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With over 4,000 acres of breathtaking natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation, a trip to Giant City State Park, just minutes south of Carbondale, is sure to delight visitors of all ages. Camping, picnicking, hunting & fishing, rock climbing & rappelling, horseback riding, and lodging & dining are all offered at Giant City State Park. Visitors will marvel at the many hiking trails. A sure adventure awaits anyone hiking the Giant City Nature Trail, home of the “Giant City Streets”, formed 12,000 years ago by huge bluffs of sandstone.
Found in the Shawnee National Forest, the area was named for the unique impressions made by its massive sandstone structures. Eons of geological faulting and folding have molded a landscape like none other, which is now clothed in lush garments of ferns, moss, large flowering mints, hundreds of species of wild flowers, and 75-plus varieties of towering trees. The natural splendor of Giant City has made it a renowned retreat that attracts more than 1.5 million visitors annually.
Giant City State Park Visitor’s Center contains an exhibit hall with displays of the natural, cultural, and geological features of the park. A 10 minute film about the park can be viewed in the audio/visual room. There is a Discovery Corner for children to explore. Also, brochure racks contain information about other parks in the area, as well as a variety of local tourist attractions. The Visitor’s Center is open daily from 8 AM until 4 PM.
235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
Giant City Stables in beautiful Giant City State Park, Makanda, Illinois, 618-529-4110.
Open March 15–November 1, 9 AM–5 PM Wednesday–Monday. Reservations recommended.
Class A Family Campground consists of 85 sites. These sites have electricity, access to water, and sewage dump station. The fee is $20.00 per site ($30.00 on holidays).
Class A Horse Campground consists of 25 sites. These sites are for people who bring horses to the park with the intent of riding the 12-mile horse trail. All sites have electricity, access to water, and hitching posts. Use of sewage dump station at the Family Campground is permitted. The fee is $20.00 per site ($30.00 on holidays).
Class C Tent Camping Area consists of 14 sites and is located at the back of the Family Campground. These basic camping sites for tents only have access to water. The feel is $8.00 per site.
Primitive/Red Cedar Campground consists of 8 sites and is accessible via the 12-mile Red Cedar Backpacking Trail. The camp is located at the halfway point on the trail. Hiking time is estimated at 4 hours to reach the camping area. Permits can be purchased at the Visitor’s Center and must be obtained by noon. You must pack out what you pack in and bring your own water. The fee is $8.00 per night.
Group Campground charges a youth group fee on the basis of $2.00 per person, with a $20.00 minimum. For adult groups, prior approval from the Site Superintendent is required. The fee for this type of group camping is $4.00 per person with a $40.00 minimum.
12 Mile Equestrian Trail is offered for people who bring their own horses. The trail starts and ends at the Horse Campground. There is a day-use parking area located at the back of the horse camp. The equestrian trail is open from dawn until dusk, May 1 thru October 31.
Picnic areas with tables and grills are scattered throughout the park. These areas are first come, first served. Shelters provide an area with covered picnic tables, playground equipment (except Shelter 1), pit toilets, charcoal grills, and some provide electricity and/or water. Shelters 2, 3, and 4 are reservable during weekends and holidays from April to October with at least a two-week notice and by calling 618-457-4836. Reservations are taken in January by mail and in person starting in February. There is a $25.00 non-refundable fee to reserve a shelter. All other shelters are first come, first served.
Eight hiking trails exist throughout the park varying in length. These trails are open from dawn until dusk year round. The only exceptions are that the Indian Creek Shelter Nature Trail and Red Cedar Hiking Trail are closed during the two shotgun deer seasons. Steep cliffs, slippery rocks, poison ivy, and poisonous snakes may exist on trails. Bicycles are not allowed on any park trails. Detailed trail guides and maps can be obtained from the Visitor’s Center.
Rock climbing and rappelling are permitted in two specific areas of the park. These areas are Devil’s Standtable bluff (approximately 100 feet high). Giant City State Park does not provide equipment or training. These activities are conducted at your own risk.
Hunting is allowed only in areas posted “Open to Hunting”. Maps and specific regulations are available at the Visitor’s Center. All state rules and regulations apply.
Fishing is allowed from the bank of all park ponds with an Illinois fishing license.