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Reviews for Hayes Canyon Campground  
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Eddyville, IL

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Overall CAMP RATING with 66 votes:

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Went for the first time in June loved the campground. Going back in September it was easy to get to and everyone was great. It's just about 3 hours from us.
Reviewed by: Carla K Hall on 7/12/2016 3:31:55 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/17/2016 Hometown: Covington, tn

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We just returned from a 9 day stay in Shawnee - for half of our trip we stayed at Hayes Canyon - the campground was AMAZING - Ben and his family were so incredibly kind and helpful from getting us parked to ensuring we had everything we need including a farrier for a lost shoe! The permanent site residents were all so kind and welcoming - had great recommendations for rides and knew all the details of the trails what not to miss, what to avoid, level of difficulty for trails (we had kids with us). The shower house and laundry facilities were impeccable - we started using the shower house instead of trailers they were so nice and spacious! The sites provided great shade for us and our horses. the pens were great with rubber mats and manure removal daily by the staff. For easy access to watering your horse, bring a water splitter and a hose. The trails were great - trails to the west were very well marked - don't miss Jackson Hole. Indian Kitchen there were new trails being built so the markings were not as good but we made it! The catfish at the Shawnee Lodge was great too - with a great small town local atmosphere - hitching rails for the horses so you can ride there!! If you have kids, Ben's oldest daughter loves to play with younger campers so make sure to introduce yourself - she is the kindest little girl and loves to show off her tadpoles and bull frogs to the kids!
Reviewed by: Reed2016 on 6/25/2016 4:09:18 PM
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Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/18/2016 Hometown: Ellsworth, WI

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Reviewed by: randyp on 9/12/2015 4:32:43 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 9/1/2015 Hometown: Celina, OH

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Stayed at Hayes Canyon after traveling from Ohio, arriving at another local camp that was found to be completely unacceptable. Called Hayes Canyon on the recommendation of some day riders we met at the first camp. They were able to take us and we found the camp to be more than acceptable! It was neat, tidy, clean, and well organized. The sites were a bit tight but Ben was more than helpful in getting our rigs into good position. They provide wagons for manure and haul it away from your site every morning. The bath house was utterly immaculate, you could have eaten off the floor in there. It was one of the cleanest camps we have been to in the years we have been camping. There are a lot of permanent campers there and the folks we met were helpful and friendly. The trails were excellent. The Shawnee Conservancy and the Forest Service are doing a great job hardening the trails. For the most part they are well marked but we highly recommend maps and GPS. I bought the Shawnee conservancy map and found it to exceptionally accurate. There were some intersections where the trail markings were sparse resulting in some difficulty getting the right trail. Overall I rate camp and trails as excellent.
Reviewed by: RachelV on 6/21/2015 8:46:08 PM
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Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/15/2015 Hometown: Chardon, OH

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Spent Memorial Day weekend at Hayes Canyon and riding the Shawnee Trails. This is one of our favorite places. The campsite is always clean and neat and the facilities are top notch. Ben and family are always helpful and both the permanent and temporary guests are friendly. Look forward to October when we return. Best camp in the Shawnee area
Reviewed by: Aubrey R. Henley on 5/29/2015 7:36:43 PM
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Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/22/2015 Hometown: Rineyville, KY

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Campground clean and neat. Our pens could been nicer but ok. We been to this campground 3 times in last 7 years and is only getting nicer and well kept up. Wish weekend campers had more room at sites compared to permanent sites large areas. Is in great location for trail heads location. A bucket list must.
Reviewed by: Amy Clark on 4/29/2015 6:02:07 AM
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Experience: Expert Ride Date: 4/9/2015 Hometown: Princeville, Illinois, MO

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Hayes Canyon was great. The trails were well marked and the very well maintained. Campsites were wonderful, plenty of room for our large rig and we used the covered stalls which were great. Very nice people.
Reviewed by: beth&mark on 5/27/2013 10:44:06 AM
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Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 5/15/2013 Hometown: Tiger, GA

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Have been trying all the campsites and riding trails in southern Illinois. Hayes Canyon is one of the friendliest place I have found. Very family oriented. The couple that owns the facility is very friendly and organized. The trail maps are easy to follow and the trails are very well maintained. The camp sites are fairly level and the pens had rubber mats so even in the rain they were great. Sites are large enough to fit even the big rigs. Would recommend Hayes Canyon. (Stay away from Bear Branch down the road!)
Reviewed by: maryz on 5/10/2013 5:06:09 PM
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Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 5/3/2013 Hometown: jackson, tn

