Hi Ben & Patti,
Just wanted to say my wife & I had a great time (just too short) at your camp ground this weekend. I had stayed there many years ago with my parents as a teen/young adult, but my wife had never been before. We are planning on trying out several of the camp grounds in Shawnee, but my wife has already said she wants to go back to Hayes Canyon Campground. So, I'm sure you will be seeing us again.
Also, I wanted to tell you about the highlight of my stay with you. I was heading over to the bathroom/shower house this morning (Sunday). It was about the same time that the Cowboy Church was starting & I noticed a group of children & their mother coming from the other direction...I assume headed to the church service. The kids were running & playing & one little girl in particular was running down the hill in my direction. I was trying to stay out of her way & moved over a little bit to give her room to get past me but she just kept running right towards me. I assumed she was busy playing with the other kids & wasn't paying attention to the stranger coming from the other way. So, I kept trying to move out of her way, but she just kept coming towards me. I finally just stopped, thinking that she would just run on by me. Nope. This sweet little girl made a bee line right to me, grabbed me around the legs, & gave me a hug. I realized then that is what she was trying to do all along & the reason why every time I tried to stay out of her way, she just moved right towards me anyway. I was so surprised by her hug that I just patted her on the back & said, "Hi, how are you", but never even thought to ask her name or introduce myself to her mother. She quickly let go of me & ran along, but I thought that was one of the sweetest things that had happened to me in a long time. It wasn't until later that I started wondering who the little girl was. Ben was the only one in the office when I checked in & I hadn't met the rest of your family, but I think now that the little girl was your daughter. So, if I'm correct & you were wondering who the stranger was that got the big hug...that was me. You have a very sweet little girl there & that hug made my day. Just wanted to share that
Thanks for a great weekend & I wish you & your family the best.
Ben and Patti,
Thank you for all that you do at Hayes Canyon.
Silvia and I (and all our group) really appreciate those special things that you do to keep us all happy. I thought the musical evenings were great! Very special. Thanks for making us aware of what was going on.
I enjoyed seeing your family too.
We had a wonderful vacation there, possibly the best one yet. I always recommend your place, you do a good job!
Sorry, Ben, that you had to endure issues regarding my dog, and speak to me about it, which I was glad to know. However, because of the learning experiences that she had there, she was a better dog at the end of the week than at the beginning. Just a puppy, still! Our 2nd set of neighbors tried to see if I would let her go home with them.
Just in case they are found, I am missing a dog tie out cable, silver. (I asked Patti about that before I left to see if it was turned in, it was already missing). Also, I may have left the awning pull rod. If you find either, please let me know.
(just so you know) Our first neighbors (at least one of them) did not do a very good job of keeping his stall cleaned and when he did, he threw it in the ditch behind the stall. I can’t imagine why when the carts are right there!! Maybe some threats for clean-up fees would be appropriate for people so unaware of the efforts to keep up the property nice and consideration to camp neighbors.
Have a good season!!
Mingo, IA 06/2012
Thank you for the information. We had no trouble finding you. We had a wonderful stay at your campground and look forward to our next stay with you. I also wanted to thank you for letting us use the pole barn nails and hammer for the tent. We did put them in the bucket at the campsite and was going to bring them to the office but drove off and forgot about them being there. Sorry about that.
Turners Station KY 06/2012
Thanks you for your hospitality at your campground this past week end. We really enjoyed your campground and trails surrounding it. Your suggestion for Don Cloud was wonderful, he really showed us a great time and very informative. We also thank you for the use of your trailer to another site. We will definitely be back next year.
Ben and Carlene S.
Quincy, IL 9/29/10
Ben and Patti,
I just wanted to tell you what a great time we had down in your area. This was the first time we had ever been to the Shawnee area in southern IL for most of us. We were the party that came in Thursday afternoon that you set us up just down from the office across the bridge by the horse wash area. The reservation was under the last name of *****. All 8 of us had a great time, you guys were very accommodating. Thank you so much for the use of the stock trailer it was a life saver. You don’t know how good it was to not have to pick up our camp and load the horses and come back to set camp up again. Your campground is a very nice place and I will recommend it to all of our friends. If we can help you out in any way let me know. We had Don Cloud guide us the first day and he did an excellent job. He took us by the points of interest and also gave us the history of the area and the different sites we went to. He is very good at what he does, anyone new to the area should definitely get in touch with him. The views are so spectacular. We are all talking about coming back again next year we just have to figure out everyone’s vacation schedule.
