Explore Southernmost Illinois by Region

WESTERN REGION

Whether you’re looking for one-of-a-kind art, wine, or antiques, or exploring the great outdoors, the Shawnee Hills can take you there. The Shawnee National Forest is waiting for your adventures. For fun on the water you can make a splash at Kinkaid Lake, go fishing at Lake Murphysboro or bait your hook at the serene Cedar Lake. Golf and orchards also offer a fantastic opportunity to get outdoors and have some fun. As you travel the rolling Southern Illinois countryside you can sip your way along and discover truly surprising and authentic wine culture in the Shawnee Hills American Viticultural area, Illinois’ first region acknowledged for its distinctive winemaking properties.

CENTRAL REGION

With its breathtaking natural beauty and great opportunities for outdoor recreation, the central region has an old railway converted bike path, The Tunnel Hill State Trail, a 48-mile trail winding through farmland, thick woods, lush wetlands and a tunnel for which it was named. The Cache River Wetlands contains 60,000 acres of beautiful forests and wetlands. Canoe the Cache and you might see otters, bobcats, whitetail deer, bald eagles, herons, egrets, Sandhill Cranes and even the occasional Anhinga (the snake bird). Nearby in the town of Metropolis, the official Home of Superman proudly honors their favorite son with a 15-foot bronze statue of the Man of Steel right in the middle of Superman Square.

EASTERN REGION

Drawn by the mighty Ohio River and the lush green forests along her shore, early Europeans settled in these Illinois Ozarks during the late 1700s. Today the quiet hills and river towns beckon visitors for a different kind of vacation. Little changed from the early years, this corner of southeastern Illinois offers a pleasant diversion for travelers seeking the road less traveled. This is a land of natural beauty unequaled anywhere in the state. Surrounded by the Shawnee National Forest, scenic roads guide you along the Ohio River and through rolling hills with mysterious hollows, rocky bluffs, curious rock formations and hardwood forests.
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