Bell Smith Springs is one of the most beautiful recreation areas the Shawnee National Forest has to offer. It contains a series of clear, rocky streams and scenic canyons bordered by high sandstone cliffs and an abundance of vegetation unique to Illinois. The trail system consists of eight miles of interconnected trails featuring strange and wonderful rock formations, such as Devil's Backbone, Boulder Falls and a natural rock bridge. Hiking this system of trails is a favorite activity because of the rock features, scenic overlooks, hidden springs and lush flora and fauna.
21 campsites with a fire ring/barrel, lantern post and picnic table. A couple of the campsites had damaged fire rings. Most sites should be able to fit medium size trailers, other sites have trees in the way. Vault toilets and a water station. Very quiet, clean and peaceful. Trail system is about 8 miles and has great views. Don’t forget to bring your swimming suit!
This is a surprisingly good discovery. The sites are large and covered in gravel. Plenty of room for multiple tents. The woods are filled with poison ivy so the big camp area is very useful. There are a few vault toilets scattered around that are ok but not the best we’ve seen. A hand pump for water is near the garbage cans. We found plenty of empty sites but people were starting to fill them in. I imagine it might get full for the weekend.
Just around the corner(or down the trail at the start of camp) is a network of hiking trails. They scurry around cliffs, falls and ravines. We found small pools perfect for a summer dip. Half the hikers were carrying towels so it must be a common plan.
We didn’t do much hiking because our dog kept trying to hike right into the poison ivy. This would have been better with our dog sitting this one out.
At only$10 per night, this is a great deal.
Couldn't have pick a better spot I definitely recommend red bud campsite.. the sites are spread out so you don't have close neighbors.. and the area is beautiful very quiet and peaceful..
Great hiking and great camp site. No shower but the springs offer a refreshing soak after a long day of hiking. Water is easily accessible and clean. Definitely lots of ticks but you’re in nature so it’s a given. Can’t wait to return!
Within hiking distance of the springs and very spacious. Lots of places to set up tents and drive into camp. Water access was easy and out houses clean.
Great place to go hiking and get surrounded by nature. There’s even a great spot to go swimming and cool down after a day of hiking. Highly recommended for any adventure enthusiasts.
This is a beautiful place with so much to see! Amazing rock formations, miles of hiking trials, springs to cool off, jumping cliffs. Great campsite, spacious, woody. Little over 20 campsites, get filled on the weekends. If you enjoy the untouched nature, this is definitely a place to visit. On the down side, you pay $10 per tent per night (if you have 2 tents on one site, have to pay $20 per night). bathrooms are not very clean. And the ticks were so bad!! Maybe it is just that time of the year (tick season). Otherwise absolutely beautiful nature!
This campground had just over 20 primitive sites. A well is near the entrance for drinking water, and the sites are very clean. Very quiet and remote. The park ranger said the campground is rarely used, but the upkeep is amazing. Miles of trails to explore with canyons, waterfalls, and the famous cliff jumps of bell springs.
One of our favortie places to spend a little getaway weekend.
My boyfriend and i stayed at Red bud a few weeks ago. We. had a great time. Camping was very quiet and serene. The spring is just a two minute drive up the road and hiking was amazing.