Giant City State Park in Southern Illinois is a 10-minute drive from Carbondale. This state park is a National Natural Landmark.
The park offers horseback riding, rock climbing, rappelling, camping, hiking, and many other outdoor adventure opportunities. The camping ranges from class A campsites including electricity, water, showers and the like to class C campsites which are a little more for the adventuresome type. The area is known for its huge sandstone bluffs which are a site to behold.
The park's lodge and original six cabins were constructed by the 696th Company of the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1934 to 1935. The CCC used locally quarried sandstone and locally harvested lumber to build the lodge. In 1936, the lodge and cabins were dedicated by Illinois Governor Henry Horner. The CCC later added a dining room and kitchen as well as six additional cabins to the complex. They were also responsible for building the lodge's furniture; the quality of the wooden furniture led Pere Marquette State Park to commission the 696th Company to furnish their lodge as well.
In 1985, the lodge and cabins were added to the National Register of Historic Places; the original cabins were demolished and replaced by replica cabins in the same year, and several new cabins were constructed. The new cabins are used to lodge visitors to the park, while the lodge houses a restaurant and gift shop.
Flora and fauna
Fees and permits
- 1 Giant City Visitor Center, ☏ . Daily 8AM-4PM. Ranger station with park, trails, and camping information, gift shop, nature museum, flush toilets. free.
- 2 Giant City Stone Fort Site. A prehistoric stone fort in the park, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Some of the park's most popular hiking trails include Giant City Nature Trail, Red Cedar Trail, and Trillium Trail. The park is served by the River to River Trail.
- 1 Giant City Lodge Restaurant, ☏ . Su-Th 8-10AM, 11:30AM-4PM, 4:30-7PM; F Sa 8-10:30AM, 11AM-4PM, 4:30-8:30PM.