10 Shawnee National Forest


for a

Unique Experience

Shawnee National Forest cabins are everywhere in southern Illinois. If you want a unique experience in the Shawnee National Forest, cabins are a great way to help with that. But there are many Shawnee National Forest cabins to choose from scattered all around both sides of the forest. So, I wanted to make an article about 10 Shawnee National Forest cabins for you to stay in based on a unique experience they can provide because of their features. If you like this article about Shawnee National Forest cabins and want to see more 10 list posts, please share this with others, especially on social media.


Shawnee National Forest Cabins #1:

Rim Rock’s Dogwood Cabins

Rim Rock’s Dogwood Cabins is one of my favorite of the Shawnee National Forest cabins out there. It is situated right across the street from the Rim Rock National Recreation Trail and Pounds Hollow Beach. It is a 5-minute drive from Garden of the Gods, the most visited place in the Shawnee National Forest. The owners are really nice, and it’s completely pet friendly without additional cost. Most cabins will charge you extra for pets or not even allow them at all. One of the more unique things about Rim Rock’s Dogwood Cabins is the animals there. They have a llama, an alpaca, goats, a miniature cow, chickens, rabbits, and really friendly dogs. You can even feed the wildlife! Say hi to Dolly Llama for me!

Check out my full review of the Doghouse Cabin at Rim Rock’s Dogwood Cabins. Check out their Official Website for reservation information and more details.


Shawnee National Forest Cabins #2:

Timber Ridge Treehouse Cabins

Timber Ridge Treehouse Cabins are very unique Shawnee National Forest cabins because they offer actual treehouse cabins. Remember when we were kids and always wanted a treehouse, some of you had one, I never had one! Well now you can rent one and sleep in it smack dab in the middle of Shawnee National Forest country. These cabins are nearby to High Knob Hiking Trail and Garden of the Gods Wilderness Area. Be sure to check out their store near Garden of the Gods as well, Outpost for amazing ice cream and other treats, Bigfoot gear, Shawnee National Forest apparel, maps, and hiking and camping supplies.

Check out their Official Website for information on reservations and other benefits provided within the cabins.


Shawnee National Forest Cabins #3:

Camp Ondessonk Cabins

Camp Ondessonk is a local legend when it comes to the outdoor experience in southern Illinois. Not only have countless folks grown up attending the camp as children but the camp also hosts world famous mountain bike events, races and more. Camp Ondessonk also offers cabins of all different kinds including traditional cabins and treehouse cabins. They even have bunk cabins like you’d see on the AT or PCT that are three-sided. There are a few cabins that even feature a waterfall right next to them if you stay there when it is wet. Best of all, there are tons of hiking trails there and did I mention the tallest free-falling waterfall in southern Illinois is there?

Check out the Official Website of Camp Ondessonk for more information and to find out how you can get a cabin there.


Shawnee National Forest Cabins #4:

Rustic Hideaway Cabins

Rustic Hideaway Cabins are special. There are only a few of them and they graciously spread out from one and another right in the actual forest. I mean they have trees all around them and are down a private lane. If you’re looking for a romantic and quiet experience, these cabins really are one of the better Shawnee National Forest cabins out there. These cabins are also located near quite a few popular wineries and there are some really good places to eat in Anna-Jonesboro area nearby. There are tons of hiking trails in the area as well.

Check out my full review of these cabins and see their Official Website for more information on how you can reserve a cabin with them.


Shawnee National Forest Cabins #5:

Cave-in-Rock Cabins

Cave-in-Rock cabins are great Shawnee National Forest cabins to stay in because of the fact that they are located in the Cave-in-Rock state park. The main benefit of these cabins isn’t because they’re right next to the lodge which serves awesome food, it’s because of the awesome view of the Ohio River that each of the cabin has. And you’re right there at the state park, too. So that means you can enjoy the Pirate Cave and the other trails within the state park. And go ride the ferry back and forth if you never have – it’s free after all!

Check out the Official Website for more information about cabin reservations, the lodge, and the state park.


