Bear Branch Horse Camp offers well-equipped campsites and lodging, great family dining, and beautiful trails and natural scenic beauty in all directions!

Year-round Horse Camping at Its Best in the Shawnee National Forest

Chosen by readers of Western Horseman and Trail Blazer magazines as among the
"Top 5 Best Places to Ride"!

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Catering to Trail Riders, Hikers, Hunters and Nature Lovers

Area Attractions

Bear Branch Horse Camp and Log Cabin Restaurant are within easy riding distance of Indian Kitchen, High Point, Devil's Back Bone, Natural Rock Bridge, Salt Peter Cave, Secret Canyon, Peter Cave, Sand Cave, Jackson Hole, Bell Smith Springs, and Hayes Creek Canyon. And we're just minutes from the River-to-River Trail. Trails through the Shawnee National Forest from the Bear Branch Campground are marked, and trail maps are available.

While you are here, be sure to save time to visit the breathtaking Garden of the Gods, Harrah's Riverboat Casino, and the many antique shops located nearby.

Local Worship Services

New! Cowboy Church just 1 mile North of Bear Branch 10:30. All are welcome, come as you are, ride your horse, walk or drive.

Churches In Eddyville: Baptist services at 11 am and 6 pm; Methodist services at 8:30am.


Shawnee Restaurant & Lounge

We encourage you to visit the Shawnee Restaurant & Lounge, just 2 miles south of Bear Branch on Route 145. Open 7 days a week for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Friday Night Special: All you can eat catfish and hush puppies! Karaoke weekends.

Bear Branch Log Cabin Restaurant

Under new management, the Bear Branch Log Cabin Restaurant is undergoing extensive renovations and other change. The restaurant is closed pending further notice.

Shawnee Mart Convenience Store

Just 3 miles south of Bear Branch on Route 145 at Eddyville. For a quick meal, Shawnee Mart is open 7 days weeklyand offers snacks, deli sandwiches, soda, liquor, and cigarettes.

Harrisburg Illinois, 16 Miles north (approx. 20 minutes)

Two Mexican, one Italian, two Chinese restaurants as well as tons of fast food and a brand new Super Walmart.

Local Attractions

Eddyville Community Center

"Jam Session" every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 6:30-approx 9:30. Hear local amateur musicians and vocalists as they harmonize to Country and Gospel music. Setting is informal and family-orienited. Feel free to join in!! Bring your guitar. No admission charge, but donations welcome to help pay for room rent.


Pope County is the "Deer Capital of Illinois" for good reason . . . white-tail deer are numerous and hunters seldom go home disappointed. Bear Branch serves many deer and turkey hunters, and our location near the Shawnee National Forest is ideal. Both bow and gun hunting are popular. Check the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website for deer and turkey season dates and permit information. Don't forget the annual Deer Festival in Golconda held on the first deer shotgun season in November.

1 mile
Little Creek Archery

3-D Archery range and bow sales. Call for hours (618) 672-4316.

4 miles (approx. 5 minutes)
Lusk Creek Canyon and Indian Kitchen

Sheer rock bluffs 100 feet high rise from Lusk Creek, one of the cleanest and most scenic creeks in Illinois. Indian Kitchen and the overlook is beautiful. It is about a 3 mile hike from the parking area just East of Eddyville. By horseback Lusk Creek is about a 1-1/2 hr ride from camp. This is a scenic ride along the Bear Branch Creek all the way to Lusk Creek.

Lusk Creek Canyon

7 miles (approx. 7 minutes)
Bell Smith Springs

Just off Hwy 145, North of Bear Branch, Turn left as Watertower Rd. On the National Register of Historic Places. Cold-water springs keep the area cool and moist even in the hottest of summers, leading to various unique plant growths. The region's largest natural stone bridge. Scenic hiking trails.

