If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois is the perfect destination. And if you want to discover the lesser-known gems of the forest, Herod, IL should be on your list.
Located in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest, Herod is a small town that offers a wealth of outdoor activities and attractions for nature lovers. From scenic hikes to breathtaking views, here’s a guide to exploring the hidden gems of Shawnee National Forest near Herod, IL:
Hiking Trails:
Herod has a range of hiking trails, varying from easy to challenging, that offer beautiful views of the surrounding forest. One of the most popular trails is the Garden of the Gods Observation Trail, which provides stunning views of the Shawnee hills and is less than a 30-minute drive from Herod. The trail is just over a mile long and is an easy walk for most people.
Another must-visit trail near Herod is the Rim Rock Trail, which is about 2.5 miles long and offers a challenging but rewarding hike. The trail features spectacular views of the surrounding forest, rock formations, and the Ohio River Valley. If you’re up for a longer hike, the River-to-River Trail is a 160-mile trail that passes through the Shawnee National Forest, and a section of it runs through Herod.
Scenic Drives:
For those who prefer to enjoy the forest from the comfort of their car, Herod and its surrounding areas have several scenic drives that showcase the natural beauty of the forest. One of the best drives is the Illinois Ozark Road, which is a winding road that passes through the forest and offers breathtaking views of the Shawnee hills.
Cave Tours:
The Shawnee National Forest is known for its numerous caves, and Herod has some of the best cave tours in the area. One of the most popular is the nearby Illinois Caverns State Natural Area, which offers guided tours of its cave system. Visitors can explore the underground world and see a variety of cave formations and creatures, including blind cavefish and crayfish.
Fishing and Boating:
If you’re an angler, Herod is an excellent place to fish for trout, bass, and catfish in the nearby rivers and lakes. The Ohio River, Lusk Creek, and Cedar Lake are popular spots for fishing, and there are several boat rental companies in the area that offer canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
In conclusion, Herod, IL, is a hidden gem in the Shawnee National Forest that offers a variety of outdoor activities and attractions for visitors. Whether you’re an avid hiker or prefer a scenic drive, you’ll find something to enjoy in this peaceful and picturesque town. So pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready for an adventure in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest.