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Explore the Giant City Lodge and Water Tower

Makanda, Illinois



0.25 miles

Route Type



Added by Lucas Bremer

​After hiking one of Giant City State Park's many trails, step back in time or climb the stairs to the best view in Illinois at the Giant City Lodge and Water Tower.

Like the rest of the park, the Giant City Lodge was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930's. The lodge's architecture will remind someone of great lodges of the West with its hardwood timber and sandstone blend that has a two story fireplace and rotunda to enjoy one of the best meals in Southern Illinois. The rustic beauty of the building is found no where else in Illinois. 

Also adjacent to the lodge are over 30 cabins for rent. You may recognize the lodge from recent movies. Gone Girl shot several scenes here and nearby locations in the park. 

For the best view in Southern Illinois, climb the 123 step spiral staircase to the water tower observation deck. You can see for miles in every direction and get the full view of the Shawnee National Forest. 

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Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby

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


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