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Details

Distance

10 miles

Route Type

Point-to-Point

Description

Added by Lucas Bremer

A outdoor explorer's playground.

In the heart of the Shawnee National Forest is an amazing camp that provides many adventures for those with all skill levels.

When camp is out, anyone is allowed to visit Camp Ondessonk as a guest and explore. There are over 10 miles of trails through pristine forests,  sandstone canyons, and several ponds and lakes. 

A couple of the best trails include a mile loop trail through Phantom's Canyon and a 2 mile out and back to the largest free falling waterfall in Illinois, Cedar Falls.

Phantom's Canyon is a rugged but great hike with Crescent Falls and Amphitheater Rock being the main attractions. At some spots, this underrated trail may have some spots where light bush wacking is needed. Camp Ondessonk has detailed maps and descriptions here.

The out and back trail to Cedar Falls will remind hikers of other gems within the Shawnee. Limestone bluffs, wildflower glades, and forests of oak and hickory trees lead to a massive sandstone cave and waterfall. 

Camp Ondessonk is a catholic camp maintained by the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois. You need to register in advance if you wish to visit in the offseason. A minimal donation is requested. All information on the camp and how to visit is updated regularly.

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Features

Fitness
Rock Climbing
Canoeing
Chillin
Camping
Fishing
Photography
Volunteering
Running
Swimming
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole
ADA Accessible

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Climb Up the Trigg Observation Tower

Hike & Climb at Jackson Falls

Paddle Millstone Lake

Hike Millstone Bluff in the Shawnee National Forest

Hike Bell Smiths Springs

Hike to Sand Cave