Shawnee National Forest Cabins #6:

Giant City State Park Cabins

Giant City State Park Cabins are one of a kind for visitors of the Shawnee National Forest area. There are quite a few cabins located at the state park that will cater to different needs of different cabin users. These cabins are all centrally located around the famous Lodge which claims it sells the best fried chicken in southern Illinois. Enjoy the many trails that Giant City State Park had to offer and check out the nearby Touch of Nature Environmental Center for some of the best single-track mountain bike trails in southern Illinois.

Check out the Official Website for more information about reserving a cabin, the dining lodge, and the state park features.


Shawnee National Forest Cabins #7:

Makanda Inn

Looking for more of a fancier but very unique experience? Then upgrade from Shawnee National Forest cabins to cottages or a stay at the Makanda Inn located down the road from downtown Makanda. These cottages and the inn are spectacular, and they cater to the needs of those who in them. They’re right by the River to River Trail and right down the road from the Makanda Boardwalk where you can enjoy a very unique shopping experience in a town that seems like it is from 1969! Hippies… lots of hippies but some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet! And of course, you’re a quick walk, bike ride or car ride from Giant City State Park.

Check out the Official Website for Makanda Inn to learn more about how you can stay at this awesome place.


Shawnee National Forest Cabins #8:

Rocky Comfort Cabins

Have you ever seen Lord of the Rings? Remember Frodo’s cottage? The big round door? You can rent a cabin just like that… IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS! Rocky Comfort Cabins is probably those most unique Shawnee National Forest cabins out there. A lot of artistic design has went into the creation of their cabins and they’re worth experiencing for a very unique memory of staying in a very scenic part of southern Illinois. They’re also right smack dab in the middle of Shawnee Hills Wine Country and down the road from Panther Den Wilderness which offers one of the most unique hiking trails in the area. Staying in these cabins will be something you talk about for years to come if I were a betting man.

Check out the Official Website for more information about how you can reserve a stay at one of these most unique cabins ever.


Shawnee National Forest Cabins #9:

Dam Near Lake of Egypt Cabins

It’s dam near the Lake of Egypt because it’s Dam Near Lake of Egypt Cabins. They have 3 cabins on 5-acres of secluded land. It’s pet friendly, there is wi-fi and even wet bars. I’ve met the owner; Allison and she is one who really cares about the area and families in the area. These cabins are easily accessible from I-24 or I-57 and are close to the Lake of Egypt, which is a very popular lake here in southern Illinois. These cabins are situated near Marion which offers tons of shopping experiences, all the different dining locations you would need, and it is also close to the Shawnee National Forest and Ferne Clyffe State Park which offer tons of awesome trails and amazing waterfalls.

Check out the Official Website for more information about these cabins and how you could go about reserving them.


Shawnee National Forest Cabins #10:

Shawnee Forest Cabins

Shawnee Forest Cabins are conveniently located right near the main road to Garden of the Gods. They offer quite a few cabins will many features that you would expect. They also have two-bedroom cabins which may be preferable for families wanting to stay near the hiking capital of southern Illinois. There are also hot tubs located in cabins as well. These cabins are less than 3-miles from the Garden of the Gods Observation Trail which the US Forest Service calls the most Instagram posted trail in the entire Shawnee National Forest. The cabins are also a short walk from the Outpost and Sassy the Sasquatch.

Check out the Official Website for more information about how to reserve these wonderful Shawnee National Forest cabins.


And there you have it! That’s 10 of the best Shawnee National Forest cabins in southern Illinois. I hope you all have enjoyed this article. My hopes are that is helps you find a unique cabin experience in and around the Shawnee National Forest. Please help support my efforts of writing this resource-packed article by sharing it with other who you know would be interested and especially on social media. One more thing – please consider staying in one of these or other local area cabins to help support Mom and Pop businesses that truly make Shawnee Forest County and southern Illinois as unique as it actually is.


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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!



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. I hope you enjoy my website and I encourage you to interact with me!

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