Boat dock and boat on lake near Shawnee National Forest

8 Top Cabins for Rent Near Shawnee National Forest

Shawnee National Forest, sometimes referred to as Shawnee National Park, is located in Southern Illinois, between the Mississippi River and Ohio River. If you’re an avid outdoorsy person, you’ll love spending time in the woodlands, hills, and lakes of Shawnee. To help you with your travel plans, we took some time to research the area to find the top cabins near Shawnee National Forest for rent.

Get ready for some amazing outdoor adventures! Southern Illinois is an outdoor lover’s paradise. All you have to do is choose your daily adventure. Will it be hiking, fishing, rock climbing, kayaking, or star gazing?

Why Visit Shawnee National Forest?

The Shawnee National Forest, covering 289,000 acres of beautiful wild lands, offers an incredible number of outdoor activities, including:

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Camping
  • Wildlife and Nature Photography
  • Scenic Waterfall Views

This forest land area contains canyons and valleys, waterfalls, cliffs, and lakes. It’s known as the Illinois Ozarks and the landscape is absolutely stunning. Visit Shawnee for the vast number of opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration.

Remember to also plan some time to check out the Southern Illinois Wine trail!

Within Shawnee National Forest are a multitude of parks, including State Parks, City Parks, established campgrounds, and dispersed camping. If you enjoy spending time outdoors, you will love the experience of visiting Southern Illinois.

There really is something for everyone in your entire family to enjoy.

Best Time to Visit

The park is open year round. The best time to visit this forest land is really based on your personal interests. If you plan on hiking, I would suggest visiting the area in either Spring or Fall. The cooler temperatures and changing seasons deliver breathtaking hikes through Shawnee.

Likewise, Fall is a great time for a road trip through the area to view the autumn foliage. The dry, warm months of summer are a great time to plan your next camping trip to Shawnee National Forest.

As promised, let’s explore the list of top rated cabin rentals in the area so you can start planning your trip to Shawnee National Park!

Amazing Cabins near Shawnee National Forest

These listings are available on VRBO, which offers thousands of rental options across Illinois. You can, of course, do your own searches. I simply wanted to help you out in an effort to ease your planning and maybe instill a little inspiration for outdoor travel.

I took the time to research, review and narrow down the many options in this local area near Shawnee to help you with your travel plans. These are 5 star rated cabins. If you do book through one of the links, we may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you, of course). We use the earnings to help cover the costs of maintaining this website.

Our research criteria was based on proximity to the forest and other resources such as restaurants and local activities, cabin amenities, and ratings. I hope this helps you find the best cabin for your travel adventures.

You and your friends and family will soon enjoy a list of amazing outdoor adventures, from hiking and fishing to biking, rock climbing, and swimming. At the end of a memorable day, you can relax in a private hot tub and reminisce about the wildlife, beautiful landscape sightings, and your favorite glass from the wine tasting tour.

Be sure to stop by Blue Sky Vineyard in Makanda.

Here we go! This is our list of the best cabins currently available for rent near Shawnee National Park.

Our Pick of the Best Cabins

Cabin Sleeps 12 with Outdoor Pool

  • Location: Murphysboro, Illinois
  • Sleeps: 12
Image Credit: VRBO

This 5 bedroom and 3 bathroom rental has a pretty expansive feel for a cabin. It sleeps 12 and is located within a ten minute drive from the General John A. Logan Museum and Shawnee National Forest.

  • Full kitchen, Fireplace, Washer/Dryer, Grill, Private hot tub, Outdoor pool
  • Air conditioning, Free Wi-Fi
  • Minimum age to rent is 21 years
  • Children allowed
  • Parking on property
  • Located near John Logan Museum, Murphysboro State Park, Shawnee National Forest
  • A few restaurants are located nearby including fast food and local taverns
  • No pets, No smoking, No events

Cozy Cabin with 1 Bedroom and 1 Bath

  • Location: Goreville, Illinois
  • Sleeps: Up to 4
Small brown cabin with white door for rent near Shawnee National Forest
Image Credit: VRBO

This cozy cabin has a queen bed in the one private bedroom and can also accommodate up to 2 more guests on a double futon, which is in the common living area. This cabin in the woods may be perfect for solo hikers or a couple seeking a romantic getaway. It’s located near Lake of Egypt and only about five minutes from beautiful hiking at Ferne Clyffe.

