National Forest



Looking for Shawnee National Forest lodging for your next visit to Southern Illinois?

Look no further because this ultimate guide was created for you. The Shawnee National Forest spans nearly 300,000 acres across beautiful scenic Southern Illinois. With over 400 miles of hiking trails, horseback riding, mountain biking, state parks, and recreational areas, it’s no wonder that this hidden Midwestern gem makes the perfect getaway.

I’m lucky enough to live in the Shawnee National Forest country. I get to experience this beautiful place every single day. So, the least I can do is share with you the best places to stay while you visit! We even love to stay at these places as locals.

Let’s check out your Shawnee National Forest lodging options now!


Shawnee National Forest Lodging in the Garden of the Gods, Rim Rock, and Cave-in-Rock Area

See some of the best spots in and around the Shawnee National Forest when visiting Garden of the Gods, Rim Rock National Recreation Trail, and Cave-in-Rock State Park. Here are some of the best lodging in these areas.


Cabins Rentals:


Rim Rock’s Dogwood Cabins

100% pet-friendly, and they have a whole yard of friendly wildlife to enjoy the company of, too. The cabins are cozy and fully featured. They’re basically little houses. There is a nice perimeter trail on the property, and Rim Rock is across the street, literally.


Timber Ridge Outpost

These are unique cabins. You can stay in an actual treehouse cabin which many crave to experience. These cabins are well off the beaten path, too. If you want solitude and a lack of vehicle noise, you will want to stay at this place. These cabins come from Garden of the Gods Outpost General Store owners.


Cave-in-Rock Cabins

Rent cabins next to Cave-in-Rock Lodge not only for their delicious dining options but also because of the view. These cabins are above the Ohio River, nestled into the center of the state park. You get great scenic views of the river and access to the old pirate cave, and you’re close to many great spots in the Shawnee National Forest. Be sure to ride the ferry if it’s open; it’s free!


Cedar Hill River Cabins

If you like the idea of Shawnee National Forest lodging along the Ohio River but want more solitude, Cedar Hill River Cabins is for you. They have all different types of cabins for all different sizes of groups. You have access to the river and are out in the woods, away from everything else. It’s a great place to escape all the traffic noises and people.


Shawnee Forest Cabins

Shawnee Forest Cabins are the closest cabin rentals to Garden of the Gods. If you want to lodge somewhere that is a quick drive from the most visited spot in the Shawnee; then these are the cabins you want to stay in. Their cabins are comfortable, fully featured, and a short walk from the Garden of the Gods Outpost General Store. You’ll enjoy your stay at these cabins.


Inns and Lodges:


River Rose Inn

This Bed and Breakfast offers comfortable rooms with many different features. You also get a good breakfast when you stay here. The mission of the Inn is to make you feel like you’re at home when you lodge with them.


Historic Rose Hotel

This 200+-year-old hotel serves mainly as a bed and breakfast. Get a room and enjoy an excellent breakfast after a good night’s rest. While staying here, you get a fantastic view of the Ohio River. You’re also next door to where the River to River Trail starts on the Ohio Riverside.


San Damiano Retreat Center

This former catholic retreat, now turned into a retreat for everyone, sits on top of a 200+ foot bluff right on the Ohio River. Each suite has all-inclusive features, and it feels like you’re living the high life when staying there. There is even a road that leads to river access.


Stoneface Manor

A short drive away from Stoneface and water, hiking, and biking opportunities at Glen O Jones Lake, this bed and breakfast is an excellent lodging option if you want peace. The rooms are beautiful, and they have a perfect property to enjoy after a long day in the Shawnee.


Shawnee National Forest Lodging in the Lusk Creek, Bell Smith Springs, Burden Falls, and Jackson Falls Area

If you’re looking for the best creeks, rock climbing, and waterfall destinations of the Shawnee, then you’re probably going to check out Lusk Creek Wilderness, Bell Smith Springs, Burden Falls, and the Jackson Falls area. Lucky for you, there are some incredible places to lodge around these beautiful areas of the National Forest.


Cabin Rentals:


Willow Brook Cabins

These cabins are close to all your favorite destinations listed above. They’re located in rural Pope County, where you don’t have to worry about freeways and city noises. You’ll love these cabins if you want a good experience in nature. And they even have hot tubs, which are excellent when you want to warm up after a long hike in the Shawnee National Forest.


Camp Ondessonk

During non-camping seasons, Camp O rents out its cabins. They have many cabin options to choose from, too. There is something for everyone. It’s a stone’s throw away from Jackson Falls, Bell Smith, and Burden Falls. And they also have pretty lovely trails, too. Like Cedar Falls, the largest free-falling waterfall in southern Illinois. There are even cabins options with waterfalls running behind them. Talk about an experience!