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We just returned from Hayes Canyon horse camp. The riding to me is some of best in the country. Camp ground was clean. We enjoyed our eight days riding in Shawnee. Trails are not well marked but Hayes canyon map was good. I do believe that GPS or compass is a must. I use a GPS all the time and it did come in handy on one of our rides. Couple of things that I feel the camp needs to improve are the pens, there are three medal rods separating the stalls, I had one of my horses kick at the horse behind him and got his leg stuck. It took me and the camper next to me to get him freed up at 6:00am in the morning. Luckily his leg was not broken and only had minor scraps. The pens during the rain become very nasty and not much you can do about standing water. Pens need to have some limestone chips and be leveled so water can run off. Some of the campsites are not very level and could use some grading. Take some 2x6's or something to level your trailer
Reviewed by: Gregg on 10/8/2012 6:15:02 PM
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Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/28/2012 Hometown: , KY

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This was our first trip to Shawnee and absolutely loved it! The trails are very scenic with an abundance of rock formations. The campground is well kept, quiet, and clean (bathhouse was spotless). Ben is extremely helpful and knowledgible about the trails. The trails are marked, but you really need a compass if its your first time. Will definitely be back!!!
Reviewed by: Amanda W. on 9/16/2012 12:14:03 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/12/2012 Hometown: Lebanon, TN

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What a great place to stay and ride. Ben is very accomodatng and friendly-makes a mean chili too! The trails are fantastic and the views are breath-taking...Highly recommend this place for trail riders
Reviewed by: LB on 11/13/2011 4:55:47 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/27/2011 Hometown: Troy, MO

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Just finished up another great extended weekend vacation at Hayes Canyon Campground. Ben & Patti were excellent hosts. We had a large group and they got us all in there and within walking distance to each other’s campsites. The weather was perfect and the trail riding was the best! Thanks Ben & Patti for another great vacation see you again next year!
Reviewed by: Dustin on 10/13/2011 4:19:30 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/10/2011 Hometown: Rooks Creek, IL

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Great place to camp and ride. The owners are super nice! Many trails to ride with such scenic views. Can't wait to go back in the Fall and explore some more!!
Reviewed by: Lori Burroughs on 10/3/2011 7:49:36 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/27/2011 Hometown: Troy, MO

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First trip to Shawnee...amazing! We have ridden all over Indiana and Michigan - Shawnee tops them all. Campground was great, rates more than reasonable. A few tips: make sure your horses have shoes on all four feet, either take a giuded tour offered by Hayes or buy a handheld GPS...trust me on that one! The maps are very detailed, but the trails are only marked at major intersections intentionally...they want it to be "primative and natural". The views are the best I have ever seen while trail riding. Natural rock formations everywhere. Plenty of water for the horses along the way since there are so many waterways. Although the trails are rugged, and the landscape very "hilly", the trails wind along so you gradually make your way to the top and then back down the other side - much easier on the horses. I didn't experience any areas that were dangerous to ride... Beautiful! If you have never been, you gotta go; it's a "must do" - we'll be back for sure!
Reviewed by: Bob on 9/19/2011 11:13:53 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/17/2011 Hometown: Elkhart, IN

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Hayes Canyun Campground is like home away from home. Have stayed many, many times & it has always been great. Ben & Patti run an excellent campground. Access to trails is wonderful. It's a beautiful part of the country and must be experienced by horseback. I would recommend staying here over anywhere I have ever been.
Reviewed by: Marie Finney on 7/21/2011 11:24:58 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/15/2011 Hometown: Westfield, IL

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Reviewed by: Lorri on 7/18/2011 11:32:16 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/5/2011 Hometown: Jackson, MO

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Campground was nice and well maintained. The owners were prompt and attentive, very nice atmosphere. Trails were nice, but hard to follow with map & so called signs. If you can hook up with a permanent camper there, have them take you out. You will see the great sites and find the nice trails.
Reviewed by: Denise R. on 6/18/2011 3:25:28 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/13/2011 Hometown: Dodgeville, Select State

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This place has it all including cabins, covered stalls and even a guide for hire so you can't get lost. The trails are said to be marked but they are hard to follow even with a map and signs are not located in critical places as they should be! This campground is clean and well maintained and the people are friendly and very helpful!
Reviewed by: Becky on 6/13/2011 4:36:31 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/10/2011 Hometown: Oakley, IL