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9 miles (approx. 12 minutes)
Millstone Bluff, Highway 147, 1/2 mile East of Robbs

The remains of a Mississippian period Indian village perched atop 80-foot high bluffs is the site of archeological research. A hiking trail leads to the site, and Forest Service interpretive postings are enlightening. Petroglyphs from this ancient era are visible on the stone. 618-658-2111

12 miles (approx. 15 minutes)
Lake Glendale

80-acre lake with swimming beach, canoe and paddle boat rental, and boat launch, and fishing. The swimming beach and concession area has a fee. (618) 658-2111

15 miles (approx. 22 minutes)
Golconda Marina

Boat launch on the Ohio River and over 200 slips for any size boat up to giant houseboats. Bait & tackle sales.

15 miles (approx. 22 minutes)
Shawnee Queen River Taxi (stops at the Golconda Marina)

Enjoy a relaxing ride down the Ohio River and enjoy the shoreline sights at a slower pace. You can take a round-trip or one-way trip to or from Golconda, Rosiclare, Cave-in-Rock, or other shoreline towns. Operates Tues-Sat from mid-May through November 1.

14 miles away (approx. 20 minutes)
The Chocolate Factory

The Chocolate Factory is a neat experience! There they make various chocolate confections as well as their famous fudge. They make many chocolate novelties ranging from chocolate horses to chocolate pizza. There is also an ice-cream shop. They offer chocolate and ice-cream in sugar-free varieties.

14 miles away (approx. 15 minutes)
Dixon Springs State Park

Dixon Springs State Park has a swimming pool with lifeguard on duty, 45-foot water slide, bathhouse, and concession stand. The park also has scenic hiking trails, shady picnic areas, and a playground for the kids. Pool open Memorial Day through Labor Day.

20 miles away (approx. 30 minutes)
Garden of the Gods Near Herod, IL

Amazing rock formations are famous and one of the most popular destinations in the Shawnee National Forest. Make sure to walk the 1/4 mile interpretive trail which leads to some of the most scenic spots. 618-658-2111

22 miles away (approx. 30 minutes)
Peddles & Paddles, Inc., Vienna, IL

Bicycle rental/shuttle service and guided canoe trips. 619-658-3641

20 miles away (approx. 25 minutes)
Gambit Golf Club just outside of Vienna, IL

The par 71 Richard Osborne design offers golfers of all abilities a challenging yet pleasurable golf experience. They now have an indoor 'virtual golf' practice facility, where you can practice your game rain-or-shine.

35 miles away (approx. 35 minutes)
Metropolis, IL, "The Home of Superman"

Every visitor to Metropolis must get their photo taken in front of the huge Superman statue which guards the town square. It's corny, but just has to be done! There is a Superman gift store with Super-everything! Also a Superman museum is located in the gift store for the real Super-enthusiast.

35 miles away (approx. 40 minutes)
Harrah's Metropolis Casino, Metropolis, IL

Las-Vegas style gaming with slots, table games, and poker rooms in a full-service dockside casino.

34 miles (approx. 1 hour, twisting roads)
Cave-In-Rock, Cave-In-Rock, IL

This cave has rich history as the site of river gangsters and pirates, who would hide out in the cave. It also served as a tavern in the late 1700s, and was featured in the movie "How the West Was Won." The park restaurant is known for its Southern-style home cooking, especially on Sunday dinners. 618-289-4325

40 miles away (approx. 45 minutes)
Bluegrass Downs, Paducah, KY

Harness and quarter horse racing on Thurs/Fri evenings and Sat afternoons seasonally. Call for race schedules. 270-444-7117

National Quilt Museum

Also in Paducah, Colors and designs flourish inside newly designated National Quilt Museum of the United States. The museum has three amazing galleries that showcase more than 150 quilts at a time. 270-442-8856.

Hayes Creek
Check Your Calendar!
3-Day Weekend Rides
| Memorial Day | Fourth of July
Labor Day | Columbus Day
Bear Branch now offers free wi-fi!!!
Bear Branch offers horse campers a wide range of activities.

P.O. Box 10, Highway 145 | Eddyville, Illinois 62928 | 618.672.4249 | Contact


Updated 5/7/16 • Copyright © 2016 Wingos Bear Branch Horse Camp • Website by Sangres Webs
horse camping • cabins • campsites • trail riding • Shawnee National Forest • horse trails • hiking • Log Cabin Restaurant • General Store & Tack
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