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Reviews for Hayes Canyon Campground
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Eddyville, IL

Overall TRAIL RATING with 64 votes:
Overall CAMP RATING with 66 votes:

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Went for the first time in June loved the campground. Going back in September it was easy to get to and everyone was great. It's just about 3 hours from us.
Reviewed by: Carla K Hall on 7/12/2016 3:31:55 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/17/2016 Hometown: Covington, tn

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We just returned from a 9 day stay in Shawnee - for half of our trip we stayed at Hayes Canyon - the campground was AMAZING - Ben and his family were so incredibly kind and helpful from getting us parked to ensuring we had everything we need including a farrier for a lost shoe! The permanent site residents were all so kind and welcoming - had great recommendations for rides and knew all the details of the trails what not to miss, what to avoid, level of difficulty for trails (we had kids with us). The shower house and laundry facilities were impeccable - we started using the shower house instead of trailers they were so nice and spacious! The sites provided great shade for us and our horses. the pens were great with rubber mats and manure removal daily by the staff. For easy access to watering your horse, bring a water splitter and a hose. The trails were great - trails to the west were very well marked - don't miss Jackson Hole. Indian Kitchen there were new trails being built so the markings were not as good but we made it! The catfish at the Shawnee Lodge was great too - with a great small town local atmosphere - hitching rails for the horses so you can ride there!! If you have kids, Ben's oldest daughter loves to play with younger campers so make sure to introduce yourself - she is the kindest little girl and loves to show off her tadpoles and bull frogs to the kids!
Reviewed by: Reed2016 on 6/25/2016 4:09:18 PM
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Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/18/2016 Hometown: Ellsworth, WI

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Reviewed by: randyp on 9/12/2015 4:32:43 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 9/1/2015 Hometown: Celina, OH

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Stayed at Hayes Canyon after traveling from Ohio, arriving at another local camp that was found to be completely unacceptable. Called Hayes Canyon on the recommendation of some day riders we met at the first camp. They were able to take us and we found the camp to be more than acceptable! It was neat, tidy, clean, and well organized. The sites were a bit tight but Ben was more than helpful in getting our rigs into good position. They provide wagons for manure and haul it away from your site every morning. The bath house was utterly immaculate, you could have eaten off the floor in there. It was one of the cleanest camps we have been to in the years we have been camping. There are a lot of permanent campers there and the folks we met were helpful and friendly. The trails were excellent. The Shawnee Conservancy and the Forest Service are doing a great job hardening the trails. For the most part they are well marked but we highly recommend maps and GPS. I bought the Shawnee conservancy map and found it to exceptionally accurate. There were some intersections where the trail markings were sparse resulting in some difficulty getting the right trail. Overall I rate camp and trails as excellent.
Reviewed by: RachelV on 6/21/2015 8:46:08 PM
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Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/15/2015 Hometown: Chardon, OH

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Spent Memorial Day weekend at Hayes Canyon and riding the Shawnee Trails. This is one of our favorite places. The campsite is always clean and neat and the facilities are top notch. Ben and family are always helpful and both the permanent and temporary guests are friendly. Look forward to October when we return. Best camp in the Shawnee area
Reviewed by: Aubrey R. Henley on 5/29/2015 7:36:43 PM
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Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/22/2015 Hometown: Rineyville, KY

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Campground clean and neat. Our pens could been nicer but ok. We been to this campground 3 times in last 7 years and is only getting nicer and well kept up. Wish weekend campers had more room at sites compared to permanent sites large areas. Is in great location for trail heads location. A bucket list must.
Reviewed by: Amy Clark on 4/29/2015 6:02:07 AM
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Experience: Expert Ride Date: 4/9/2015 Hometown: Princeville, Illinois, MO

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Hayes Canyon was great. The trails were well marked and the very well maintained. Campsites were wonderful, plenty of room for our large rig and we used the covered stalls which were great. Very nice people.
Reviewed by: beth&mark on 5/27/2013 10:44:06 AM
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Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 5/15/2013 Hometown: Tiger, GA

