Saturday, October 3, 2015

Garden of the Gods, Shawnee National Forest

Garden of the Gods is just one of 7 unique Wilderness areas in Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. We stayed in a National Forest Campground here while exploring the area.

A developed trail leads to and among the most prominent rock formations near the campground.
Visitors, especially young ones enjoy scrambling on the rocks.  
I don't do much rock-scrambling any more, so pretty much stayed on the trail. 

 The fascinating rock formations are the result of millions of years of erosion forces upon the sandstone.

A little fall color... 
Looking out over the Shawnee National Forest 

 In the middle of the picture you can just make out other rock formations in the distance.

A large white dog looks like a mountain goat over there. 

 Nothing like a crisp fall day for enjoying a hike.
 Note the tree in the center growing atop the rock.
 This formation is named Devil's Smokestack.

 Can you see the wedged boulder about 2/3 from the top.

 Perhaps the most prominent formation is Camel Rock, seen here.

 A man helping his children "scramble" on the rocks.
Close-up of Camel Rock. 
 Some scrambling was easier than others.

 There were places to sit and imagine...

Trees are very adaptable... 

There are rumors that Bigfoot has been seen in these parts...

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