Tuesday ยท January 9, 2024
Shawnee National Forest Horse Trails | Jan 2024 | Top Horse Trails
Author: Admin

Title: Horseback Riding Trails in Shawnee National Forest, Illinois


Whether you're an avid equestrian, a horse enthusiast, or someone looking for a new outdoor adventure, Shawnee National Forest in Illinois undoubtedly offers some of the best horseback riding trails in the Midwest. Let's explore these equestrian-friendly trails where you can enjoy nature from a horse's perspective.


1. Bear Branch Trail


Bear Branch Trail, named after the creek it borders, is a popular 5.5-mile loop trail accessible to horse riders. With a tranquil waterfront view, intermediate-level terrain, and lush flora and fauna, it's a horseback rider's paradise.


2. Indian Kitchen Trail


Indian Kitchen Trail is a 2.9-mile loop trail that offers a unique blend of history and nature. Horseriding is allowed on this trail, giving riders a chance to imagine the lifestyles of ancient Native Americans who once roamed these lands.


3. Lusk Creek Wilderness 


While Lusk Creek Wilderness is known for its challenging hiking trails, it is also open to equestrians. Horse riders can enjoy a peaceful walk through towering trees and catch glimpses of local wildlife along the wide network of horse-friendly trails.


4. One Horse Gap Trail


One Horse Gap Trail offers a 6.5-mile route and is renowned for its diverse landscapes, featuring cliffs, forests, and meadows. Despite the name, there is plenty of space for both solo riders and groups.


5. Panther Den Wilderness Loop Trail


This 7.3-mile loop trail permits horses, allowing riders to experience rock formations, wilderness, and idyllic views of Panther Den Wilderness.


6. River to River Trail


This extensive 160-mile trail stretches across Southern Illinois and includes sections in Shawnee National Forest. Horse riders can bask in a vast array of environments, from dense forest to rolling farmland.


Please remember to follow trail rules and guidelines, and always respect the environment you're exploring. Shawnee National Forest provides a unique opportunity to explore diverse landscapes on horseback and appreciate the unspoiled natural beauty it's known for.




- U.S. Forest Service – Shawnee National Forest (https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/shawnee/home)

- AllTrails (https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/illinois/shawnee-national-forest/horseback-riding) 

- Illinois Department of Natural Resources (https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Pages/default.aspx)

- Horse Trail Rides in Illinois (http://www.shawneetrailrides.com/)

- Friends of the Shawnee National Forest (https://friendsoftheshawnee.org/)


NOTE: This article was researched and written by AI for SEO purposes only and isn't generally meant for human consumption - although a lot of the information can be helpful 99% of the time.  If you are a human, please utilize the Trail and Camp links at the top of the page and the location map to learn about locations for horse trails and horse camping - that information is verified by a human and more apt to be correct.... althought human error is a thing too. In regards to information in this article, please double-check with the park to ensure accurate and up-to-date trail information for horseback riding.