Hike, Bike, Paddle & Ride: A Shawnee National Forest Adventure
Discover the Shawnee National Forest by canoe, foot, horseback and bike as you enjoy expert-led excursions, spot wildlife and gather ‘round the campfire to learn the region’s story.
Program No. 13605RJ
6 days
Starts at
Getting There
See travel details and required documents

At a Glance

The hidden gem of Southern Illinois is a close-kept secret of outdoor enthusiasts filled with deep canyons, waterfalls, rock-bottom creeks and cypress swamps. Hike, bike, paddle and ride on horseback through oak-hickory hardwood forests, open pastures, sandstone canyons and the northernmost cypress swamp in America. naturalists interpret the area’s natural and cultural history where north, south, east and west overlap creating one of the most biologically diverse regions on the continent.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hiking 3.5 miles over wooded and some rocky terrain. Paddling 1.5 miles on flat water. Horseback riding three hours: one hour of instruction, two-hour trail ride. Bike riding 15+ miles on flat to downgrade railroad bed.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Hike through oak-hickory forest and sandstone canyons to the highest free-falling waterfall in Illinois.
  • Bike down an 1800s-era railroad grade through scenic countryside and ride horses through Camp Ondessonk's rolling pastures and wooded hills.
  • Paddle through an ancient cypress swamp watching for bald eagles and spend your evenings exploring the nocturnal world and gathered around the campfire as you rest for the next day’s adventure.

General Notes

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
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Meagan Walters
Originally from Somerset, Pennsylvania, Meagan Walters came to Camp Ondessonk as the equestrian director in June 2012. Before that, she studied at the University of Pittsburgh and worked on a number of ranches out west. Meagan has an undying passion for horses and she loves to work outside. On her days off she can be found playing with her two horses or reading a good book.
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Meagan Walters
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