6.8 miles from Lake of Egypt
St. Noel Center is a modern overnight guest facility at Camp Ondessonk for those enjoying active days in the outdoors & sleeping with all the comforts of home. This second-floor suite has a private bathroom and 1 queen bed. The bunkroom has 1 full-size & several twin-size bunks for extra people or kids. Shared amenities include a library, large meeting/dining area, kitchenette, BBQ grill, fire pit, & ample outdoor seating.
Guests at St. Noel will have their sleeping suite and private bathrooms to themselves, each with a private entrance and lockable door. Each suite has 1 queen bed, 1 full-size bunk, and several twin-size bunks for extra people or kids. The entire building has free WiFi. A large shared front deck has seating for taking in sunsets and views of our horse pastures. The walk-out lower level common area is shared among all guests at St. Noel. There is a quiet reading room with couches and workspace, beverage/snack machines, a large meeting/dining room with seating for up to 30 people, indoor fireplace, long tables, stackable chairs, trash/recycling containers, kitchenette, and a common restroom. The shared kitchenette includes a mini-fridge, sink, microwave, coffee/creamer/sugar and coffee maker, tea and electric tea kettle, ice machine, and toaster. The common outside patio area has a gas and a charcoal BBQ grill, fire pit, and patio chairs. A second fire pit area with benches and picnic tables is a short walk away. Firewood is available for sale. For exclusive use of any of these spaces, contact Ondessonk staff.
Ondessonk Staff are available in the Camp Office on the ground level of the St. Noel Center Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm except holidays for your assistance. Outside normal business hours, Ondessonk staff can be reached by calling the on-duty cell phone or by stopping by the Trading Post/Camp Store during select hours which will be posted during your stay. Ondessonk Staff are happy to answer your questions about great things to do and see on site, fun and beautiful places to go off site, or to find conveniences like grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations. Please alert our staff if there is anything you need, if there is an issue with your room or other area of St. Noel, or to let us know how we can make your stay even better. In the event of an emergency, call 911 immediately. The closest emergency room is about 25 minutes away in Harrisburg, IL.
Operating since 1959, Camp Ondessonk is a non-profit youth camp on 983 acres of beautiful wooded property adjacent to the Shawnee National Forest. Guests have access to several miles of paved road for walking and cycling, 15 miles of on-site hiking and biking trails, and access to a huge network of public Shawnee National Forest trails including the River-to-River Trail. Our property is home to the tallest free-falling waterfall in Illinois, Cedar Falls, as well as rock bottom creeks, canyons, prairies, forests, and hills. Detailed trail maps of our property and the surrounding area are available. Guests are welcome to stroll the grounds, observe our horses grazing in the pastures, enjoy views of our lakes and forests, or relax on the deck to take in the sunset. Stop by the Camp Store at the Trading Post to purchase Ondessonk apparel, souvenirs, or essential items. Relax in your private room, in the library or common areas of the St. Noel Center, or kick back around the campfire outside. To schedule a guided hike, boating, archery, or horseback riding program, or test yourself on our high challenge course or climbing wall, contact Ondessonk staff for program availability and more information. The Camp Kitchen can prepare certain meals for you; contact us for meal availability and more information.
The hidden gem of Southern Illinois and Shawnee National Forest is the best kept secret in America for outdoor enthusiasts. Covered in rolling, unglaciated hills, deep sandstone canyons, waterfalls, rock-bottom creeks, and cypress swamps, Southern Illinois is unmatched by any other area of the state. This sparsely populated and rugged region is where north and south, east and west overlap creating one of the most biologically diverse regions on the continent. Rich in natural and cultural history, visitors to Southern Illinois may feel they are in the Ozark Hills, Smoky Mountains, or the bayous of the Deep South without ever leaving the Midwest. Life slows down to nature's pace here as the rugged land shapes the people who call it home. There are over a half-million acres of public land in Southern Illinois. With numerous state parks, National Wildlife Refuges, state natural areas, and the 270,000-acre Shawnee National Forest, it would take a lifetime to see all that Southern Illinois has to offer the outdoor enthusiast. The area abounds with endless opportunities for hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, camping, backpacking, nature photography, bouldering, and rock climbing. The region is a registered American Viticultural Area and boasts numerous award-winning wineries along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. This is great way to spend an afternoon as you drive through wooded, rolling hills, scenic countryside, and the charming hamlets and villages along the way. There are also opportunities to enjoy shopping, site seeing, museums, historic sites, casinos, scenic drives, and even zip lining. St. Noel Center at Camp Ondessonk is conveniently located in the center of the region and within an hour’s drive of most of Southern Illinois’ attractions. Our staff are happy to help you plan your days.