For the hikers, note that Panther Den Trailhead and Harmony Trailhead are located in the Goreville area.

This is the cabin for when you want to soothe your soul, rest and relax. It is within walking distance to Shawnee National Forest.

  • Kitchen includes refrigerator, microwave, toaster, and coffee maker
  • Charcoal grill
  • Air conditioning, Free Wi-Fi
  • Parking on property
  • Minimum age to rent is 21 years
  • Children allowed
  • Up to 2 pets allowed
  • Located near Tunnel Hill, Blue Sky Winery, Walks Bluff Winery, and Lake of Egypt
  • A few restaurants are located nearby, including fast food and wineries
  • No smoking, No group events

Kayak, Fish, and Swim on Lake Egypt

  • Location: Goreville, Illinois
  • Sleeps: 10
Brown cabin on slope seen from Lake of Egypt in Southern Illinois
Image Credit: VRBO

This could be an outdoor lovers dream cabin. It’s a waterfront property with three bedrooms that sleeps up to 10 people. Enjoy a lake cruise on the pontoon (boat experience required) and explore Lake Egypt on kayaks! Enjoy hiking, kayaking, and bird watching from this lakeside property. If you have kids, check out Williamson County Fairgrounds.

  • Lakefront property, Outdoor fire pit, Kayaks, Pontoon boat
  • Full eat-in kitchen, Gas fireplace, Washer/Dryer
  • Air conditioning, Free Wi-Fi
  • Minimum age to rent is 24 years
  • Children allowed
  • Located along Lake Egypt and near Shawnee National Forest, Panther Den Trailhead and Harmony Trailhead
  • A few restaurants are located nearby including Wendy’s and Katy-Lynn Winery
  • No pets, No smoking, No group events

Pet Friendly Lakeside Cabin

  • Location: Goreville, Illinois
  • Sleeps: 6
Long boat dock with pontoon at sunset
Image Credit: VRBO

This deep water lakefront vacation home is located in a perfect spot for those of you who love the outdoors. Fish, swim, enjoy a pontoon boat ride, or kayak on Lake Egypt. You can also enjoy the natural environment of Goreville with hikes through Panther Den Trailhead and Harmony Trailhead. The drive time from Williamson County Regional Airport to this cabin is approximately 30 minutes.

  • Walking distance to Shawnee National Forest
  • Full Kitchen, Grill, Washer/Dryer, Grill, Hot tub
  • Air Conditioning, Free Wi-Fi
  • 24′ Pontoon (additional charge), Kayaks, and Water sports gear
  • Minimum age to rent is 21 years
  • Long-term rentals allowed, Children allowed
  • Smoking allowed in designated areas
  • Pet friendly rental allows 1 or 2 dogs up to 20 pounds each
  • Located near Lake of Egypt, Shawnee National Forest, Ferne Clyffe State Park, and area for viewing total Solar Eclipse (visible every 7+ years)
  • Big Blues Que, Subway, Katy-Lynn Winery, and a few other restaurants are nearby
  • No events for large groups allowed

Continue reading below for the most popular spots near Shawnee National Forest.

Large Lakefront Rental Near Wine Trail

  • Location: Goreville, Illinois
  • Sleeps: 11
Large rental house and boat dock seen from lake
Image Credit: VRBO

There is an abundance of outdoor activities available on the property for the whole family. Guests can enjoy boating, kayaking, and fishing on the lake. You may also want to make use of the grill, furnished deck, and outdoor fire pit to spend more time soaking in a beautiful sunset lakeside sunset. Note that there are a number of interior and exterior stairs.

Another great way to enjoy the local area is to explore the many award winning wineries. You can tour the wine trail along Highway 127 to visit various vineyards and microbrews. There are also quaint local shops where you can buy unique souvenirs and gifts.

This secluded house, referred to as Eagles Nest Chalet, is located about 35 minutes drive from the Williamson County Regional (MWA) Airport in Marion, Illinois. It is less than 4 miles from I-57 and I-24.

