With its breathtaking natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation, a trip to Giant City State Park near Carbondale is sure to delight visitors of all ages. From camping and horseback riding to fishing and rappelling, it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise. Visitors will marvel at the many hiking trails. Especially popular is the Giant City Nature Trail, home of the “Giant City Streets” – huge bluffs of sandstone formed 12,000 years ago.
Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest, Giant City State Park was named for the unique impressions made by its massive sandstone structures and a landscape like none other, a wash in lush garments of fern, moss, flowering mints, hundreds of species of wild flowers and more than 75 varieties of towering trees.
The Giant City Visitor Center provides interpretive displays on the geology, plants, animals and history of the park. Regional tourism information is also available.
The rustic beauty of the Giant City Lodge is the perfect fit for the natural splendor of the park, with three types of cabins, and the Bald Knob dining room. The lodge also features a gift shop, lounge and bar, and outdoor swimming pool. Open from early February until early December, contact the lodge for reservation information at 618-475-4921 or check the website at
Giant City is also popular for a camping retreat, with 85 Class A campsites that can be reserved online at
ExploreMoreIL™, a Class C camping area with 14 walk-in campsites, and a youth group camping area.
Visitors can enjoy picturesque natural wonders along Giant City’s hiking trails, and rock climbing/rappelling are permitted in two locations. Horseback riding enthusiasts will find an equestrian campground and a 12-mile loop trail, and visitors without horses can stop by Giant City Stables.
Giant City Stables
Ponds are located throughout the park for bank fishing.
For information on seasonal hunting programs at Giant City, check the
Hunter Fact Sheet