluffs, natural cave shelters, a natural spring at Ox-Lot Cave, educational signage, a short trail to a public swimming beach, and so much more.

In this video, I give a full tour of the area.

It’s a really fun area to visit. But like with any trail, there are plenty of dangers. So, please ensure that you use caution and always put safety first when visiting areas like this.

10 – Palestine Hiking Trail in the Shawnee National Forest

Palestine is a very interesting area in the Shawnee National Forest.

It’s pretty much a hidden gem. The only people who really use it are local horseback riders, mountain bikers, and me and Michelle. It’s well off the beaten path, and the roads going to it can be pretty tricky. I definitely wouldn’t want to take a vehicle that doesn’t have four-wheel drive on it.

The area has an interesting set of creeks, some smaller bluffage, and quite a few trails throughout it.

If you do visit, be sure to watch your step and always put safety first.

Final Thoughts About Hiking with Shawn Videos of 2023

That concludes my Hiking with Shawn videos in 2023 for the most viewed of the year. Be sure to comment down below telling me which of these videos you enjoyed watching the most. I’m truly interested in seeing what you all have to say.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with other folk you know would also enjoy reading it.

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Alrighty folks, I hope you have enjoyed this content. I provide it for free and it takes a while to create. If you would be so kind enough to support my efforts, you can do so by sharing this post with others, especially on social media. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel to see my latest videos, shorts and live streams. Follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and TikTok for unique content that you will only find on those pages. You might also join my Southern Illinois Hiking & Outdoor Resources Group on Facebook, too!

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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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