  • Full Kitchen, Full bathroom, Washer/Dryer, Grill
  • Outdoor fire pit, Water sports gear, Kayaks, Canoe, Paddle board
  • Air Conditioning, Free Wi-Fi
  • Children allowed
  • Located near Tunnel Hill State Trail, Shawnee National Forest
  • A few quick service restaurants, local taverns, and wineries located nearby
  • No pets, No smoking, No parties or group events

Deep water Lake Fishing Retreat for the Family

  • Location: Goreville, Illinois
  • Sleeps: 8
Patio chairs and table on deck of rental cabin near lake
Image Credit: VRBO

If you enjoy water activities, you will want to check out this rental opportunity. Enjoy your vacation swimming, water tubing, boating, and kayaking outside your front door and at nearby venues. There is also ample opportunity for wildlife spotting, fishing, bird watching, and other outdoor sports such as golfing.

This 3 bedroom short term waterfront rental is located within walking distance of Shawnee National Forest and Lake of Egypt. We recommend renting a car to get around the area. Be sure to check out any local events at Rent One Park and Banterra Center.

  • 3 Bedrooms with Queen-size bed, Double beds, and Twin bunks
  • Full Kitchen, Living room, Washer/Dryer, Gas fireplace, Jacuzzi tub
  • Grill, Outdoor fire pit, Kayaks and Life vests, Board games, Books
  • Air Conditioning, Free Wi-Fi, Satellite TV
  • Minimum age to rent is 25 years
  • Children allowed
  • Area attractions include Fern Clyffe State Park and Shawnee National Forest
  • A few restaurants are located nearby including quick service food and local wineries
  • No pets, No smoking, No group events

Private Retreat Perfect for Fishing and Hiking

  • Location: Creal Springs, Illinois
  • Sleeps: 8
Bistro table and chairs under tree in wide open private field near lake
Image Credit: VRBO

If you’re looking for one of the best two-bedroom cabins near Shawnee National Park, you may not need to look any further. This amazing rental in the woods is a great place for any outdoor enthusiast to enjoy the natural beauty of the great outdoors. While it may not be the largest cabin on our list, it might be the perfect place for anyone seeking solitude and privacy.

Enjoy the outdoor fire ring, picnic tables, and wide open wilderness right outside your door. Remember to pack your fishing poles to enjoy one of the nearby catch and release ponds. There are also miles of walking trails and private wooded areas within this 400 acre retreat.

Note that trails are closed from October to January for hunting season.

  • Fully stocked kitchen, Wood burning fireplace (free firewood), Washer/Dryer, Grill
  • Air Conditioning, Free Wi-Fi, Smart TV
  • Minimum age to rent is 25 years
  • Children allowed, 2 Pets allowed
  • Located within driving distance to Jackson Hole, Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge, Kokopelli Golf Club, the famous Garden of the Gods, Shawnee National Forest
  • Tower Square Plaza is a short drive away, and there are local wineries, pubs, and BBQ restaurants nearby
  • No smoking, No group events, No horseback riding on trails

Treehouse in the Forest

  • Location: Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • Sleeps: 2
Outdoor lounge chairs on deck of custom-built tree house
Image Credit: VRBO

Yes, real treehouses do exist! Look at this little one bedroom beauty you could rent for a perfect romantic getaway. It’s a custom-built treehouse on a private lot of 10 acres. Enjoy beautiful sunrises while sitting on the back deck

This property is close to downtown Cape Girardeau, butwill also satisfy the avid outdoorsmen. The rental offers catch and release fishing, nearby hiking trails, and plenty of solitude to enjoy the great outdoors.

The property is accessed from a flight of outdoor stairs. It may not be a good rental option for anyone who has a hard time climbing stairs.

  • Stocked compact kitchen, Gas log fireplace, Washer/Dryer, Gas grill
  • Private hot tub, Deck, Hammock
  • Air conditioning, Free Wi-Fi, Smart TV
  • Onsite parking
  • Minimum age to rent is 21 years
  • Located within driving distance of Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center and Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center
  • Starbucks and other quick service restaurants are located nearby
  • Adults only, No Pets, No smoking, No events

Now that you have found one of the best Shawnee National Park cabins in Southern Illinois, let’s take a quick look at must-visit attractions in the area.

Most Popular Spots near Shawnee National Forest

Here is a short list of popular spots you will want to check out while visiting Shawnee National Forest:

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