Campsite and Cabin Reservations


Reservations are recommended to secure a campsite or cabin, or horse facilities if desired. During peak riding times demand often far exceeds availability for campsites, stalls and cabins. Your vacation reservations are a commitment. When you make reservations, those units are taken off the availability list. Others may decide not to come due to the lack of available cabins, stalls or sites. Therefore, we require ample cancellation notice for any refund, and an administrative cancellation fee will apply.

  • Campsites – 15-day cancellation notice at all times
  • Campsites – 30-day cancellation for all Holiday weekends
  • All Cabins – 30-day cancellation for all cabins, all times, unless we can re-rent them.

We usually cannot re-rent your reservation at the last minute on late cancellations, including changes due to weather, personal change in plans or personal tragedies.

For Holiday Weekends campers must stay or pay for three nights of camping (except Easter) and, if applicable, stalls, cabins or lodging.

To guarantee a campsite for Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, and Columbus Day, Campsites, lodging, cabins, and stalls must be paid in full 30 days prior to arrival.


Horse Camping Policies and Registration


By following a few simple codes of convenience, Bear Branch can continue to offer you and your family some of the finest and safest horse camping and trail riding accommodations in the Shawnee National Forest.

  1. Campers must register and pay before setting up camp.
  2. Quiet Camp Begins at 11:00 p.m. till 6:00 a.m.
  3. Dogs Must Be On a Leash in camp at all times.
  4. Stallions (accommodated by permission only) must be kept in stalls.
  5. No tree tying is permitted ($150 fine if trees are chewed).
  6. Negative Coggins and Health Certificates are required for out of state horses.
  7. No temporary pens (except in designated picket areas).
  8. Horses cannot be tied overnight to trailers at campsites.
  9. Stalls and picket areas must be cleaned before you leave.
  10. Sites, stalls, lodging, and cabins must be vacated by 11 a.m. on checkout day (except Sunday, campsites only, 3:00 p.m.).

We are on city water, please help us conserve and keep your camping fees reasonable. Do not hose out your trailer.

No animals (horses or dogs) can be tied to utility poles with water and electric.

You will pay a minimum $25 fee if your animal breaks a water pipe.

Please do not throw trash—bottles & cans—in fire pits. They do not burn.

Please complete our Registration Form and submit it online or print and mail it. However, to secure your registration we must receive your check or money order for deposit within 2 weeks.

Directions & Map

Bear Branch Horse Camp is centrally located in the beautiful 280,000-acre Shawnee National Forest just above Lusk Creek Canyon. Named after a creek that runs through the property, Bear Branch offers multiple access to the most scenic riding and hiking trails in the Forest. Bear Branch is located:

• 16 miles South of Harrisburg on Highway 145; turn left off Highway 45 onto 145 just past Wal-Mart

• 35 miles Northeast of Paducah, Kentucky. Exit off I-24 at Exit 37, the first exit in Illinois. Go right on Highway 45, go 1/8 mile, then left on Highway 145 for 35 miles

• 2 miles North of Eddyville, Illinois; Bear Branch sign is on the West side of Highway 145

IMPORTANT: Do not use MapQuest for your driving directions in Southern Illinois. They will take you the shortest route, which includes dirt and gravel roads.

Please put all trash in dumpster behind the restaurant.