Drive through the Bald Knob Wilderness


Added by Lucas Bremer

Enjoy one of the best views in Southern Illinois.

Adjacent to the beautiful Bald Knob Cross monument is one of the most scenic drives in Southern Illinois. The road winds and turns through this rugged and remote wilderness. 

Highlights along the way for hikers are the Bald Knob trail loop and the linear Godwin Trail which connects into Clear Springs wilderness. Also, along Bald Knob trail during the late fall or winter, there is an excellent view of the Clear Creek Valley. The forests and hills here differ from sites in the eastern Shawnee National Forest due to a more Ozark Plateau-like terrain of steep rocky slopes in excess of 80% grade.

Horse riders also have trails available here and the trails are rated as difficult. Cyclists and runners use the steep inclines of the road to prepare for longer and more difficult races that occur annually in the area.

At the peak, there is a massive cross built as a beacon of peace and is seen from many miles in all directions. There is also a small store and viewing platform here and many picnic tables available on a first come first serve basis. 

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Known for

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area



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Leave No Trace

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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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