Newsletter Fall 2021


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The Friends of the Shawnee National Forest is a nonprofit organization that supports the Shawnee National Forest by promoting land stewardship, environmental education and responsible outdoor recreation. 


Arguably, fall is the most dramatic season in the Shawnee National Forest. The leaves begin to change and the forest opens up a bit. A great season for hiking, mountain biking and exploring. We hope to see you out there.

When you do, please remember to leave the Shawnee a better place before you arrived. If you want to help do just that, read below.

Find out more information about the Shawnee National Forest at

Come Celebrate National Public Lands Day

Join the Friends of the Shawnee National Forest as we celebrate National Public Lands Day with three upcoming trash blasts.

The first one takes place Tuesday, Sept. 21 at Pounds Hollow at 10 a.m. Meet at the main parking lot. 

Then Saturday, Sept. 25 come celebrate National Public Lands day with two trash blasts!  Both start at 10 a.m.

Over on the east side of the Shawnee we’ll meet at 10 a.m. at the Observation Trail parking lot at Garden of the Gods.  Enjoy outstanding weather and scenery at Garden of the Gods while volunteering to help keep one of the most beautiful spots in the Midwest free of trash.

Over on the west side, we’ll meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Trailhead at Cove Hollow. Located off Illinois 127 along Dutch Ridge Road, Cove Hollow follows the northwest end of Cedar Lake and features stunning sandstone bluffs and waterfalls.

Wear long pants, sturdy shoes and bring gloves, water and a snack. While social distancing is expected, please wear a mask. Trash bags will be provided.

For questions or directions, reach out to us at

Illinois Extension hosts two  upcoming trash blasts

Sign up now for two upcoming trash blasts partnered by the Friends of the Shawnee National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service, and the University of Illinois Extension.
Friday, Oct. 1 at Ripple Hollow and Friday, Nov. 5 at Grantsburg Swamp.

Register at

Bring some work gloves. While social distancing is likely, please bring a mask. A map will be provided the Monday before each trash blast.

2021 Trails Assessment Progresses in the Shawnee

The assessment phase conducted by trail assessors Alyssa Macuiba and Peter Hauser completed new trail assessments in designated wilderness areas in the Shawnee National Forest. Their work provided valuable information for evaluating whether the trails are consistent with the wilderness character of the Shawnee Wilderness Areas and if trail remediation will be needed.

Pete left the project to continue his academic and athletic career at Central College. We wish him well. Phase II involves forest information bulletin boards installation. Alyssa Macuiba and Jake Deford are pouring concrete foundations for thirteen new information boards at eleven recreation sites in the Shawnee.

Please Show Your Support For Our Mission.

Shawnee Map Bundles                                East and West Side Maps 

A six map bundle for multi-day hiking trips and exploration around the Shawnee National Forest in loop trails. Locations include One Horse Gap, High Knob, Trigg Tower, Garden of the Gods, Lusk Creek and Clear Springs Wilderness. Six waterproof maps in one bundle. Visit our store at:

Our popular east and west side maps are perfect for your next Shawnee road trip! Visit our store at:

Contact us If you have a business that would like to carry maps, or a group that would like to buy in bulk at

Leave it Better T-shirt                         Garden of the Gods T-shirt 

Available in sand and grey in six different sizes. Only $20. See more information at for details.  Thank you for your support.
Available in yellow and tan in six different sizes.  Only $25.See more information at for details.  Thank you for your support.