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Shawnee National Forest – High Knob Campground

Last week I took a first time trip to Shawnee National Forest at High Knob Campground.  For great trail riding in the mid-west you simple can’t beat Shawnee National Forest.  I have also camped at Hayes Canyon.

When I ride my focus in on the quality of the riding, the scenery, the wilderness and the outdoors.  While campgrounds and activities are important, they are a large second down the list.  I will camp just about anywhere for a good ride, and I don’t require entertainment, as I hope the riding will fulfill that aspect.

High Knob is a well used large campground.  Our hostess JoJo M. was pleasant, accommodating and helpful.  We received great advice on where to ride, along with entertaining conversations in the office over a cup of coffee. Maps are available and a good sense of direction is most useful.


  • No trash service – make sure to carry out what you bring in
  • Stall bedding – can be purchased or you can bring
  • Bath house – is reasonably clean; water is setup to turn-off as soon as you let go – take a bunge cord if you want to take a shower that is non-stop
  • Privy – there are a few – sometimes a good distance walk
  • Cart handy if you don’t want to carry hay from your trailerIMGP2320

We rode two full days, out early back at dinnertime.  The best ride of the weekend was the second day.  We headed out to Dead Horse Canyon, with only little concern about the name.


The weather was exceptional and spring was in full swing.  Dogwood and Red bud were blooming.  For the most part the trail to Dead Horse Canyon is an easy rolling ride.


As you begin the approach to the canyon, there are large rock creek crossings and some very steep hills.  It is wise to keep distance between the horses for safety.  If you start up, you cannot stop, back-out or turn around.  IMGP2325I can say this is definitely worth the trip if you want some outstanding riding and scenery.


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