What Are The Shawnee Hills?

Have you ever heard of the Illinois Ozarks? It’s not really part of the Ozarks, most people agree those begin just on the other side of Missouri. Still, there’s no questioning that the Shawnee Hills are a gorgeous area. The area rests in southern Illinois (hence the “Illinois Ozarks”), and follows in an east-west pattern across that border.

Of course, most of the area of Shawnee Hills rests entirely within Shawnee National Park. This is a huge tourist area, thanks to the beauty of the forests and the hills. The beauty manages to last thanks to the tireless efforts of Federal park rangers. The Shawnee National Park is the largest federally protected park in the United States, which makes it quite large indeed!

Unlike many rock layers in the area, the Shawnee Hills jut up through the crust of the Earth. In practical terms, this means that the hill formations are made of layers of sandstone and limestone. In point of fact, at one time 80% of all the fluorspar in the world (not the country!) was mined near Cave In Rock and Rosiclare. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also coal mining in the northern and southern areas of the hills.

The Shawnee Hills make up one of a three-pronged “tourist triangle”. Even though much of Shawnee Hills is located within the park, there’s enough area not federally protected that it’s a tourist attraction all its own. The third prong is the Ohio Valley River, which is also as gorgeous as anything else in the area.

That’s not the only river, however. Big Muddy River cuts right through the area, while the Mississippi River flows nearby. There are multiple towns in the area, all dedicated to mining, prenuptial agreements, or tourism. Truly, the area can be considered one of the best outdoor nature areas in the country.

Do you like the sound of the Shawnee Hills? Do you like wine? If so, we have just the video for you!

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