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i come here many times the last 3 years and want to have a year round spot some day when i retire! the last person talking about old wood is probly seeing the rough cut oak that they use on teh pens. i work at lumberyard so i know. that stuff is too hard to put a nail into! keeps horse from chew thru it in one day, i have a mule that can eat a pine 2x4 in one night, its happened! city folks think the yellow pine is pretty, huh, don't see any 100 yr old barns made of it! the rough oak looks old and gray after only a month in the outside. the pens here are pine posts 4x4s and oak board or welded metal fencing that is safe. the gates are pine 2x4s and thats what my mule ate one time. if have a horse you think would jump or whatever, like eat his way free like mine, ha! can tie it on a post in the pen and it is the same as putting ona high picket line. some boards are chewed but the owners cant be expected to replace every board all the time. when my mule chewed the gate they fixed it and replaced some other boards in the pen that same day. so i would say just ask them if a board looks too chewed.
Reviewed by: jerald on 2/22/2011 8:57:51 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 2/19/2011 Hometown: paducah, KY

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We really liked camping sites but didn't care for stalls(wished were more than welded rods and old boards)that was big not at all what Campgound should offer as Safe stalls.Would not recomend because of horse stalls but were improved or safe new wood might praise Safety of horse/ride comes first.
Reviewed by: Sally on 11/7/2010 10:07:55 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/11/2010 Hometown: , IL

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We really enjoyed our stay with Patti and Ben. In all my travels to many campgrounds, this one is the best. Benn and Patti goe extra lenghts to make your stay as nice as they can. The facilities are fantasic, and the camp is well maintained.I am very pleased with having found such a nice place to visit, and planning on a spring trip to ride there again.
Reviewed by: Onvetta Herrin on 11/7/2010 6:31:39 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/24/2010 Hometown: Coatesville, IN

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we traveled with 3 sets of campers and 8 horses. Our visit at campground was found to be most enjoyable, helpful, and accomadating. We will definitely be back
Reviewed by: Ben Spohr on 11/2/2010 12:23:02 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 9/26/2010 Hometown: Quincy, IL

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This was the 1st time that our group has been down to Shawnee with the exceptions of our husbands. We found the campgrounds to be great and the owners were very accomodating with our every need. We have not been to a campground that was this great we will be back again. We loved the place and the trails and our guide that was reccomened to us by the campground was very informative about the area and took us to some very beautiful places. We are already talking about when we can come back down to Hayes Canyon Campground again. Stay at Hayes Canyon and you will have a wonderful time.
Reviewed by: Carolyn Yates on 10/13/2010 2:37:34 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/24/2010 Hometown: Fowler, IL

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My family and I really enjoyed staying at Hayes Campground. The owner of the campground was so accomidating. When we drove up to the office he took us around the campground on his golfcart so we could pick one out before we drove our horsetrailer in. He gave us alot of information about the trails. The cost was very good and I really liked having my horses in pens and not on a picket line. All the campsites have pens and also have a small wagon to clean the stalls out and they will empty them for you every morning. I will definetly go back.
Reviewed by: Lauri Barbre on 9/29/2010 10:05:06 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 9/11/2010 Hometown: Fairfield, IL

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2nd time to Shawnee National Forest but 1st time to Hayes Canyon Campground. What an awesome place. The campground was full and each spot was big enough that you never felt crowed or in anyone else’s way. Ben and Patti are the nicest campground owners or host you will ever meet. They run their business like a 5 star hotel. Everything is clean, the grass is trimmed up along with the bushes, and trees, the lots are level, the gravel roads are smooth, the restroom and showers are sparkling clean. Ben and Patti are always there to help you out and meet all your needs. My friends couldn’t get over the fact that they picked up our manure every morning. See you in the Fall!
Reviewed by: Dustin on 9/8/2010 11:08:08 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 9/4/2010 Hometown: Pontiac, IL

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This was our first trip to Hayes Canyon and Shawnee National Forest. The owners were very nice and helpful, and when we arrived Ben (owner) took us around in his cart to show us the entire camp ground and made sure we were happy with our choice of camp sites before we took our rig to the site. He also helped us get backed into our site and unload the horse's. The camp is VERY clean and shady with a bath house that is top notch. We had 3 covered stalls right on our camp site and that is the best idea I have seen from all of the grounds we have visited. The trails were easy to access and the map got us around very well for our first time. We are already looking forward to another trip this fall. This camp ground has many permanent campers who were very friendly and helpful showing a new weekender the area. Thanks again to all... "The only down side to the whole weekend is they do not have a chuch service on the camp grounds every weekend, but we understand that during the busy months they do have a service."
Reviewed by: Mike on 8/30/2010 9:52:48 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 8/28/2010 Hometown: Hartford, KY

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Campground is close to many beautiful trails. Campground itself is great, with the exception of gravel in the horses pens. The trails are beautiful, make sure your horse is shod! Cant see it all in one trip, would come back again!
Reviewed by: vero on 8/5/2010 8:46:04 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/12/2010 Hometown: Nashville, MI