Thanks again for all of your hospitality.
Fowler, IL 9/27/10
Ben, Patti and children, we just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for the wonderful time we had at your campground over Labor Day weekend. We appreciate all the updating you have done. The shower house and the entire campground was so clean and comfortable. We enjoyed meeting you and the kids and especially enjoyed cowboy church. Your manure removal was great and all the staff was friendly and hard working. We hope to come back next year for another great get away. We like the way you provide the wood when needed for our camp site. All around it was a wonderful experience and we will be back.
Thanks again and may God Bless you in the years to come.
Ron and Cathy L
Hull, IL 9/8/10
I just wanted to let you know that we really enjoyed our camping trip over the weekend. We hadn't been there in seveal years and you have done so many inprovements. We will certainly be back. We also appreciate that you took the time to show us several choices of campsites and gave us all the info that we needed. Thanks again and hope to see you soon.
Ben and Patti,
Thought you might like to see an article from the Illinois Horse Network. They've always been very supportive of the Derby Party (St Jude's benefit). Bev B. put me in touch with someone from Trail Rider magazine, and they're willing to ruhn a promo for us for next year . . .Thank you again for all your help with the Derby Party. I always sing your praisis when folks ask about where to stay and ride in Shawnee.
Greenville, IL 7/1/10
Dear Ben and Patti,
Thanks again for the great week we had at Hayes Canyon; your campsite is one of the very best we've been to, and your management of the campground and facilities is without compare; throw in Shawnee National Forest and the excellent trail rides, and you have a real winner. Daryl and I look forward to seeing you next June, with our friends in tow. . . .
Dr Frank L.
Independence, MO 6/22/10
Hi Patti, Ben and Gracie. Lin and I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful vacation the week of June 5. We really enjoyed your beautiful Shawnee Forest and your campground. We plan on returning some day but just don't know when. We have a son in the military who has been assigned to Ft. Campbell which shares the KY/TN border prior to leaving for Afghanastan in February. We always take a horse riding vacation over my fall break but will devote it this year to seeing him. Will have to admit tho, we will probably stay at the Wranglers Campground at Land Between the Lakes which is near where he will be staying and squeezing some riding in. ( = But as predicted by those before us, Shawnee is definitely among the best riding destinations we've ever ridden and only a 5 hour drive from home. So we will be back! Good luck to both of you with your impending birth of your son and enjoy that beautiful family. And I promise that your hard work and dedication to your facility and the trails of Shawnee is being bragged to our other horsey friends. Word of mouth is priceless. Until we meet again...
Duana and Linn M
Camby IN 6/18/10
Patti & Ben - I just wanted to tell you thank you for a great weekend! We always have a wonderful time at Hayes. The weather turned out wonderful(no rain)! You are always so friendly and helpful. Paige has celebrated her birthday at Hayes for the last couple of years and probably will for the next couple. We are glad Grace got to come down and have cake with us! Thanks again!
Tennyson, IN 6/2/10
Just wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time there in April. I was with Brad and his group. I have recommended your campground to anyone who will listen. Some friends have expressed interest in coming down this fall. Thank you, thank you for the wonderful, clean showers. It sure was nice to have a nice hot shower in a spotless facility at the end of a long day of riding. The whole campground was beautifully maintained and the manure carts were emptied in a very timely manner. Thanks for all the firewood deliveries ;) Keep up the good work and all the best to your family.
Springfield, IL 5/13/10
Ben and Patti,
As always, I can't thank you enough for your support of the annual Derby Party (St Jude's Benefit). It helps so much to use the Loafin' Shed and your large tents, not to mention all the other supplies and manpower you loan us. The permanent campers have been so supportive, also. Since Stacey got involved, this fund raiser has grown every year. She is a good organizer and gets everyone rounded up to help. I have so much fun every year.....raising money for St. Jude's is icing on the cake. Thanks again. Hope to see you Memorial Day.
