Visit Shawnee National Forest while Staying in Paducah

Situated in south Illinois in the Ozark and Shawnee Hills, the Shawnee National Forest comprises more than 280,000 acres of forest land. You and your family can explore the various recreational areas and indulge in activities that you're fond of. BBOnline recommends the following must-visit places in Shawnee National Forest while staying in Paducah.

Bell Smith Springs Recreation Area
50 Highway 145 South
Harrisburg, Illinois 62946
(618) 253-7114

The Bell Smith Springs Recreation Area is one of the most sought-after locations in the Shawnee National Forest. Make sure to wear the right footwear before you set out from your Paducah Bed and Breakfast, because this location offers several breathtaking trails. The hidden springs and scenic vistas will mesmerize you. The canyons and the sandstone cliffs are true wonders of nature.

Lake Glendale Recreation Area
50 Highway 145 South
Harrisburg, Illinois 62946
(618) 253-7114
www.lakeglendale.net

Shawnee National Forest is blessed with diverse landscapes, and the Lake Glendale Recreation Area is the perfect place to go in order to indulge in various water activities. The lake is great for swimming and boating. As motorized boats are not allowed here, you can enjoy the serenity of the water. Anglers come here to fish to their hearts' content. The lake is inhabited by trout and bass. The hardwood forest and the beautiful pine trees that surround this lake make it a great hiking trail.

River to River Trail
50 Highway 145 South
Harrisburg, Illinois 62946
(618) 253-7114
www.rivertorivertrail.com

This trail is a famous wildlife viewing path. Visitors come here to experience firsthand the life of the animals that inhabit the Shawnee National Forest. Set out early from your Paducah Inn to spot the animals. The trail will unravel several beautiful vistas and you can observe bobcats and coyotes in their natural habitat. River otters, wild turkeys and bald eagles are other species you should be on the lookout for. As you walk past the streams and rivers, keep your eyes glued to catch a glimpse of the blue heron, egret, yellow warbler and hawk.

High Knob Lookout Picnic Area
50 Highway 145 South
Harrisburg, Illinois 62946
(618) 253-7114

This location used to be the lookout tower used by the forest authorities to spot forest fires. Today it offers the visitors a chance to spread out a picnic and enjoy the beautiful backdrop. This is the perfect place to get an eagle's eye view of the surrounding areas. The forest provides all picnicking facilities like tables and grills.

Pounds Hollow Recreation Area
50 Highway 145 South
Harrisburg, Illinois 62946
(618) 253-7114

The Shawnee Hills that surround this recreational area offer a soothing atmosphere to the visitors. This location is perfect for those who want to go fishing. A swim in the lake here is refreshing, and the recreational area has beautiful picnic spots that offer a place for the entire family to relax and unwind.