To protect fragile ecosystems and prevent soil compaction and erosion the Shawnee National Forest offers limited opportunities for rock climbing and rappelling. Therefore rock climbing and rappelling are not allowed in any of the 80 designated natural areas, which include Garden of the Gods Observation Trail and Rim Rock National Recreation Trail.
Currently rock climbing and rappelling are being permitted at Jackson Falls, near Ozark, IL on the Hidden Springs Ranger District; contact the Ranger District for more information, 618-658-2111. When rock climbing or rappelling please learn and practice the following outdoor ethics and safety measures:
- Please use existing pitches to minimize impacts to vegetation in the area.
- Use the proper gear and keep it maintained.
- Use existing or removable pitons.
- Be courteous to other visitors.
- Practice safety – don’t climb alone and let someone know of your travel plans.
- Pack it in, pack it out
Please contact a local tourism bureau for more information on available sources for this sport.