Top Adventures in Simpson

  • Hike & Climb at Jackson Falls

    The road into Jackson Falls is rough and sometimes has washouts. A high clearance or 4x4 vehicle are almost required. Once you reach the parking or primitive camping area, take the short path to the top of the falls. It is close to only a 0.25 mil...

    4.5 miles 410 ft gain

  • Hike Bell Smiths Springs

    Four separate trails make up the 8 miles of available hikes in the Bell Smith Springs National Natural Landmark. The dirt trails can be moderate to difficult in some areas. Please, stay on designated trails. The trails pass under large shelter blu...

    1.5 miles 164 ft gain

  • Paddle Millstone Lake

    Enjoy the seclusion of this 118-acre lake. After a few miles of unimproved rough road, you will arrive at the spill way of Millstone Lake. The remoteness alone is worth the trip. Kayak, Canoe, or SUP the lake and even extend it up a couple of mile...

  • Hike to Sand Cave

    Shawnee National Forest played a crucial role in the Underground Railroad in the mid-19th century. As slaves escaped and headed north, the dense forest and rugged terrain offered natural hiding places. On the route through Pope County, Illinois, f...

    1.2 miles 32 ft gain

  • Hike Millstone Bluff in the Shawnee National Forest

    Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this mile loop trail leads you along a bluff line to the ruins of a historic village of Woodland and Mississippian Native Americans.   Mississippian Natives established a village here between 100...

    1 miles 193 ft gain

  • Climb Up the Trigg Observation Tower

    Trusting in the iron supporting the stairs is difficult until you step on the wood, which soon become your main concern. A fun test for a fear of heights.

  • Hike to Burden Falls

    Located in the Shawnee National Forest, Burden Falls, though perhaps small by other standards, is among the highest in Illinois. There are many side trails to explore, making this a great spot for birders and photographers.Photo Credit: Curtis Abert

    3.5 miles

  • Paddle or Swim at Lake Glendale Recreation Area

    Hike, swim, paddle, fish, bike, or picnic is a amazing medium size lake in the heart of the Shawnee. Surrounded by trees, bluffs, creeks, and trails in all directions paired with its central location many attractions in Southern Illinois, Lake Gle...

  • Hike to Indian Kitchen

    Designated a national natural landmark in 1980, Lusk Creek Canyon is the name of a 906-acre canyon located within the Lusk Creek Wilderness Area of the Shawnee National Forest in Pope County, Illinois. The Lusk Creek Canyon Nature Preserve and Nat...

    4.8 miles 192 ft gain

  • Camp at Oak Point Campground

    Oak Point Campground is located in the Lake Glendale Recreation Area, there are 34 full hook up sites and 25 primitive tent camping sites. Group camping is also available at the Duck Bay Shelter and the Goose Bay Shelter. All sites are first come ...

  • Paddle Lusk Creek Wilderness

    For a full day on Lusk Creek, put in at Iron Bridge and paddle 7.1 miles of Shawnee National Forest beauty. This 8 hour excursion is sure to delight the senses as you pass through some of the most pristine areas in Illinois. Lusk Creek is a remote...

  • Hike to Ghost Dance Canyon from Dixon Springs State Park

    When you arrive at Dixon Springs State Park, drive through the park and stop and take in the main attraction of a waterfall that is partially man made. Then drive and park at the swimming pool, walk to the front of it where the building is, and tu...

    0.75 miles 37 ft gain

  • Nearby camping, hotels, and more

    • Benton, Illinois

      Benton KOA

    • Benton, Illinois

      Dale Miller Youth

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    • Benton, Illinois

      South Marcum Day Use

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    • Benton, Illinois

      South Marcum Campround

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    • Calvert City, Kentucky

      Paducah / I-24 / Kentucky Lake KOA

    • Benton, Illinois

      Spillway Group Area

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