The living beauty of the Shawnee National Forest spreads to the west and south of Murphysboro, with many points of interest only miles away. The forest is topographically diverse, covering 1/4 million richly wooded acres full of natural formations including lakes, ponds, rivers, rock formations, caves, hills and bluffs.
Other natural wonders are nearby. As the Big Muddy River winds its way to the Mississippi, it loops around the Little Grand Canyon National Recreational Trail, where steps carved in stone lead visitors down into a ruggedly scenic valley where ferns and other rare plants grow.
Oakwood Bottoms and Turkey Bayou offer glimpses of a forgotten natural landscape. Remote wilderness and wetlands access gives visitors a close up look at wild animal and plant life through walking trails and scenic overlooks.
The Pomona Natural Bridge is a natural stone formation located only 10 miles south of Murphysboro. The unique sandstone arch was carved by water over thousands of years.
Other notable sites within convenient driving or bicycling distance include Cedar Lake, Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge, Giant City State Park or the spectacular stone bluffs of Pine Hill.
These habitats are rich in wildlife of all varieties. Scheduled hunting seasons are available for deer, goose, pheasant, quail, rabbit, squirrel and turkey.