Hiking with Shawn’s

Trail Guide Series

Trail Guide Series

A NEW FEATURE is coming to the Hiking with Shawn website called Hiking with Shawn’s Trail Guide Series! This new blog post series will feature information about each hike that I go on starting now! The purpose of trail guide series is to show you how to find the places we hike at so you can hike there too! Keep reading to learn more…

What is the Trail Guide Series?!

The Hiking with Shawn’s Trail Guide Series will be individual blog posts focusing on each hike that is featured on the Hiking with Shawn YouTube page from now on out. Older hikes will not be featured until we re-hike them which we often do! Creating guides for all the older hikes would take a long time and be a little overwhelming – I hope you understand!

These trail guides will feature rich information such as what you will see, how to get to the parking area and what trails to take. I’ll also include the apps that have the trail map and any Strava GPS activity that I made for it so that you can hike the trail easier. But do use at your own risk!

The guides will also include videos we made of the area, some photos and specific tips for that specific hiking trail. As the guides evolve, more information will eventually be added.

This guide series will effectively replace the Trail Pages idea. The Trail Pages idea was a good one but would take a very long time to create. Time is an issue when it comes to large projects like that. The guide series is just a quicker way of doing things and like I said, will eventually evolve into something better as more guides are made.


A Tribute to Uncle Bob and James Baughn

I have to give credit where credit is due. Some years back when I first started hiking the Shawnee National Forest and other public lands in southern Illinois, I used two main websites to find out about new places to go. I used Uncle Bob Tyson’s Sierra Club’s blog page to find many of the awesome places I have hiked. Bob is no longer with us. In fact, he passed away while maintaining a trail in the forest. I never got the honor to meet Bob but I would imagine that me and him would have been great friends and hiking buddies if I was able to meet him. Another person I want to thank is James Baughn, author of Pavement Ends on the SEMissourian website. A lot of his articles were to thank for finding locations throughout the forest and our state parks. I’m friends with James of Facebook and I’ve talked to him there but I haven’t had the chance to meet him in person yet or hike with him but I bet we’d get along just fine! When I first started out, I didn’t know where to go, these two folks and their awesome blog posts and experiences is what really got me started. Their pages are really what makes me want to create this series.


Thank you, Bill!

I also want to thank a dear friend of mine, Bill Gilmour. Bill is currently the president of the River to River Trail Society. He has brought me to a lot of different spots in the forest and showed me interesting things that I probably wouldn’t have seen without him. Bill is a dear friend of mine and I owe him thanks. I think many of us owe Bill thanks to be honest – it was his commitment and willingness to support a better re-route of the River to River Trail and assist in the creation of the Avenza maps and updated R2R trail guide. Bill, along with the other board members of the Society has done a lot in terms of the River to River Trail and we owe him and them a big thanks in my opinion. So thanks Bill, I’m glad we met, friend!


When to expect new guides in this series…

I’m going to try to be consistent about publishing new guides in this series. Each time a new video posts, the guide should be published the next day or within the next few days of the post. If the video is a part of a series of the same place, I’ll post the guide for the hike once the series is complete. So you can expect 1-3 guides a week to be posted. Eventually, I’ll create a directory to show all the guides and additional resources.

One last thing!

Filming the videos, taking the photos, editing everything and writing this article takes time and it’s all provided for free. Consider making a small monthly contribution to Hiking with Shawn by becoming an official Patreon supporter on Hiking with Shawn! You can also support us by purchasing official merch from the Hiking with Shawn online store. Lastly, please share this article and our videos and follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumbler for more free guides, videos, photos, contests and more!

Thanks for checking out this guide and please share it with others if you’d like to see more of them made!

Shawn J. Gossman

Shawn J. Gossman


Shawn is the founder and host of the YouTube Channel, Hiking with Shawn as well as Hiking with Shawn LLC. Shawn hikes, backpacks and visits various forested areas in the Shawnee National Forest, local state parks and other areas promoting outdoor recreational activities to obtain video to show to locals and non-locals alike. Please support Shawn’s efforts by sharing this post and leaving a comment below.

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