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  1. Illinois DNR
  2. Parks
  3. Activities

Activities at Giant City

Archery Range
Archery Range Information Sheet  

Camping
Giant City is a popular weekend retreat because of its varied and well-kept campground facilities. There are 85 campsites in the Class A Campground which provides water, electricity, showers and sanitary facilities for tent and trailer camping. The shower building in the Class A campground is closed the day after the first shotgun deer season (weather dependant), re-opening April 1st. A separate Class A equestrian campground is located off the horse trail in the southwest corner of the park. For camping reservations at the Class A campground only, please use Reserve America.
A Class C camping area at the south end of the family campground offering 14 walk-in sites is available for those who prefer a more primitive setting. Outdoor privies, fire rings and access to showers are provided. The Red Cedar campground offers a campsite at the 5 mile point of the Red Cedar Trail.  Pre-registration is required at the Visitors Center or with the campground host. A Youth Group camping area is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for organized groups with adult supervision. This area is not reservable. This campground is closed during shotgun deer season. Campground Map

Fishing and Boating
Ponds are located throughout the park for bank fishing.
Fishing Map | Fishing Information Sheet

Hiking
Exploration of the picturesque natural wonders of Giant City State Park can be enjoyed along the Post Oak, Devil’s Standtable, Giant City, Stonefort, Indian Creek, Trillium and Arrowwood trails. The Post Oak Trail has been designed for disabled visitors. The 12-mile Red Cedar Hiking Trail provides an invigorating challenge to the truly dedicated backpacker, and offers an overnight campsite at the halfway point.

Arrow Wood Trail Brochure
Devil's Standable Trail Brochure
Indian Creek Trail Brochure
Nature Trail Brochure
Post Oak Trail Brochure
Red Cedar Trail Brochure
Stone Fort Trail Brochure
Trillium Trail Brochure
 

Horseback Riding
For the equestrian, the park has two options:  A 12 mile Equestrian Trail may be accessed, by those bringing their own horses, from the Equestrian Campground trailhead, located on the south end of the park.  Horse owners may utilize the Class A Equestrian campground, from May 1 thru October 31. All 25 campsites have electricity, hitching posts, and access to water. Campers will also have access to the dump station and showers, located in the main campground. The fee is $20 per night, payable through ReserveAmerica, or at the site, via the self registration system. Day riders may park their trailers at the rear of the campground and then access the equestrian trail.

For those without horses, the park offers guided rides at Giant City Stables, located at the north end of the park.  In addition to trail rides, they offer summer camps, lessons and equine therapy.  Weather permitting, the stables are open March 15 thru October 31, but closed on Tuesdays.  Call 618-529-4110, or visit Giant City Stables for more information. Trail Map | Trail Information Sheet

Hunting
Hunting for some wildlife species is allowed on a controlled basis. Contact the site superintendent for details on season times and area rules. Registration rules are strictly enforced. For more information, please review the Hunter Fact Sheet.

Lodging
The rustic beauty of the Giant City Lodge creates an atmosphere unparalleled in southern Illinois. Although the lodge has been expanded and remodeled, great care has been taken to preserve the multi-hued sandstone and white oak timbers used in the initial 1930s construction. Many original furnishings and decorations have been restored and are used throughout the lodge.
Three types of cabins are available to accommodate overnight guests. All offer forest views, unique features and have been fully restored. Twelve historic cabins are one-room units; 18 prairie cabins are two-room units; and four bluff cabins, the largest and most scenic, can conveniently house a family of six.
The Bald Knob dining room, with seating for 170, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and has a reputation for excellent food at a reasonable price. It is especially well-known for its family-style, home-fried chicken.
The lodge also features a gift shop, cocktail lounge, bar, and an outdoor swimming pool.
For lodge reservations, call (618) 457-4921, or write Giant City Lodge, 460 Giant City Lodge Road, Makanda, IL 62958. The Giant City Lodge is closed each year from early December to early February. Giant City Lodge

Metal Detecting

Metal detecting is allowed within Giant City State Park, however, please be certain to leave the site as you find it.  We do not allow detecting around the Giant City Lodge and the use of shovels is not permitted.  You may contact the Visitors Center for more details and to turn in the Metal Detecting Permit .

Picnicking & Shelters
The park is filled with excellent day use picnic facilities and 5 reservable shelters which offer a scenic setting for family reunions, weddings and other large gatherings. Tables, water, fire grills and children’s playgrounds can be found throughout the facility. For shelter reservations, please use the Reserve America website.

Rock Climbing/Rappelling
Climbing and rappelling are permitted at the park in two locations. The areas of Devil's Standtable cliff and Shelter #1 bluff at the Makanda entrance are accessible to climbers, and ropes are permitted on these cliffs. Climbers should bring their own equipment and go directly to the bluff, no check-in is necessary. No permanent anchors allowed. All climbing activities at the park are conducted at your own risk. Cliffs are steep and sandstone can be slippery when wet. Venomous copperhead snakes, an Illinois protected species, are found on sunny ledges. Please use caution. Southern Illinois sandstone bluff plant comm unities are fragile, so tread lightly in these areas. Always carry out what you carry in! Rock Climbing Brochure

Visitor Center
A highlight of Giant City State Park is the Visitor Center, which provides interpretive displays on the geology, plants, and animals of the park. Enjoy 10 minute films about the park and the Civilian Conservation Corp in the audio-visual room. The visitor center also offers information about other tourist destinations in southern Illinois.

Directions
From the north:
Take Interstate 57 South to the Route 13 exit (Carbondale - Exit #54B), head west (right) on Rt. 13 toward Carbondale, go approximately 15 miles. Look for Wal-Mart on your right. Turn left at this light (Giant City Road). Continue 12 miles to the south. Giant City Road will lead you into the park.

From the south:
Follow I-24 to I-57 North, or stay on I-57, to the Rt. 148 exit (Exit #45), head northwest on 148 for approximately 2 miles. Turn left on Grassy Road. There is a convenience store on this corner. Follow Grassy Road for 5-7 miles. Stay left when you come to a Y. Continue southwest on Grassy Road. Grassy Road will come to a T at Giant City Road. Turn south (left) on Giant City Road. Continue approximately 4 miles to the park.
From the east:
Head west on I-70 or, if you are further south, take I-64 to I-57 South. Continue approximately 50 miles south from I-64 to the Route 13 exit (Marion - Exit #54B), head west on Rt. 13 toward Carbondale, go approximately 15 miles. Look for Wal-Mart on your right. Turn left at this light (Giant City Road). Continue 12 miles to the south. Giant City Road will lead you into the park.

From the west:
Head east on I-64 approximately 50 miles from St. Louis. Take the Rt. 127 (Nashville) exit south. Continue south for approximately 50 miles to Murphysboro. At Murphysboro, go left or east for approximately 10 miles. You will pass through the town of Carbondale. Watch for the mall on your right. When you see Wal-Mart on your left, this is your light. Take a right here on Giant City Road heading south for 12 miles into the park.

• While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
• At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
• Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.
• Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
• We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.