Some of the best places are tucked away somewhere away from the masses. These hidden gems may take some work to get to but when you get there, it’s worth all your efforts. Within Shawnee National Forest is Bell Smith Springs Recreation Area, an area known for its natural bridge, rock formations, canyons, and a pristine set of natural pools that is sure to be your new favorite place to swim.

Have you waded in the natural pools at Bell Smith Springs? What is your favorite natural swimming hole in Illinois? Please let us know in the comments!

More information on Bell Smith Springs Recreation Area can be found on the USDA Forest Service website and you can find trail information on AllTrails. If you’re looking for additional places to swim, visit this post to learn about other swimming holes around the Prairie State.

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