Inns and Lodges:


River Roost Lodging

River Roost Lodging is a house for a vacation rental in the historic town of Golconda. The house sleeps four and has a full kitchen. It is a short walk from the Ohio River and downtime Golconda with plenty of great dining options.


Unity Lodge

Another great lodging option is in historic Golconda. There are several rooms to choose from to fit your needs. The lodge is a very short distance from Main Street. There are many features in each room. You can even stay long-term if needed.


Riverview Mansion Hotel

This mansion was built in the late 1800s. It served as lodging for the great flood of 1937. It is now a hotel with dining and wine options. It is very close to the downtown area of Golconda and the riverfront. There are a few different rooms available to meet your needs.


Golconda Lockmaster Homes

Built-in the 1920s, these homes were the homes of the US Army Corps of Engineers building the Golconda 51 dam. The dam has since been removed and moved elsewhere. The City of Golconda took ownership of the homes, renovated them, and now offers them for nightly rentals. Each home gets a direct view of the Ohio River on the historic riverfront.


Perkins House Inn

This historic hotel in Vienna was built in the 1800s. There is free Wi-Fi, a quick-start breakfast, and rooms are smoke-free. There are 14 unique rooms to choose from, too. You’ll be a short drive from many great places to eat and Tunnel Hill State Trail.


Riverview Mansion Bed & Breakfast

This B&B is located in Metropolis. It breaks beds and breakfast to its guests. Metropolis is a unique community, not because it is on the Ohio River. It’s because it is the official Home of Superman. It is also home to the first state park in Illinois, Fort Massac State Park.


Shawnee National Forest Lodging in the Lake of Egypt, Tunnel Hill State Trail, and Ferne Clyffe State Park Area

Lake of Egypt will be your destination if you’re into watersports, boating, and fishing. But if you’re looking for a safe bike ride, you’ll love Tunnel Hill State Trail. And for hiking for people of all ages and abilities, including waterfall chasing, Ferne Clyffe State Park has you covered. And lucky for you, there are plenty of Shawnee National Forest lodging options available.


Cabin Rentals:


Southern Illinois Vacation Rentals

SIVR for short! These folks have so many different cabins, Airbnb, and even vacation homes that you can rent. They’re the best ones to go with if you’re staying around the Lake of Egypt area or close to Tunnel Hill State Trail. Many of them even have dock access. If you need a place to stay, they’ll have you covered.


Cedar Rock Cabins

If Ferne Clyffe State Park is on your radar, why not stay less than a five-minute drive from the park? Cedar Rock Cabins is right down the road from the park. They have a few cabin options, and they’re secluded off the blacktop. If you want to stay next to the woods right down the road from an incredible state park, you’ll want to stay at these cabins.


Inns and Lodges:


Twin Bluffs Bed and Breakfast

This B&B is near Draper’s Bluff, a formerly popular rock climbing destination in southern Illinois near Ferne Clyffe State Park. There are two spacious rooms available with many features. You also get a delicious breakfast with homemade biscuits and gravy. Hiking, rock climbing, and cycling adventures are very close by.


Shawnee National Forest Lodging in the Panther Den, Crab Orchard Lake, Devil’s Kitchen, and Little Grassy Area

You’ll love this area if you like lakes and National Wildlife Refuges. You can access the three great lakes of Southern Illinois, including Crab Orchard, Devil’s Kitchen, and Little Grassy. You can also take a hike in Panther Den Wilderness. There are plenty of places to lodge around these areas, too.


Cabin Rentals:


Cabin on the Hill

If you want a private cabin experience closer to Crab Orchard Lake, these two cabins are for you. This area is secluded and sheltered away from everything else. The cabin is very pet friendly, too. The owners have peacocks running around. There are some walking paths on the property, and you’re close to the lakes.


Cabins on Indian Creek

These cabins are also very close to Crab Orchard Lake. There are quite a few cabins to choose from; they’re very family-friendly. There are trails and access to a small pond, too. You’re close to the lakes, Panther Den, and a quick drive from Carbondale for entertainment, dining, and shopping needs.


Woodland Retreat Cabin

This cabin is secluded and in a woodland setting. Shawnee National Forest is close by. You’re also by Feather Hills and Blue Sky Vineyards. If you like wine, this is wine country and a part of the Shawnee wine trail. Access to the Shawnee and the lakes is a quick drive away, too.


Rocky Comfort Cabins

These will be some of the unique cabins you’ll ever stay in. They’re not only secluded and close to your favorite Shawnee Hills wine spots but also close to countless hiking trails and plenty of lake access points. They have some very unique cabins. Even one looks like it came out of the Shire from Lord of the Rings.


