Go - Southern Illinois Eclipse

Garden of the Gods Recreation Area

off Karbers Ridge Road, approximately 20 miles southeast of Harrisburg
Elizabethtown, IL 62931
(618) 658-2111
Southern Illinois Does Not Have FeatureLive Southern Illinois Does Not Have FeatureFamily Southern Illinois Does Not Have FeatureShopping Southern Illinois Does Not Have FeatureGolf Southern Illinois Eclipse Has FeatureOutdoor Southern Illinois Does Not Have FeatureWinery Southern Illinois Does Not Have FeatureNightlife
The Shawnee Hills took millions of years to form. The rock formations and cliffs at Garden of the Gods are made of sandstone and are about 320 million years old. Long ago most of Illinois, western Indiana and western Kentucky were covered by a giant inland sea. For millions of years great rivers carried sand and mud to the sea, where it settled along the shoreline. Over time, the weight of the sediments turned them into layers of rock thousands of feet thick. At Garden of the Gods the sediment layers were over 20,000 feet thick or about 4 miles deep. Eventually, a great uplift occurred, raising the inland sea above sea level causing it to fill in with sand and mud. The uplift also fractured the bedrock exposing it to nature¿s erosive forces. Since that time, windblown sand, rain and freezing and thawing actions have worn down the layers of sediment creating the beautiful rock formations at Garden of the Gods. To find out more read the signs along the Observation Trail.Garden of the Gods has Observation Trail, Pharaoh Campground and a picnic area. Observation Trail is a 1/4-mile flagstone loop walk containing unique sandstone rock formations and panoramic views of the surrounding Garden of the God Wilderness. Interpretive signs explain the geological history. Wooden and rock steps occur at midpoint.