Shawnee Challenge is a self-supported, no time limit, complete at your own pace outdoor endurance challenge consisting of hiking and mountain biking or solely hiking or solely mountain biking.

Participants sign up for the challenge for free at, record the challenge with their favorite activity recording app (such as Map My Ride, Strava, Gaia, etc.) and submit it online when they are finished with the challenge. Those who complete the challenge get a free sticker made only for those who finish the Shawnee Challenge. Optionally, the are also listed on the website for completing the challenge as well.

RULES: There are few rules other than participants must either mix hiking and mountain biking or just hike or mountain bike the challenge route. Participants can do half the route one day and the other half another day. There is no time limit whatsoever and no official support, either. Participants must live in the United States to get a sticker sent to them (completely free). The app used to record the activity must be able to be shared to the public in order to it to count.

ROUTE: The route is located at Dixon Springs State Park and Lake Glendale Recreation Area. It uses a 12-mile hiking and mountain biking designated trail system consisting of loops and out and back segments. The route, while appropriate for most people of all ages and abilities, may be considered rugged and challenge at times. The route can be accessed either at Lake Glendale near the beach or at Dixon Springs State Park near the tent camping area.

SAFETY: Hikers should watch their step and be alert of any hazards, snakes, downed trees, and cliffs. Mountain bikers should wear a helmet and ensure their bicycle is ready for rougher trails. Safety should always be a number one priority. Make sure you bring plenty of water and food and tell someone where you will be before you venture out.

PARTNERS: This challenge is brought to you by Hiking with Shawn and Southernmost Illinois Tourism. We would like to thank our partners at Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Friends of the Shawnee National Forest, Shawnee Mountain Bike Association, and others.

FUTURE: In the future, we hope to add additional challenge activities of horseback riding and paddling allowing participants to choose from the disciplines they want to do or do them all.

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Head for the Hills of Shawnee Forest Country – in Southernmost Illinois - Travel Taste and Tour Magazine · September 19, 2022 at 5:18 pm

[…] bike, or rent one along the 50 mile Tunnel Hill Trail; or venture out on moderately rugged mountain bike trails that include creek crossings, switchbacks, hilly and rocky terrain.  Rock climbing, repelling […]

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