Garden of the Gods Wilderness

Looking for spectacular views with a short hike among some of the most unique rock formations in the United States? Look no further than Garden of the Gods in Southern Illinois. The most popular hike, Garden of the Gods gives tourists amazing insight into the geologic structure of Southern Illinois and a view that stretches for miles high over the pristine hills of Shawnee Forest.

Observation Trail at Garden of the Gods

Hike a short ¼ mile observation trail marked with flagstone pavers that allow tourists the opportunity to view miles of scenic Shawnee Forest woodlands from a historical vantage point. The observation trail has wooden and rock steps located midway through. Signs along the trail highlight the various historical and geologic features of these unique sandstone bluffs, while your eye takes in the panoramic view of the pristine woodlands below.

Hike this family friendly trail and see a variety of wind and rain sculpted sandstone formations that are sure to peak the interest of even the most experienced hiker. Don’t forget to check out the most famous rock formation located along the trail, Camel Rock. Be sure to see the other popular rock formations such as Anvil Rock and Mushroom Rock.

Garden of the Gods Extended Hiking Trails

Are you wanting a more extended hike? 5.5 miles of interconnecting trails traverse the landscape of Garden of the Gods. See a variety of flora and fauna specific to Southern Illinois. Enjoy the delicate wildflowers of Spring  or the beautiful colors of Autumn while you traverse the Garden of the Gods. Make Garden of the Gods a day trip and bring lunch to eat at one of the various picnicking sites located along the trails.

Equestrian trails and hiker-only trails meet up with the River to River trail along this scenic valley. Each trail is marked by a different color making the hikes easy to navigate. If you are looking for a wonderful family friendly and educational afternoon along the observation trail or a more vigorous hiking or horseback riding experience, Garden of the Gods in Southern Illinois has everything you want and more.


Take Exit 54 off of Interstate 57 and follow Illinois 13 East for 25 miles. Turn Right onto US 45 in Harrisburg, IL and continue South for 1 mile. Then, turn Left onto Illinois 34 and follow the highway for 16 miles until you reach Karbers Ridge Road. Turn left onto Karbers Ridge Road  and follow the road East for 3 miles. Turn Left onto Illinois 10 and continue for around 1 mile. Finally, turn left onto Garden of the Gods Road and look for the recreation area to your left.

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Observation Trail
Herod 62947 IL US
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Dawn - Dusk