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Have been trying all the campsites and riding trails in southern Illinois. Hayes Canyon is one of the friendliest place I have found. Very family oriented. The couple that owns the facility is very friendly and organized. The trail maps are easy to follow and the trails are very well maintained. The camp sites are fairly level and the pens had rubber mats so even in the rain they were great. Sites are large enough to fit even the big rigs. Would recommend Hayes Canyon. (Stay away from Bear Branch down the road!)
Reviewed by: maryz on 5/10/2013 5:06:09 PM
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Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 5/3/2013 Hometown: jackson, tn

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We just returned from Hayes Canyon horse camp. The riding to me is some of best in the country. Camp ground was clean. We enjoyed our eight days riding in Shawnee. Trails are not well marked but Hayes canyon map was good. I do believe that GPS or compass is a must. I use a GPS all the time and it did come in handy on one of our rides. Couple of things that I feel the camp needs to improve are the pens, there are three medal rods separating the stalls, I had one of my horses kick at the horse behind him and got his leg stuck. It took me and the camper next to me to get him freed up at 6:00am in the morning. Luckily his leg was not broken and only had minor scraps. The pens during the rain become very nasty and not much you can do about standing water. Pens need to have some limestone chips and be leveled so water can run off. Some of the campsites are not very level and could use some grading. Take some 2x6's or something to level your trailer
Reviewed by: Gregg on 10/8/2012 6:15:02 PM
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Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/28/2012 Hometown: , KY

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This was our first trip to Shawnee and absolutely loved it! The trails are very scenic with an abundance of rock formations. The campground is well kept, quiet, and clean (bathhouse was spotless). Ben is extremely helpful and knowledgible about the trails. The trails are marked, but you really need a compass if its your first time. Will definitely be back!!!
Reviewed by: Amanda W. on 9/16/2012 12:14:03 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/12/2012 Hometown: Lebanon, TN

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What a great place to stay and ride. Ben is very accomodatng and friendly-makes a mean chili too! The trails are fantastic and the views are breath-taking...Highly recommend this place for trail riders
Reviewed by: LB on 11/13/2011 4:55:47 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/27/2011 Hometown: Troy, MO

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Just finished up another great extended weekend vacation at Hayes Canyon Campground. Ben & Patti were excellent hosts. We had a large group and they got us all in there and within walking distance to each other’s campsites. The weather was perfect and the trail riding was the best! Thanks Ben & Patti for another great vacation see you again next year!
Reviewed by: Dustin on 10/13/2011 4:19:30 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/10/2011 Hometown: Rooks Creek, IL

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Great place to camp and ride. The owners are super nice! Many trails to ride with such scenic views. Can't wait to go back in the Fall and explore some more!!
Reviewed by: Lori Burroughs on 10/3/2011 7:49:36 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/27/2011 Hometown: Troy, MO

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First trip to Shawnee...amazing! We have ridden all over Indiana and Michigan - Shawnee tops them all. Campground was great, rates more than reasonable. A few tips: make sure your horses have shoes on all four feet, either take a giuded tour offered by Hayes or buy a handheld GPS...trust me on that one! The maps are very detailed, but the trails are only marked at major intersections intentionally...they want it to be "primative and natural". The views are the best I have ever seen while trail riding. Natural rock formations everywhere. Plenty of water for the horses along the way since there are so many waterways. Although the trails are rugged, and the landscape very "hilly", the trails wind along so you gradually make your way to the top and then back down the other side - much easier on the horses. I didn't experience any areas that were dangerous to ride... Beautiful! If you have never been, you gotta go; it's a "must do" - we'll be back for sure!
Reviewed by: Bob on 9/19/2011 11:13:53 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/17/2011 Hometown: Elkhart, IN

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Hayes Canyun Campground is like home away from home. Have stayed many, many times & it has always been great. Ben & Patti run an excellent campground. Access to trails is wonderful. It's a beautiful part of the country and must be experienced by horseback. I would recommend staying here over anywhere I have ever been.
Reviewed by: Marie Finney on 7/21/2011 11:24:58 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/15/2011 Hometown: Westfield, IL

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Reviewed by: Lorri on 7/18/2011 11:32:16 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/5/2011 Hometown: Jackson, MO

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Campground was nice and well maintained. The owners were prompt and attentive, very nice atmosphere. Trails were nice, but hard to follow with map & so called signs. If you can hook up with a permanent camper there, have them take you out. You will see the great sites and find the nice trails.
Reviewed by: Denise R. on 6/18/2011 3:25:28 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/13/2011 Hometown: Dodgeville, Select State

