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Shawnee National Forest Campgrounds Gear Up for Upcoming Eclipse

Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois is gearing up for the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8. The area, dubbed the Eclipse Crossroads of America, will find itself directly in the path of totality. This astronomical event is expected to draw attention and visitors to the region, prompting early preparations for an enjoyable experience.

Shawnee National Forest, which covers a large portion of southern Illinois, offers a unique vantage point for witnessing the eclipse. Despite the forest’s extensive woodland coverage, open areas and developed campgrounds are available, providing ideal spots for eclipse viewing. 

Camping in the Shawnee National Forest during the eclipse event is on a first-come, first-served basis, with no reservations accepted. Campsite fees and instructions for payment are provided at campground entrances, and the campgrounds are regularly patrolled.

Johnson Creek Recreation Area offers 20 campsites at a fee of $10 per site. However, there is no potable water available at this location. Similarly, the Turkey Bayou Campground provides 19 campsites free of charge, but it also lacks water facilities. The Pine Hills Campground, charging $10 per site, has 13 campsites, also without water access.

For those looking for more amenities, the Bell Smith Springs Recreation Area charges $15 per site and offers 21 campsites with water access. The Lake Glendale Recreation Area, with a fee of $15, provides 60 campsites, including water, showers, and electric hookups for 36 of its sites.

The Garden of the Gods Recreation Area charges $10 for one of its 12 campsites and provides water access. The Pounds Hollow Recreation Area offers 54 campsites at $10 per site, with water available and electric hookups for 13 sites. Camp Cadiz Campground provides 8 campsites at $10 each, with water access.

The Tower Rock Campground offers 4 campsites free of charge with no water access.

Visitors are advised to plan their visit carefully, adhering to guidelines and regulations set by the Shawnee National Forest to ensure safety and enjoyment. Among the key considerations are the potential limitations or absence of cell service in certain areas, the expectation of large crowds, and the possibility of traffic delays and highway impacts. 

For those seeking a more rugged experience, dispersed camping is permitted across most of the forest. While there is no fee for primitive camping in these areas, visitors are limited to a maximum of 14 continuous days of camping. Facilities in dispersed camping areas are minimal.

For more information about the upcoming eclipse, click here

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David Wilson
David Wilson
March 12, 2024 1:51 pm

It’s super cool that Shawnee National Forest is getting all geared up for the upcoming eclipse! They’ve got a bunch of awesome stuff planned, from special events to helpful forest staff. Sounds like a blast!

Nolan Creek
Nolan Creek
March 12, 2024 9:56 pm

Ready for a magical camping trip? Remember your eclipse glasses for the stellar show at Shawnee National Forest! Arrive early, secure your spot, and relish this unforgettable nature experience!

Ryan Powell
Ryan Powell
March 13, 2024 9:23 am

Did you know Shawnee National Forest is getting ready for the solar eclipse? They’re sprucing up campgrounds and planning cool events for a memorable eclipse experience. Remember to stay safe while enjoying the natural beauty!

March 13, 2024 9:42 am

Nature lovers! Imagine catching the eclipse at Shawnee National Forest. such a magical experience! Don’t forget your eclipse glasses for a safe and unforgettable moment under the cosmic spectacle!


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Shawnee National Forest Campgrounds Gear Up for Upcoming Eclipse! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/illinois/shawnee-national-forest-campgrounds-gear-up-for-upcoming-eclipse/