The Goddard Place

This is a good cabin for folks with allergies, as smoking and pets are not allowed. There is a one-room cabin with everything you need in it. The secluded area gives you the most privacy you’ll ever need. And since it’s just one cabin, you don’t have to worry about other people around. This is close to many great trails and lakes, too.


Cedar Sunset Cabin

There are two cabins. One sleeps four people, and the other sleeps six people. Each cabin is fully-features and includes a full kitchen and a hot tub. The cabins are located on private land that is secluded and quiet. They are close to many hiking trails and wineries.


Pinnon Lake Cabins

There are two cabins available. There is a private lake on site with great views. Each cabin is fully-features with a hot tub and a full kitchen. These cabins are close to Shawnee’s many great trails and wineries.


Shawnee National Forest Lodging in the Giant City State Park, Cedar Lake, Little Grand Canyon, and Snake Road Area

This is an excellent area for many different outdoor recreational activities. Enjoy hiking, rock climbing, dining, and more at Giant City State Park. Enjoy boating, kayaking, and hiking at Cedar Lake. There is even an incredible Natural Bridge in the Pomona area. Best of all, there are a lot of great lodging opportunities in this area.


Cabin Rentals:


Giant City State Park Cabins

Enjoy rustic cabins at Giant City State Park. The cabins are short drives from the park’s best hiking trails. The dining lodge is a short walk from every cabin. The CCC created the lodge, which is said to have the best fried chicken in Illinois.


Oak Grove Cabins

Oak Grove Cabins has three spacious cabins available for rent. Each cabin has two bedrooms. The cabins sit on 10 acres of private land, giving you solitude and peace while you enjoy your stay. The cabins are not far from some of the best trails and wineries in the area.


Woodland Cabins

There are multiple cabins available on the property. Each cabin is very spacious and has a full kitchen. Each cabin also has its outdoor hot tub. These cabins are close to Carbondale, with many great places to eat and shop.


Tomcat Hill Cabins

There are two cabins available for rent. They’re all close to many miles of hiking and biking opportunities, lakes and boating, wineries, and more activities. These cabins are secluded and will give you a comfortable night of solitude.


Skyline View Cabins

There are two three-bedroom cabins available for rental. These cabins are close to the Giant City State Park and Cedar Lake area. Each cabin has its fire pit and covered hot tub.


Rustic Hideaway Cabins

These are lovely cabins. They’re located down a private lane in the woods. Each cabin is spaced apart nicely. They include full kitchens and everything you’d need to enjoy a stay. There is even a hiking trail right next to the cabins.


Doc’s Lakeside Cabin

If you’re looking for a single cabin rental, look no further than Doc’s Lakeside Cabin. This would be perfect for a romantic getaway where you don’t want to deal with other vacationing neighbors. The cabin is a home that is fully featured. There is even a hot tub.


Reese Ridge Cabin

Another great secluded cabin is located on private property next to more than 600 acres of the Shawnee National Forest. The cabin includes all the features you’d need for a comfortable night, including a wood fireplace.


Inns and Lodges:


Davie School Inn

Davie School Inn is your lodging destination with over ten beautiful suites all having a different theme. Hospitality is described as being over the top. The breakfast is fully-featured, too. The inn is close to many great places in Shawnee to enjoy, too.


Shawnee Hill Bed and Breakfast

There are three properties listed for this B&B. The rooms are no smoking, and pets are not allowed. These would be great for people with allergies.


Windy Hills Acres Inn

Single and double bedrooms are available. Rooms do not allow smoking. Each room has a full kitchen. The area is quiet and out of the way.


Water Valley Inn

Enjoy this two-story farmhouse in the middle of Shawnee Hills Wine County. The inn is located on 100 acres of peace and quiet. There are two bedrooms on the first floor and three on the second floor.


Makanda Inn

If you’re looking for a luxurious place to stay next to Giant City State Park, it’s Makanda Inn. There are suites and cottages available for rent. The whole inn is elegantly designed and unique to the area. Aside from the state park, you’re a stone’s throw away from Makanda, which offers a lot for such a small village.


Havisham House

The Havisham House is a fully-featured inn with many different lodging options available. This inn is located in Alto Pass and close to many other wineries and vineyards. Check out the new Bourbon Bar, which the same owners also own.


With this many Shawnee National Forest lodging options, you should have no trouble finding a place to stay in Southern Illinois. Whether you’re a local looking for a nearby getaway or a traveler anxious to visit the Shawnee Forest Country, we have a place for you to stay. I’ve stayed at many of these places and had a great experience. If you enjoyed this article, please share it and subscribe to my free monthly newsletter for exclusive tips and articles.

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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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