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Could not have asked for a better place to stay! We've camped with horses in TN, IL, IN, SD, ND, AK, MO, GA, & Al, and Hayes Canyon is the best of the best! Ben and Patti are great owners and helped us when our horse coliced. Highly recommend!!!
Reviewed by: Susie on 7/8/2010 7:06:30 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 7/1/2010 Hometown: Nashville, TN

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The campgrounds was clean and the sites were shady. It was nice to have stalls instead using tie outs. The trails were marked well. Some trails were closed due to construction Ben was nice to trailer us one day. Over all a great weekend,can't wait to go back.
Reviewed by: Kathy on 6/29/2010 7:46:03 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 6/28/2010 Hometown: Arenzville, IL

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The campground was very nice and well maintained. The sites were well shaded and had gravel parking pads. The outhouse and showers were both the cleanest I've ever seen. There is a nice matted washrack and a round pen with good footing. The owners were very nice and helpful, as were the permanent campers we met. The campground was very quiet and relaxing. My only complaint is that the horse pens on our site had gravel footing and the horses seemed uncomfortable, most of them wouldn't lay down the whole trip. Also, some of the pens looked a bit unsafe with metal rods, but ours were fine and it looks like many others are being improved. The trails were beautiful and well marked. The scenery is amazing, and there are nice high lines at several destinations to stop and take a break. Most of the trails were well maintained with gravel, but some sections were excessively muddy. One area did appear to have new trails being built with mud control fabric and gravel being put in. I would recommend shoes, even for horses who normally do fine barefoot, as the trails are very rocky. Definitely one of the most beautiful places I have ridden.
Reviewed by: KLN on 5/19/2010 7:35:24 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/13/2010 Hometown: Crestwood, KY

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Great place to camp and ride very clean bathrooms and showers plenty of space on our camp site the owners understand customer service which is hard to find at most places!
Reviewed by: chris on 5/18/2010 6:21:13 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/15/2010 Hometown: bethalto, IL

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my friends and I have been to Ben and Patty's place for 5 years now we Love every part of it. Ben and Patty go out of there way to make your and your horses stay great the Trail are amazing. we go out at 8:30 am and return around 6pm and never have a bad ride. My friends and I like rough riding and we get alot of that there. There are alot of water crossings in a nut shell its WONDERFUL....The Shower house it the cleanest I have ever seen. It is not a routy place and we like that..We have met some new Lifetime friends. The Stalls are close to you, you can be on the trails in 5 minutes. We plan to return for many years.....DONT PASS UP AN CHANCE TO STAY HERE YOU WILL LOVE IT....
Reviewed by: Barbara on 4/29/2010 6:21:48 AM
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Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/15/2009 Hometown: Abingdon, IL

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I always though Tennesse was a trail riders paradise that is until I went to southern Illinois even with an unusual rainy spell that trip topped the charts. I couldn't make up my mind which camp ground I liked better staying at Hayes Canyon and Bay Creek this year so next year I just booked a week at each again. Every trail we rode for the 9 days we were there had something special and different to offer. I took over 300 pictures of the rocks, water, woods, wildlife, and people we met. When I showed the pictures to my friends in Tennessee they didn't waste a minute booking their Illinoise vacation. LOVED IT can't wait till next year!!!!!
Reviewed by: Anita Coffman on 10/29/2009 8:51:02 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/20/2009 Hometown: Gray, TN

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Really great riding - the owners were very nice and as accommodating as can be. There had been a lot of rain, so the camp site and pens were horribly muddy. Some gravel would have really helped. The horse pens were unsafe in my opinion - we didn't have anyone get injured, but did have tail and mane hair pulled out by the chainlink wrapping the trees, had rebar fall out of the posts that we bungied up and finally moved one horse to a pen with a cattle panel as a gait and he immediately stuck his foot through (I was able to free it without incident). Bath was as clean as I have ever seen - and other campers and owners were great.
Reviewed by: Allison on 7/13/2009 10:58:34 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/9/2009 Hometown: Kansas City, KS

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The campsites have pens that hold up to 4 horses. Water and electricity were close by. Even a watering station on the roads for hosing down the horses. Trails are easy to rigorous but I was able to handle even the toughest trails as a first-time trailrider. The owners are very accommodating. Few flies since they do a good job of carting off the manure and requiring campers to keep the pens clean. Our pen did seem a little rickety but our 2 horses were fine in them. There is a large round pen. Camp sites are a bit close but we were with a riding club and and the closeness made it easier to mingle. Toilet stalls and showers in bathhouse are immaculate. We're definitely planning on going back.
Reviewed by: Thom on 6/9/2009 4:33:02 PM
Experience: Beginner Ride Date: 6/6/2009 Hometown: Carbondale, IL

