Bear Branch Horse Resort in Southern Illinois
Bear Branch Horse Resort Shawnee National Forest Southern Illinois Riding Trails Camping Lodgings Accommodations
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Host: Dick Manders

Accommodations: Campsites and Cabins.

Address: Bear Branch Horse Resort, P.O. Box 40, Hwy 145, Eddyville, Illinois 62928 USA

Telephone: 618-672-4249

Fax: 618-672-4739

Activities/Attractions: Famous trails, wilderness, Midwestern wildlife and famed foliage are only some of the Shawnee's attractions. Maple, dogwood, oak and pine are interspersed among the unique sandstone configurations that decorate the eastern hills and offer a bouldering destination for rock hounds. Lakes encompassing more than 2,700 acres and access to 135 miles of hiking trails, including the American Discovery Trail, can be found in the Shawnee.

Bear Branch is centrally located in the beautiful 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. We are within easy riding distance to 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.

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.


"Well we made it home just fine worn out horses and all. We had just a fantastic time there eating and riding and eating and sight seeing and eating! What an awesome place you have there Dick. We loved the marked trails and the maps. The riding was second to none and the food, service and hospitality much more than we could have hoped for. We WILL be back, hopefully in fall yet. I believe we have a new favorite place to ride!"

"Your campgrounds is just lovely. The Bunk House was a sanctuary for me while hiking. I appreciate the kindness of you and your crew! Thanks for everything especially for making me feel so welcome."

"Our friends, the Coles and the Browns have highly recommended you for your location in the forest as well as your facilities and of course your great food in the Log Cabin Restaurant. I am thrilled to hear that you now have marked trails."

"Cheryl and I would like to say that we just spent a 3 day weekend at this camp and had the best time ever ... great trails great folks and great food they treated use like family. We have found our new horse getaway."


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Bear Branch Horse Resort

Bear Branch Horse Resort Cabins

Bear Branch Horse Resort Exterior

Bear Branch Horse Resort Lodgings

Bear Branch Horse Resort Riding

Bear Branch Horse Resort Trails


"Our friends Bob & Sue were there this past October and cannot say enough great things about your camp and restaurant as well as the riding there. The pictures are actually unbelievable. If I did not know them both so well I wouldn't believe that anybody could ride in such beauty up in Illinois."

General Information: Welcome to Bear Branch Horse Resort ... centrally located in the Beautiful 280,000 acre Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. Come and ride our lush forest trails, ford rocky creeks, travel down rock canyons, circle and climb high bluffs under waterfalls and into large caves - you'll see why this is the home of The Ultimate Trail Ride!

Enjoy the spectacular view from our rustic hilltop Log Cabin Restaurant. Open Thursday through Sunday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast starts at 7:00 a.m. and we offer several great home cooked breakfasts that are guaranteed to stick with you on the trail. Resort features include:

  • a Rustic Log Cabin Restaurant
  • tack shop
  • 80 campsites with hookups
  • 40 box stalls in our barn
  • a shower house with laundry facilities
  • heat and air conditioning
  • two acre pond for fishing or swimming
  • playground/recreational area
  • cabins and lodging with private baths
  • a very friendly staff
  • chosen by Western Horseman Magazine readers in "The Top 5 Best Places to Ride!"

For all facilities you must bring your own bedding, soap, and towels. All below cabins include heat and air conditioning, private bath with shower, compact refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker and outdoor charcoal grill.

Payment Accepted: Visa, MasterCard.

Rates: (Prices quoted in US Dollars).

$12-39/night

Click here for currency conversion.


"What a great time our little group had this past week. Wow! Your trails are awesome. I have never seen such beautiful scenery on horse back and the marked and maintained trails are fantastic. Thanks for the yummy food also. The Restaurant is great. I wish we could have had every meal there. Our friends in the big cabin insisted on doing some of the cooking. We WILL Be Back! Hopefully in the fall."

"Your riding is absolutely fantastic! We had such a great time and the food was excellent too! No wonder we had to wait for breakfast & dinner but we met many nice trail riders and passed the time quickly. This will become at least an annual trip for us. You can count on riding with our group again soon."

"The weather there was awesome as was the riding. Our group cannot stop talking about Bear Branch and the Beautiful riding in the Shawnee. This will become an annual ride for all of us. Tell Martha to keep the steak grill on! Your cabins are great too."