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This place has it all including cabins, covered stalls and even a guide for hire so you can't get lost. The trails are said to be marked but they are hard to follow even with a map and signs are not located in critical places as they should be! This campground is clean and well maintained and the people are friendly and very helpful!
Reviewed by: Becky on 6/13/2011 4:36:31 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/10/2011 Hometown: Oakley, IL

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i come here many times the last 3 years and want to have a year round spot some day when i retire! the last person talking about old wood is probly seeing the rough cut oak that they use on teh pens. i work at lumberyard so i know. that stuff is too hard to put a nail into! keeps horse from chew thru it in one day, i have a mule that can eat a pine 2x4 in one night, its happened! city folks think the yellow pine is pretty, huh, don't see any 100 yr old barns made of it! the rough oak looks old and gray after only a month in the outside. the pens here are pine posts 4x4s and oak board or welded metal fencing that is safe. the gates are pine 2x4s and thats what my mule ate one time. if have a horse you think would jump or whatever, like eat his way free like mine, ha! can tie it on a post in the pen and it is the same as putting ona high picket line. some boards are chewed but the owners cant be expected to replace every board all the time. when my mule chewed the gate they fixed it and replaced some other boards in the pen that same day. so i would say just ask them if a board looks too chewed.
Reviewed by: jerald on 2/22/2011 8:57:51 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 2/19/2011 Hometown: paducah, KY

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We really liked camping sites but didn't care for stalls(wished were more than welded rods and old boards)that was big not at all what Campgound should offer as Safe stalls.Would not recomend because of horse stalls but were improved or safe new wood might praise Safety of horse/ride comes first.
Reviewed by: Sally on 11/7/2010 10:07:55 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/11/2010 Hometown: , IL

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We really enjoyed our stay with Patti and Ben. In all my travels to many campgrounds, this one is the best. Benn and Patti goe extra lenghts to make your stay as nice as they can. The facilities are fantasic, and the camp is well maintained.I am very pleased with having found such a nice place to visit, and planning on a spring trip to ride there again.
Reviewed by: Onvetta Herrin on 11/7/2010 6:31:39 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/24/2010 Hometown: Coatesville, IN

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we traveled with 3 sets of campers and 8 horses. Our visit at campground was found to be most enjoyable, helpful, and accomadating. We will definitely be back
Reviewed by: Ben Spohr on 11/2/2010 12:23:02 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 9/26/2010 Hometown: Quincy, IL

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This was the 1st time that our group has been down to Shawnee with the exceptions of our husbands. We found the campgrounds to be great and the owners were very accomodating with our every need. We have not been to a campground that was this great we will be back again. We loved the place and the trails and our guide that was reccomened to us by the campground was very informative about the area and took us to some very beautiful places. We are already talking about when we can come back down to Hayes Canyon Campground again. Stay at Hayes Canyon and you will have a wonderful time.
Reviewed by: Carolyn Yates on 10/13/2010 2:37:34 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/24/2010 Hometown: Fowler, IL

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My family and I really enjoyed staying at Hayes Campground. The owner of the campground was so accomidating. When we drove up to the office he took us around the campground on his golfcart so we could pick one out before we drove our horsetrailer in. He gave us alot of information about the trails. The cost was very good and I really liked having my horses in pens and not on a picket line. All the campsites have pens and also have a small wagon to clean the stalls out and they will empty them for you every morning. I will definetly go back.
Reviewed by: Lauri Barbre on 9/29/2010 10:05:06 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 9/11/2010 Hometown: Fairfield, IL

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2nd time to Shawnee National Forest but 1st time to Hayes Canyon Campground. What an awesome place. The campground was full and each spot was big enough that you never felt crowed or in anyone else’s way. Ben and Patti are the nicest campground owners or host you will ever meet. They run their business like a 5 star hotel. Everything is clean, the grass is trimmed up along with the bushes, and trees, the lots are level, the gravel roads are smooth, the restroom and showers are sparkling clean. Ben and Patti are always there to help you out and meet all your needs. My friends couldn’t get over the fact that they picked up our manure every morning. See you in the Fall!
Reviewed by: Dustin on 9/8/2010 11:08:08 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 9/4/2010 Hometown: Pontiac, IL

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