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Hayes Canyon was a nice campground compared to the others in the area. Clean facilities and nice hosts. Not all the sites are level, so recommend bringing level blocks for sites in the D area. Some of the covered stalls are not worth the extra money - just depends are where you are. The mats in the stalls on D20 are very slick and dangerous. Pens with the bars are not too safe either - the bars kept coming out of the wood posts. Captured my neighbors horse and had to slide the bars back in; my horse just stood in his pen with the bar down. Trails are very well marked, maintained and scenary is gorgeous. Trails are easily accessed right out of camp. Can be muddy is spots after hard rains. Electric and water hookups are not close to the trailer on some sites so bring extra hoses and cord. I wish the camp had a round pen to get the edge off a young horse before heading out on the trail. All in all a very nice camping experience.
Reviewed by: Tammy on 5/28/2009 3:01:29 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/17/2009 Hometown: La Cygne, KS

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Reviewed by: Lee Ann Isom on 5/5/2009 10:04:01 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 4/9/2009 Hometown: JONESBORO, AR

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Great place to ride. We have been riding in the Shawnee for 10 plus years. Some trails are closed now,that weren't before, but still plenty of riding to be had. Hayes Campground is wonderful. The owners were more than happy to assist in any wants and needs of the camper. It was so nice to be able to back your rig into a LEVEL site and not fiddle with boards trying to get everything level. Nothing worse than trying to sleep in a slanted bed. Ha! The pens were adequate. Not as roomy as any owner would like, but big enough for their comfort while camping. Really appreciated the pick up of manure each day at our campsite. Wish there was a restaurant on grounds, but can go into Eddyville. The grounds were very clean and campers around us were respectful and well mannered. Couldn't ask for anything more. We will definitely be back in the spring.
Reviewed by: John & Barb on 1/24/2009 9:14:15 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/8/2009 Hometown: Minier, IL

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My husband and I are not horse back riders, however, we did tent here for a long weekend and would recommend this campground to non riders as well. The bathrooms and showers were spotless. Our tent site was a great location to watch the riders come and go. We were the only tent there for the weekend and everyone was very friendly. Canyon was a walk away and awesome to see. Most of the riders left on Sunday. We were sorry they left because they were so much fun to watch. A highlite of our stay. They owners recommend a few sites to visit while we were there, Garden of the Gods, Canyon Rock on the Ohio River, Elizabeth town to eat on the river. Great place to stay!
Reviewed by: Paula on 8/13/2008 11:05:25 AM
Experience: Beginner Ride Date: 8/8/2008 Hometown: Chicago, IL

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This was a place we chose by chance as a couple day layover on our route across country, and it was a very nice stopover! The sites are nice, many are shady, tho they are a bit close together-- not a big problem for us. Very clean and nice restrooms/showers, and the owners were very knowledgable and helpful. The trails were great-- not too hard, not too easy, and very pleasant riding. If we hadn't picked such a hot time of year to be there we would have stayed longer!
Reviewed by: Kristi on 8/7/2008 7:07:12 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 8/4/2008 Hometown: , OR

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I enjoyed my stay at Hayes Canyon. I"ve read some of the reviews about the "crowded" camp sites, well we need to keep in mind that this is a small campground so yes the sites may seem a bit crowded. This campground is very clean and the owners go out of their way to make certain campers have what they need. The trails are well marked. THis is a HUGE improvement from a few yrs ago. I recently went to Hayes campground for a day ride (I live pretty close by)and can't wait to camp here again!
Reviewed by: Connie on 7/14/2008 12:33:43 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 10/1/2007 Hometown: Brookport, IL

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Pretty scenery with nice trails. Many areas not accessable when wet, so plan trip accordingly. Campsites were shaded but a little close and small. Pens were on campsite but were also small(8'x 8'). Pens were made of loose reused 3/4" steel rods thru drilled 4x4 post. Horses had bent and caused some rods to fall out so 1x6's had been placed beside some of them. I knew the pens were dangerous for my young horses and made arrangements the next day to move to another camp with regular correl panels. But before we moved , one horse was injured when he got his leg hung between the steel bar and 1x6. Since we couldn't ride him any more that week, we went home 3 days early.
Reviewed by: Glenn on 6/23/2008 7:36:48 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/2/2008 Hometown: Somerset, KY

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posted a review on the other listing, don't know why there is two listings for Hayes Canyon Campground?, but we had a very good time there and the only reason I didn't give the trails 5stars is because some were still closed for the winter when we visited, the National Forest closes some until April 1st. we definitely will be back!
Reviewed by: Sue Rhimes on 4/4/2008 9:41:11 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 3/26/2008 Hometown: charleston, IL

