Beautiful state and national parks form the centerpiece of outdoor recreation opportunities in the Carbondale region.
Illinois’ largest expanse of wooded land, the Shawnee National Forest, is located in the heart of Southern Illinois. Its 273,000 acres are a major attraction for outdoor lovers, offering wilderness trails, archaeological sites, waterfalls, drives along the National Scenic Byways, swimming, and bicycling.
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge's 44,000 acres of land and water contain a wide diversity of flora and fauna and provide significant resting areas for migratory birds along the Mississippi Flyway. Hunting, fishing, camping, boating, swimming, environmental education, and wildlife observation are available here.
Giant City State Park offers breathtaking sandstone bluffs, many wilderness trails, hundreds of species of wildflowers, and the rustic Giant City Lodge, a popular lodging and dining stop. Recreation in the park includes camping, hiking, horseback riding, fishing and boating, and rappelling.
Rounding out local choices are great golf, beautiful public city parks with diverse amenities, and a variety of local festivals and events that cover every month of the calendar.
Carbondale Park District
Giant City State Park
Giant City Lodge / Stable / Vistor Center
Shawnee Hills Forest
Shawnee Hills Wine Trail
Hickory Ridge Golf Course
River to River Trail