Hike Ondessonk- Nature hikes are Camp Ondessonk’s specialty. No place in the State of Illinois can surpass the scenic grandeur of the back trails of the Shawnee National Forest. The breathtaking heights of huge stone sandstone bluffs and ridges, the lush bottoms, the thick oak/hickory forest, canyons, and pre-historic Native American sites all make for unforgettable hikes.
Hike Ondessonk-The Moccasin Gap Trail:
The Moccasin Gap Trail utilizes a series of scenic and challenging trails within -and surrounding- Camp Ondessonk. This rugged 10-mile route will take hikers past some of the outdoor highlights of Camp Ondessonk, such as Cedar Falls (the highest free-falling waterfall in the state) and past one of the 11 known Native American Stone Fort sites in Southern Illinois. The trail departs Camp to wind up the ridges and through the sandstone creek valleys of the surrounding Shawnee National Forest eventually joining up with the River to River Trail. Hikers will cross rock-bottom creeks, traverse ridge lines on old Forest Service roads, and climb a series of switchbacks -including a stretch of trail boasting over a mile of sustained climb to a historic U.S. Forest Service fire observation tower. The Moccasin Gap Trail is utilized annually to host the charity to run to help raise funds for the Camp Ondessonk Scholarship Fund. For more information about the Moccasin Gap Trail Race click here.
Natural Areas and Attractions
Pakentuck- The largest free falling waterfall in Illinois is located conveniently on Camp Ondessonk 983 acres. Hikers are invited to enjoy the rock formations as they traverse along the challenging terrain.