Giant City State Park

Just got back from a 3 night stay in Giant City State Park in Southern Illinois. Between the state park and the Shawnee National Forest and Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge (and and and) there is a ton of protected land around the southern tip of Illinois with many good size undeveloped lakes. It’s also a great area for hiking.

Our campsite

The park was not crowded

Cedar Lake

Devil’s Tabletop

Lots of great hiking trails. There are many natural caves and shelters; the area was occupied 10000 years ago and Europeans didn’t arrive until 1850.

Shawnee National Forest

Devil’s Kitchen Lake


I stopped at Giant City on my way home from the Spring Rendezvous. I hiked a good bit but didn’t think of it as a paddling destination. Thanks for sharing the pictures and making me aware of the paddling possibilities.

I went to school in Carbondale - fantastic outdoor recreation opportunities in that area. Cedar Lake was one of my favs. Supposedly the northernmost cypress swamps in the country are in that area too, also great for paddling.

Nice pics, thanks for sharing!

Thanks for mentioning the swamp, I heard about it and got some info and plan to check it out next time. I met my wife at SIU but that was long before my paddling days. I used to ride my bike to Cedar Lake and sometimes swim there so it was fascinating for me to paddle out of the one cove and finally see what’s around the corner in both directions.

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