With arrival of winter, Shawnee National Forest seasonal closures slated

With the arrival of winter in December, the U.S. Forest Service is announcing seasonal closures that will be in effect across the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois, including Union County. The first day of winter is Dec. 21.

Seasonal forest road closures are scheduled to start Thursday, today.

A free motor vehicle use map is available at Forest Service offices in Harrisburg and Vienna.

The map lists all Forest Service roads and exact closure dates.  

The map is also available online at www.fs.usda.gov/main/shawnee/maps-pubs.  

Campgrounds that will close for the winter season starting on Dec. 15 include Red Bud Campground (Bell Smith Springs), Pine Ridge Campground (Pounds Hollow), Tower Rock and Johnson Creek Campgrounds.  

Most campgrounds are scheduled to reopen on March 15, 2022, except for, Tower Rock Campground which is scheduled to reopen May 1.  

The Forest Service noted that for those who enjoy camping in all seasons, Pharaoh Campground (Garden of the Gods), Camp Cadiz, Oak Point Campground (Lake Glendale) and Pine Hills Campgrounds (in Union County) are open year-round.

For trail enthusiasts, the Forest Service asks everyone to remember that there is a seasonal wilderness trail restriction prohibiting stock use between Dec. 1 and March 31 that includes the following: Lusk Creek, Garden of the Gods and Bay Creek Wildernesses.  

The restrictions are necessary to protect wilderness resources, the Forest Service noted.

The latest information can be found by visiting the Shawnee National Forest’s website at www.fs.usda.gov/shawnee or on social media at www.facebook.com/shawneenatlforest or twitter.com/shawneenf. 

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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