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This was our first trip to the Shawnee and definitely won't be the last! were impreessed with the variety and number of trails, and the scenery was great! our favorite place was Peter cave. our campsite was awesome and had pens for the horses with a roof overhead. shower house was very clean. the area had a bad ice storm in february and lots of trees limbs and branches down on the trails. we saw the camp owners packing lots of gear and chain saws on their horses and then later in the day came across them out in the forest clearing the trails - they shut off the chain saws when we came by, but their horses were obviously used to that kind of work and just taking a nap nearby. when we stopped by another camp nearby to check it out (we weren't impressed) we were surprised to be told that they were 'too busy' to go out to help clear the trails!! i'm sure the Hayes owners are busy too, but they were out there busting their butts, so I know we definitely spent our money at the right place. only stayed a few days this time, but plan to go back later this year when all the trails are open and spend more time, the National Forest closes trails in some areas all winter until April 1st.
Reviewed by: Sue Rhimes on 4/4/2008 9:34:18 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 3/26/2008 Hometown: charleston, IL

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Well maintained. Great horse pens, excellent shower house. Good folks all around. No worries here. Trails are excellent, just can't get any better.
Reviewed by: Cheri on 3/28/2008 11:57:49 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/28/2007 Hometown: Minier, IL

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We stayed at Hayes Cannon on 2 seperate weekends. I was very impressed with the campground being so clean, the owners so friendly, and how well the trails are marked. I will be back!!!
Reviewed by: Sarah on 2/25/2008 5:00:17 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 1/1/2004 Hometown: benton, KY

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Hey Folks, it seems that someone has decided to use this website to promote their own agenda. On a few dates in July 2007 there were suddenly several new reviews of Shawnee area campgrounds, many posted within minutes of each other, but with different 'names' and states. Negative reviews were posted on Circle B, Little Lusk, and Hayes Canyon. Positive reviews were posted on Bear Branch and on this page. Figure it out. ANYONE can post a review and list a fake name and state. Negative reviews could be from competing campgrounds, crazy neighbors, ex-girlfriends, etc. Positive reviews could be from the campground owner, family members, etc. Even outright lies can be entered anonymously. It's unfortunate because this site could be a good way to share information, but be advised to not believe everything you read.
Reviewed by: Ben & Patti -owners of Hayes Canyon Campground on 11/30/2007 8:46:44 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 11/30/2007 Hometown: Eddyville, IL

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Thank you Ben and Patti for a memorable weekend. We had to leave early today, but wanted you to know that we will definitely be back. Your facility and helpfulness were much appreciated. We see no need in looking for another place to stay. Also, we will be bringing some neighbors next time. My husband said that he wished you had a restaurant. In the mornings, we rode over to Bear Branch for breakfast. The food was okay, but the service was so slow, that we went to the Shawnee Lounge on Saturday. Thanks again. Happy trails until we meet again.
Reviewed by: Dick on 10/7/2007 8:57:24 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 10/7/2007 Hometown: , IL

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Ben and Patti are very hard workers and they make you feel right at home. The camp sites were perfect and we loved the idea of not tethering our horses. The pens are clean and it was nice to have a sewer hookup at every site. We have camped at many campsites all over and this campground out classes them all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reviewed by: Michael & Mandy on 10/4/2007 11:48:50 AM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 10/4/2007 Hometown: Gleason, TN

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Trails were great, not marked the best, recommend taking a GPS. The camp sites were right on top of each other, making it less enjoyable. The staff was wonderful and very helpful, however due to the closeness of the camp sites I will not return.
Reviewed by: Anonymous on 8/19/2007 1:36:36 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/1/2007 Hometown: , IL

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We have been at hayes canyon for 3 years and we have never had a problem with anyone. And I have not heard of anyone getting a horse with a broken leg. Ben and Patty live on the campground and take pride in the fact it is a growing and very popular campground. Whoever wrote those reviews must be tree huggers or hippy backpackers. If it was as bad as they say then why do they have a waiting list for camp sites.
Reviewed by: patrick and lisa on 8/15/2007 6:52:27 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 8/15/2007 Hometown: golconda, IL

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OWNER’S NOTE – we want to alert readers that camps in the Shawnee National Forest may be victims to recent malicious slander. In a very short period of time camps have had several poor (or good) reviews posted by an anonymous poster, using different names, states, and ride dates. We have contacted the webmaster who confirms that it appears something ‘fishy’ is going on since the poster took additional extra steps to cover their tracks. Anyone can post anything (even competitors). Read the reviews with this in mind. We are open to criticism and understand that everyone’s views are different. Some people call Hayes the ‘old folks’ camp, and a criticism that our permanent campers are too wild and noisy is new to us and kinda funny. We have had several comment that even on full holiday weekend the camp was so quiet at night. We as owners live here on the campground and are available any time of day or night. There has never been a horse that “got down and broke a leg” in one of our pens, but that’s not to say that it could not ever happen here or anywhere else in a stall or picket line or any enclosure. Check our website and you will find lots of information and pictures. Happy Trails. Ben & Patti
Reviewed by: Ben & Patti on 7/24/2007 4:49:48 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 7/23/2007 Hometown: Eddyville, IL

