Stay in a Tree House in the Shawnee National Forest

When I was a kid, the neighborhood boys built a tree house in an old cottonwood that stood in an empty lot down the street.  The stairs were short lengths of 2x4s nailed to the tree trunk.  From the ground the tree house didn’t look like much, a crude structure of scrap plywood constructed in the way 12-year-old boys with no carpentry experience would build it.  I never saw the inside because girls weren’t allowed.


Timber Ridge Outpost and CabinsFast forward a few years (okay, more than a few years), and I am invited to Timber Ridge Outpost & Cabins, in the midst of Southern Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest, to see tree houses that would turn those neighborhood boys green with envy.  The tree houses at Timber Ridge are built for overnight stays with all of the comforts of home, including heat and air conditioning.  One is suspended between two trees, and the other is built on stilts with a tree running right through the tree house deck, where you can sit in the sun dappled shade.

Tree house at Timber Ridgetreehouse2treeYou can grill or cook over the open fire in your private fire ring, or if you can’t do without modern cooking conveniences, prepare meals in the fully equipped kitchenette.

treehouse_kitchen2treehouse_kitchenRelax in the hammock outside your unit or on the sofa indoors.  When you’re ready for bed, climb the ladder to the loft.

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Hammocktreehouse_sitting_areatreehouse_ladderIf you’d rather, you can stay in a cabin with a spacious living room and kitchen on the first floor.   One cabin has a ladder up to the loft; the other has regular stairs.


cabin_kitchendining_and_bathcabin_living_areaCabin_loft_4During the day you can take archery lessons, bike through trails of the Shawnee National Forest, even have a massage therapist visit your tree house or cabin for a relaxing treatment.  I’ll bet those neighborhood boys never dreamed of such luxuries in a tree house.

If you care to stay in a tree house …

Timber Ridge Outpost & Cabins, open year-round, is located in Hardin County in Southern Illinois near the Shawnee National Forest’s Garden of the Gods.  Check rates and availability


Disclosure: Our stay at Timber Ridge Outpost & Cabins was hosted by the resort and Enjoy Illinois. However, all opinions express in this article are my own.

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4 thoughts on “Stay in a Tree House in the Shawnee National Forest

  • April 2, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Hi there how many people does the cabin sleep? Where are you located exactly how close are You located by Anna Illinois? Where interest in taking our children with this and I have a sister in Dongola and Anna. I should mention that our children are grown

    • April 2, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      Hi Julie. You reached us here at Midwest Wanderer, not at Timber Ridge. It’s been a few years since we stayed at Timber Ridge Outpost and Cabins, so I don’t recall how many the cabin slept. We’ve added a link within the article that will allow you to check availability, rates, etc.

  • January 24, 2021 at 9:23 am

    Would like to know availability to stay in a tree house in the Shawnne National Park March 29th through April 1st. 2 adults amd 2 teens?

    • January 24, 2021 at 6:48 pm

      Hi Judi,
      Thank you reading our article about Timber Ridge Outpost & Cabins. This link will take you
      to check availability and make reservations. Check rates and availability


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