Hidden Springs State Forest
Open: Open all year
Hidden Springs State Forest (formerly known as Shelby State Forest) consists of approximately 1,200 acres of land near Clarksburg, 10 miles southeast of Shelbyville.
Rolling Meadows picnic area offers a large shelter, drinking water, playground equipment, privies, tables, stoves and a fire ring. Red Bud Lane, on the south end of this area, provides three small secluded sites. A small picnic area at the Big Tree has tables and stoves.
Reservations are accepted. Possum Creek, a Class "C" campground, includes drinking water, privies, sanitary disposal station, pedestal stoves, fire blocks and a fire ring. Campers may set up camp on the site of their choice. Forest staff issue permits on routine rounds. Shady Grove Campground accommodates groups by reservation only. Ground fires in both areas are allowed only in the fire rings provided.
Five fishing ponds, two accessible by vehicle, the other three by foot only, are found on the forest property. Fish stocked are bass, bluegill, redear and channel catfish. Richland Creek flows the length of the forest but fishing opportunities are negligible. Swimming anywhere on forest property is strictly prohibited.
Possum Hollow Nature Trail, 3/4 mile in length, provides access to Park Pond and the pine seed orchard. Trail guides, available at the headquarters, campground, and picnic area, guide the visitor to the 35 interpretive stations. The Big Tree Trail, one mile in length, features a sycamore 78 inches in diameter, one of the largest to be found in Illinois. Rocky Spring Trail, three miles in length, includes Rocky Spring, a forest improvement area, walnut production areas and varied land and vegetation types. Seventeen miles of fire lanes also provide access to remote areas of the forest. Your cooperation in keeping both motorcycles and horses off foot trails and fire lanes is appreciated.
A pleasurable and peaceful forest environment awaits the visitor. A bird check list is available at the headquarters to those who come to enjoy the many songbirds on the area. Flowers and mushrooms grow prolifically throughout the forest.
Except for the 240 acres where the headquarters, campground and Rolling Meadows picnic area are located, the entire area is open to hunting. Only shotgun and bow and arrow are permitted. Hunting fact sheets and maps concerning species and times are available at 10 hunter parking lots or the forest headquarters. Hunters are required to complete hunter survey cards for each hunting trip. Please consult the forest superintendent if in question about boundaries, hours, or any other aspect of the hunting program. Wildlife food plots, providing habitat for the varied wildlife population are scattered throughout the area.
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