Our location is ideal. We are centrally located smack-dab in the middle of the most popular trail riding area of the Shawnee, with direct access to the trails (no need to trailer out). Riders staying at other local campgrounds literally have to ride through our property to access many trails! You can ride out of camp heading to the East (leading to Indian Kitchen, Secret Canyon, Lusk Creek Wilderness, Saltpeter Cave, Owl Bluff, etc), and to the West (to Double Branch Hole, Jackson Hole, Peter's Cave, Petticoat Junction, Crow Knob, Hayes Creek, etc).
Within a 4-mile radius of Hayes Canyon Campground there are 67 miles of designated Forest Service trails (the highest mileage of any permitted camp).
Within a 10-mile radius of Hayes Canyon Campground there are 180 miles of Forest Service trails.
[these numbers do not include several more miles of open trails on private property]
See Frequent Questions #1 for more information on trail markings and trail guide service.
You will get a local trails map when you check-in on arrival [1 free map per campsite, additional copies $1]. See our Photo Gallery for this 8.5 x14" downloadable and printable local trails map.
Available for purchase from the "Friends of the Shawnee" organization is a large 24" x32" double-sided, color trails map. This trail map includes trails in a 3-county area (much further than can be ridden from camp in 1 day). And now they are waterproof and tear resistant! 25% of the proceeds from the map go back to trail improvements. [the other 75% goes to the printing cost and to other projects of the Friends group such as childrens programs, fishing derbys, etc] Click here to view the large trails map for the Eddyville Area Note - this is a very large file (over 20 MB) and takes some time to load. The version available online is from 2010 so is not up-to-date. This large map ONLY shows trails on National Forest ground, there are additional connecting trails on private ground, shown on our local trail map. Available for sale here at the campground office as a convenience for our customers, or you can purchase at Forest Service offices in Harrisburg and Vienna for the same price (they are open 9-4:30 mon-fri, closed holidays). Price is 2016 is $12.75 including tax.
East of Hayes Canyon Campground are locations such as Lusk Creek Wilderness, Indian Kitchen, Saltpeter Cave, Natural Bridge, etc.
To the West of Hayes Canyon Campground are Bay Creek Wilderness, Jackson Hole, Peter's Cave, and Sand Cave. Double Branch Hole is just off the West of our property boundary.
Lusk Creek Wilderness, Bay Creek Wilderness, and Garden-of-the-Gods Wilderness trails only [note these areas on your map]. These trails are open seasonally from April 1st to November 30th. Group size in wilderness areas is limited to 10 persons. These trails may be temporarily posted as closed after rain--there is a sign at the trail head leaving camp towards the Wilderness that will tell you if the area is open or closed that day.
Notes to help you plan your trip : Trail conditions vary from level to very steep grades and from dirt to gravel to rocky. Your trip will be more enjoyable for both of you if your horse is adequately conditioned. There are many opportunities to offer water on the trail, but if visiting during the heat of the summer accustom your horse to accepting electrolyte solution in some form before your visit. It is highly recommended to have your equine shod x4. Those with sensitive hooves may benefit from pads. Barefoot horses may find the flat ledges of limestone rock encountered on trail much more slippery than to shod horses. Some visitors use hoof boots successfully, but this takes advance preparation and be sure the boots fit securely or it could be expensive and frustrating.