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Reviewed by: Anonymous on 7/23/2007 7:37:58 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 7/23/2007 Hometown: , Select State

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Reviewed by: Anonymous on 7/23/2007 7:33:22 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 7/23/2007 Hometown: , Select State

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The trails were mudholes, the camp was like a city. Very noisy at night and the pens were an accident waiting to happen. I would not trust my horse in them overnight. We wnet to LBL !
Reviewed by: Bill on 7/15/2007 8:05:42 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 7/15/2007 Hometown: , IN

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The trails were mud holes the maps were useless and the camp was like a city. way over corowded and loud. I would not trust my hoeses in those pens. An accident waiting to happen. Went to LBL !
Reviewed by: Bill on 7/15/2007 8:02:08 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/15/2007 Hometown: , IN

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Nice trails but way to much of a party atmosphere for us. We like to ride erly and go to bed at a reasonable hour. The permanent people are nice but way too wild and noisy at night. Lots of drinking going on. Not a good place for kids or seniors either. Just too crowded for us. We would not go bace there. Liked the riding in Shawnee but will try another camp down the road with a restaurant and box stalls.
Reviewed by: John on 7/13/2007 7:46:24 AM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 5/23/2007 Hometown: , IN

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Too much like a city. No privacy there. The sites were one on top of another and the free pens were vary dangerous. We heard that before we got there a horse got down and broke his leg in one of them. Just welded sucker rod. Easy for a horse to get a leg caught. No real place to picket a horse so we had to use them. My horse got in trouble a couple of times. We were not happy about that situation. My wife didn't sleep each night worrying about the horses.
Reviewed by: Tom & Sherry on 7/12/2007 8:17:50 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/12/2007 Hometown: Davenport, IA

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it was a great summer. I had fun in hayes canyon
Reviewed by: Nichole Fortin on 12/19/2006 8:57:16 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 6/12/2006 Hometown: Clare, IL

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This was my first trip to Hayes Canyon Campground and it will definately not be my last. Ben and Patty do a wonderful job making you feel right at home. The camp sites and facilities are just great. The accest to the trails cannot be beat and the beauty of the Shawnee Forest is just awesome. Can hardly wait to start planning next years trip.
Reviewed by: Beth Brown on 11/8/2006 10:43:50 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 11/1/2006 Hometown: Decatur, AR

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Can't say enough good things about the campgound, the people we met, and the beauty of the trails. Owners Patty and Ben are committed to making this a clean, comfortable and enjoyable camping experience. There was always someone to answer questions about the area and take us out on the trails. Don't ever leave camp without a camera. The bluffs, caves, waterfalls, and stream crossings are awesome and ever changing. Red Cedar Inn was a great place to eat and only 1 mile from camp. We toured other campgrounds in the area and there is no question we'll go back to Hayes Canyon. Our new favorite riding destination.
Reviewed by: Christina on 11/7/2006 9:15:33 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 11/2/2006 Hometown: Neosho, MO

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I've been riding/camping in Shawnee since 1991 and I never get tired of it. There are alot of nice camps in Shawnee, but Ben & Patti have given the camp their all and make everyone feel welcome. I can't say enough good things. They are constantly improving and want to make sure your stay is enjoyable. If you want a clean camp, easy access, all the amenities at a very affordable rate, come to Hayes, you won't be disappointed! Thank you Ben and Patti for all your hard work, you are very much appreciated. As far as the trails go, if you are worried about getting lost, there is always someone in camp willing to take you out, the scenery is the best around. Come on.. LETS RIDE!
Reviewed by: Cherie Rudy on 10/18/2006 10:02:34 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/18/2006 Hometown: Owensboro, KY

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Hayes Canyon is the best place to camp in the Shawnee National Forest. The owners, Ben & Patti are phenomenal! Need hay or firewood? They’ll deliver it to your site! The bathhouse is always clean and fresh. They’ll let you use their round pen to work your horse, free wireless internet on the office front porch, and community room are just a few of the things they’ve added since taking over as owners. We just cannot say enough good things about them and Hayes Canyon Campground. MaryLee & Eddie
Reviewed by: MaryLee & Eddie on 10/18/2006 9:43:17 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/18/2006 Hometown: Madisonville, KY