Greenville, Il. 5/4/2010
Hi Patti,I had a WONDERFUL time this past week at your campground =-) even though my horse twisted a shoe on our last day! You, Ben and Grace were wonderful hosts. . . we had such a nice time in April we're coming back in September and bringing more friends. Looking forward to our next visit!
Zion, IL 4/29/10
I Love this place patti and ben!
Alex G age 9
Clare, IL 3/25/10
Dear Ben and Patti,
We wanted to thank you and let you know how much we enjoyed our stay with you. We really enjoyed the trails and the camp grounds. It by far surpassed our expectations ! We hope to visit again soon.
Rick and Celeste C.
Brookland, AR 12/3/09
Ben & Patti,
My sis, Deb, and I wanted you to know what a great time we had on our trip to your beautiful area. Your campground is a great place to stay and we are already planning our trip back there next year. We wish your family a well-deserved winter down-time.
Sue M and Deb H.
Montezuma, IL 10/28/09
Hello Patti & Ben (and Baby)
Just a note to tell you how much we enjoyed the trial riding out of Hayes Canyon Camp. The trails were great. The scenery was fabulous. I was designated as "trail boss" for our group (from Minnesota). We did have an excellent ride, with some pluses! We managed to step over (but not significantly disturb) a Copper-head snake, near "Buffalo Bluff". No harm. no foul. We rode most of the day and I had saved the "Jackson Hole" area for last. What an awesome spot that is! Spectacular! We're home again now in Minnesota, but are lookng forward to another trip to the Shawnee. Perhaps in the fall(?)Great riding. Thanks again.
Greg & Peggy P.
Inver Grove Heights, MN 8/30/09
Patty & Ben,
I’m a little late sending this to you but I just wanted to tell you thanks for all the help you gave us with the trails etc. when M.B. and I were down there a couple of weeks ago. You have a great campgrounds and we really enjoyed our stay. Thanks for ordering the perfect weather while we were there. I loved riding the Forest and I can’t wait to come back. Hope to see you next year. Take care and God bless.
Ankeny, IA 6/2/2009
Ben and Patti,
Thank you so much for your support of the annual Derby Ride and Fundraiser. We really appreciate the use of the 'Loafin" Shed and the shirt and 3 nights camping you donated. Grace was a doll, of course! What a lucky little girl she is. Again, thank you for making things go so smoothly at the Derby Ride.
Greenville, IL 5/25/09
Dear Hayes Canyon & Friends,
I just wanted to tell you again how much I appreciated all the help with my dog Zyrus. I have attached pictures of him. He wanted to thank you also. Ha, Ha. He is really doing well during his recovery even if he does hate the collar he has to wear to keep him from pulling out his stitches. We had a re-visit at our local vet yesterday and he was not healed enough to remove stitches so he was re-bandaged and sent home for the weekend. He had no broken bones, that was a good thing. Thanks to all who helped me and my daughter, Carlea. Please pass this message on to all who helped us. There are a lot of truly good people out there and I and Carlea met a lot of them during this past weekend. I do not know what we would have done without all of you helping us. Thanks for being our little angels.
Olney IL 10/2008
We left Monday morning and you weren't around-- just wanted to say we enjoyed our short stay there and the trail riding was really nice! Good luck with your baby too!
Thanks- Kristi and Dave ( from Oregon) 8/2008
Patti + Ben,
You have a very nice campground. I really like the horse pens at each site. It's great that you have a Sunday morning worship service. The sites are well layed-out and groomed. The trails are well marked. Keep up the good work. I will be back again!!
Happy Trails, Mike T.
Niles, MI 6/2008
My name is Dana G. I am from Martinsville,IL. I am a 4 year member of the Clark County 4-H and involved in the horse program. . . You have the best campground & trails. Thank you.
Martinsville, IL 2/2008
Good morning Patti! Our group wanted to let you know HOW MUCH we enjoyed your campground! We all commented on how nice it was to have owners that really cared so much about their customers satisfaction. We visited with several of your regular customers - they also commented on how good you all are to your customers. We spread word to others we met and talked to along the trail about how nice it was at HAYES.. In all the campgrounds we've stayed...very few have offered such incredible customer service! . . .
Liz M. via email
Mayfield, KY 10/2007
Hello, just wanted to tell you Thank you for such a nice camp ground. You guys made us feel right at home. We have told several people about the way you treat your guest. It seemed like everywhere we turned you guys went way beyond the things that most camp grounds do for their guest, keep up the good work and we hope we will see you guys soon. Have a great day.
