How Much Is It to Camp at Shawnee National Forest?

Shawnee National Forest, located in southern Illinois, is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a camping adventure. With more than 280,000 acres of forest, prairie and bayou, Shawnee National Forest offers a variety of recreational activities and camping opportunities.

Whether you’re looking to rough it in the backcountry or camp in an organized campground with amenities like running water and showers, Shawnee National Forest has something to offer. The US Forest Service manages most of the campsites and amenities found at Shawnee National Forest, so it’s important to know what type of camping experience you’re looking for before you plan your trip.

Backcountry camping is available throughout the forest. This type of camping requires visitors to be self-sufficient and be prepared for any situation that might arise.

Campers must pack their own gear and supplies as well as practice Leave No Trace principles. Backcountry campers are also required to obtain a free permit from the USFS before they can set up camp.

Organized campgrounds are located throughout the forest as well, offering visitors amenities such as running water and showers. Some of these sites are first-come-first-serve while others require reservations from either or Reserve America up to six months in advance. Fees vary by site but range from $12-$30 per night depending on the type of site and number of people staying at the campsite.

Shawnee National Forest also offers other lodging options like cabins, lodges and group campsites if you don’t feel like roughing it in a tent or RV. Fees for these services vary depending on the type of accommodation requested but can range anywhere from $65-$125 per night.

In conclusion, how much it costs to camp at Shawnee National Forest depends on what type of camping experience you are looking for and what type of accommodation you choose. Backcountry camping is free but requires permits from the USFS while organized campgrounds start at $12 per night for tent sites up to $125 per night for group cabins or lodges.

Photo of author

Chris Powell