Shawnee Forest

Safe Shawnee Hiking with Expert Hiker Shawn Gossman

Apr 16, 2021
WSIU/Kevin boucher

Over the last several weeks, several hikers have sustained injuries after falling in the Shawnee National Forest.  On this edition of WSIU InFocus, we speak with hiking expert Shawn Gossman about how to enjoy southern Illinois' natural areas while staying out of the emergency room.

Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

The Shawnee National Forest has temporarily closed a popular lookout tower because of a large hole in the fence around the platform.

The Forest Service plans to fix it as soon as possible.

Provided by Mark Motsinger

As WSIU concludes this hike, taken in November of 2016, Carrier Mills History Teacher Mark Motsinger talks in detail about the Stone Walls of Southern Illinois,.

Provided by Mark Motsinger

In mid November of 2016, WSIU's Kevin Boucher took a hike up on Murray Bluff, in Saline County with Carrier Mills History Teacher Mark Motsinger. 

An event this fall in southern Illinois will try to develop strategies to address what organizers say is the urgent crisis of climate change.


Even though the manhunt is over in the Shawnee National Forest, parts of the federally managed land will remain closed for a few more days.

WSIU/Kevin Boucher

In Union County each year, the United States Forest Service temporarily closes the popular gravel road known as  Snake Road, to vehicular traffic until May 15th.  This is done to allow for safe passage of the myriad of reptiles and amphibian species as they migrate from the safety of the wintering dens, in the rocks and crevices of the bluffs, to the lowland swamps to spend the warm weather eating and breeding.  When people hear of the Snake Road they often first think of venomous Water Moccasins and Copperheads.  And, while it is true that these two snakes can often be seen at the site, wh

Goat's Rue plant at Dixon Springs State Park
Kevin Boucher

Chris Benda is a Botanist, and the President of the Illinois Native Plant Society, and in this feature he leads a group of hikers on a wildflower hike at Dixon Springs State Park in Pope County Illinois.