KymW. and friends via email
Paducah, KY 10/2007
Hi guys!! Just wanted to say hello! Thanks for a wonderful weekend as usual! You guys work hard to keep things nice and it shows!! Patti- Thought you might like to see our cowgirl sisterhood webpage- The cowgirl riding rules on the homepage are funny! There are lots of pics from the trails of our favorite place- Hayes Canyon!! http://www1.freewebs.com/cowgirlsisterhood/
Candi S via email
Dawson, IL 10/2007
I sure enjoyed the stay. You have one of the most pleasant campgrounds I've ever been to. I loved having my horse right there by our site, and it was so quiet.
Kevie O. via email
Abbeville, MS 10/2007
I just want to tell you how much fun we had at Hayes Canyon this past weekend. You and Ben made us feel at home, and you were truly appreciative of our business. Just coming around and visiting at the campsites is a nice touch. Several places we have been to do that also. It makes us feel as though we are welcome to be there. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!! And you have a great ambassador in Hilary and her mother Mary Lee. They took us under their wings. They know so much about the area, and love sharing it with others. Hilary stole our hearts, I only wish our 17 year old daughter, Ashton, could have been along to ride with her. They would have hit it off so well.
The campsites are so well maintained, and I could tell you try to stay ahead of any maintenance. I know it's hard work. Anyway, we loved every minute of it and we'll plan on coming back. We were invited there on Thanksgiving Day.
Steven and Becki K. via email
Kahoka, MO 08/2007
"This was our first trip to the camp. We were so impressed. Everything was great. The bathrooms were spotless. The store was convenient. The sights were awesome. We will be back."
"We just wanted to thank you again for the great hospitality and a wonderful place to stay. We will tell all our riding and hunting friends about your place. . . thanks again."
Jeanne & Wayne and Bailey (our dog)
"I wanted you both to know how much I enjoyed the Memorial Day Weekend. The ice cream social was very enjoyable and everyone had a good time. We met a lot of new friends. You have worked hard this year on the campground. Keep up the good work. It's appreciated.
p.s. For so many people there it sure was quiet and peaceful. Also appreciated."
"We loved your campground especially how clean and nice the bathrooms were, and you were very hospitable and it was very appreciated. Thank you."
Lone Dell, MO
"Just a note to compliment you on your nice campground. Our family and several friends from Clay County camped there Labor Day weekend. In our group were several small children. We, as parents, are very appreciative that your campground is a place where we can take our children. At bedtime we noticed that it was quiet with no drinking parties and foul language being heard. We have been at campgrounds where we will not go back because it was not a place for families. However, with your campgournd we plan to come back many times; and we will highly recommend it to other people. Out on the trails we even heard other horse riders, whom we did not know, commenting how they appreicated the quiet atmosphere of your campground. Keep up the good work. We really appreciate it."
Jesse & Lynette B. and family
"You have a very nice campground. You put it in a good place, too. The rocks are beautiful. The trails are nice too. I had a very great time. Who ever is cleaning the bathrooms are doing great!
A girl from Mississippi"
You guys have alot of stuff to do. It's fun to play on the rocks and stuff. You have lots of trails. This is the best camp I could come to.
A Mississippi Girl with a big group :)
I've been meaning to drop you guys a note- Just wanted to say Thanks & we all had a great time over Labor Day weekend- Everyone in our group thought that your campground was the nicest we've been to and had the best trail access! Everything was so neat and tidy too- I don't know how you do it!! We'll be back for sure!
Candi and Dave S.
Hi Ben and Patti - we just wanted to let you know what a great time we had down at your campground Oct 13-15. The weather and the hospitality was fantastic and that Red Cedar Inn was delicious!! We hope to return next year for another long weekend. Again, thank you for a great getaway and we look forward to another visit.
Bill and Renee D.
White Heath, IL
We had a blast staying with you. Wish we could have stayed longer.
John & Carri F.
Had a great time at your place. I'll recommend it to all my friends.
We really enjoyed our stay at Hayes Canyon Campground. We'll tell our friends about you and hope to return next year.
Dave & Mary N.