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AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA+++++++++++++++++++++ ALL THE WAY.THE owners could not have been any better.just wish the maps and numbers went together on the trails
Reviewed by: g thompson on 10/2/2006 3:17:06 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/2/2006 Hometown: dublin, KY

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This is one of the cleanest places I have been. The camp is clean with lots of shade. The showers were the cleanest I have ever seen at a camp ground. The trails are beutiful. They are rocky but we never had any problems. Every where we rode was in the shade. If you go to Shawnee you need to go to Garden Of The Gods.
Reviewed by: Charlie Whitt on 8/13/2006 9:12:43 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 7/2/2006 Hometown: Scottown, OH

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This is one of the cleanest places I have been. The camp is clean with lots of shade. The showers were the cleanest I have ever seen at a camp ground. The trails are beutiful. They are rocky but we never had any problems. Every where we rode was in the shade. If you go to Shawnee you need to go to Garden Of The Gods.
Reviewed by: Charlie Whitt on 8/13/2006 9:09:21 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 7/23/2006 Hometown: Scottown, OH

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I HAVE BEEN AT HAYES CANYON CAMPGROUND EVER SENCE IT OPENED IN 1992.IT IS A GREAT PLACE TO BRING THE HOLD FAMILY. SHOOT Y AL DON'T EVEN HAVE TO HAVE A HORSE TO CAMP AT HAYES,I AM A PERMENT CAMPER BUT I DON'T HAVE A HORSE RIGHT NOW. WE AL ARE FRINLY FOLK.THE OWNERS BEN & PATTIE ARE NICE THEY MAKE Y AL FILL RIGHT AT HOME. IT'S ALWAYS WILL BE MY FAVORIT PLACE TO CAMP.....P.J
Reviewed by: P.J on 6/15/2006 12:16:51 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 6/15/2006 Hometown: HERRIN, IL

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great camp with plenty of shade..you have room between campers to keep you from feeling like your sleeping with strangers..they have water, electric and sewer at each site...ther is a nice shower/bath house up at the barn...The new onwers Ben and Patti are very friendly and want to try and make your visit a good one...There are two places to eat a mile down the road in the town of Eddyville...Trails do need to be marked for weekenders...they have started marking a few this summer as allowed per the Forest service...but there are many permanent campers that usually don't mind you riding with their group...I've camped there since the camp first started over 14 years ago...
Reviewed by: Katt on 11/24/2005 9:14:11 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 11/24/2005 Hometown: highland, IL

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Hayes Canyon Camp is great...been camping there for 14 years and never get tired of the trails through the Shawnee...Ben and Patti are doing a wonderful job making people fell welcome and the camp a wonderful place to stay...Keep up the work guys....Katt
Reviewed by: Katt on 11/24/2005 8:55:28 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 11/24/2005 Hometown: Highland, IL

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WE ARE PERMANENTS AT HAYES.THIS IS A CAMPGROUND YOU WILL FEEL AT HOME DURNING YOUR STAY,PEOPLE ARE VERY FRIENDLY,TRAILS ARE VERY SENIC AND CAN RIDE OUT FOR DAYS ON DIFFERENT TRAILS.SITES SHADY,CLEAN,AS ARE THE STALLS.NEW OWNERS BEN AND PATTI ARE VERY NICE AND HELPFUL ALONG WITH ALWAYS MAKING IMPROVEMENTS.
Reviewed by: EDDIE @ NANCY WRIGHT on 11/23/2005 1:55:39 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/7/2005 Hometown: SOUTH FULTON, TN

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Campground ROCKS!! We have a permanent site in Hayes Canyon and have traveled to other camp grounds to DAY ride to different scenic areas (just to check things out) .... we would never consider moving! Beautiful awesome shade trees... and 5 seconds from camp you are on the most awesome rocks in the Shawnee!!!! Trails are awesome! Lots of different trails to scenic spots! CLEAN CLEAN PLACE! Owners are very friendly and really keeping the place looking great and improving camp everytime we go! THANKS BEN AND PATTI for all your hard work! The place looks great!
Reviewed by: Jodi Summer on 11/22/2005 7:36:59 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/15/2005 Hometown: Eureka, IL

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We have a permanent site at Hayes Canyon Campground. The trails are being maintained around the campground, and there is some wonderful scenery closeby in the Shawnee Forest. This campground is very homey, people are friendly, it is quiet and very clean, with a lot of shade for the horse pens. The new owners are constantly improving services.
Reviewed by: Butch and Susie Barr on 11/20/2005 11:59:52 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/29/2005 Hometown: Highland , IL