This site is dedicated to the enjoyment of the Shawnee National Forest and the State Parks of Southern Illinois. Our goal is to provide insight into the unique natural wonders situated in the Shawnee Hills.
What exactly are the Shawnee Hills?
According to Exploring the Land and Rocks of Southern Illinois by Stanley E. Harris, Jr., C. William Horrell and Daniel Irwin, the Shawnee Hills Division is explained in the following:
The backbone of Southern Illinois is a continuous ridge extending from Battery Rock overlooking the Ohio River to Horseshoe Bluff overlooking the Mississippi Valley. ….. The highest elevations and deepest canyons are found along this ridge. Here is our loveliest scenery.
My non-technical description is that the Shawnee Hills are an undulating landscape roughly located below Route 13 extending to the wetlands of the most southern tip of Illinois. It is a land composed of sandstone bluff vistas and tumbling seasonal waterfalls. In this area our own form of hoodoos located at the Garden of the Gods reside and hidden fractured rock have created inspiring natural bridges.
Main Contributor & Site Manager
Hello! My name is Gary Marks and I am a native of Southern Illinois. I was born and raised in the Shawnee Hills. Being brought up on a farm I was subjected to many natural events, but it was not until 1999 that I actively took an interest in the natural world beyond the farm. It was then that I received my first digital camera for Christmas. I soon ran out of places to take photos so I ended up going to La-Rue Pine Hills and hiked to Inspiration Point. It was there I become hooked and I was soon reading topography maps trying to find new place to explore and discover.
It has been over ten years now since I got that first camera and I now have many miles hiking behind me and have filled up several hard drives full of photos. It was only this year 2010 that I felt I had enough knowledge of the area that I needed to share it with others. So this website is my small attempt to bring the Shawnee Hills and Southern Illinois into the spotlight.
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