First of all THANK YOU for a wonderful place to stay. We enjoyed ourselves from the moment we pulled in. We have stayed other places and found that after you are there for a while something is wrong with it. At Hayes Canyon the longer we stayed the more we liked it. Friendly owners, did not bother you but there if you needed something. Very clean area and showers were excellent. Will stay here the next time we are in the area. Thank you very much. 

Tom R.

Central Ohio  04/2018



Ben and Patti,
At year's end, The SB Tribune has asked its photographers to pick their  favorite images of 2017. If not for a phone call from a friend today, I would  not have believed it to be true! In the news again! The solar eclipse surely has  made its impact on us all. Robert Franklin, the same photographer who visited  our home to take photos, and who also traveled with his two editors to our  location to photograph the eclipse with us in Illinois, gave his thumbs up again  to the front page photo he took of our crowd after totality - "Glasses On!" as I  call it!
Here is the link:     https://www.southbendtribune.com/multimedia/photos/the-story-in-pictures-our-photographers-top-images-of/collection_52965b0e-ecd2-11e7-bb2e-e3b890425fb3.html#3      --- this is the online version ---
You will find #3 of 34 (a familiar face), and #4 of 34 is our Sun at your  campground during the second diamond ring.
Under each photo he gave a writeup. It went by too fast for me to process  so it was nice to see how others caught the fun!
I still have many moments of warm memories of our days and nights with you  at the campground. The people were just so nice, every one of them. You and your  family and co-workers were so very helpful and cheerful. We stay in touch with  Katt, and I wish I had more email addresses of others, but also think warmly of  them, too. We want to come back and camp and of course, bring a few telescopes  with us too! It brings us great pleasure to show others the glory of the night  skies.
I am happy to see Hayes Canyon Campground get a little free press, too.  Hope you get some pings on your website!
I hope all is well in Eddyville, and everyone is doing splendidly!
So extra happy new year to you, good health and cheer!
With love, Linda M. 



Hey Ben and Patti,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are  gearing up for a
wonderful Christmas. I thought I would send you a note and  let you know that
I will be dropping a check in the mail box on Monday. The  family and I would
like to purchase our usual Xmas gift certificate for xxxxxxxxx. . .  
And as usual, thank you for another  wonderful year of camping. We don’t get to come down as often as we would  like, but always look forward to being there. You guys work very hard at  what you do and it shows. Thank you for all that you do to make everything  so great.   Also thank you for letting us
take Grace riding with us in  October. She is always a joy and a pleasure to have along. I completely  forgot to send some pictures of the day.

Thanks again and Happy Holidays  to you and your family,
Erin W. 

St Elmo, IL      11/2017


Ben and Patti,

Thank you for another wonderful weekend. 

Judy L. 

Maryville, IL   10/2017


September 6, 2017

Ben, Patti, and family,

Thank you to the heavens and the skies for the splendid hospitality you put forth for our stay from August 19-23, 2017. You were so helpful and accommodating with anything we needed or wanted, big or small; more than just southern hospitality, we think!

Who would expect someone to stand under the hood of their truck to diagnose an engine problem, and then send us on to find a reliable mechanic to make repairs days later? Really! And to make a request for a south-facing campsite with no trees, arrive, and not be disappointed? Wow! And to check in on us to see that everything was going alright when your camp was on overflow and getting fuller every minute? You have superb customer service! 

You have a beautiful piece of heaven there: horseland, a canyon, and quiet place made pastoral with horses passing by, and friendly people who possess a great curiosity about astronomy that we enjoyed greatly. We made quite a few new friends from the campground who we are currently communicating with, too.

We will have to come back again to camp, maybe even before another total solar eclipse graces Eddyville, Illinois again in 2024. Even if it is partly for the tasty ice cream treats!

We missed seeing you personally at our departure time. Please accept some virtual hugs. Big ones.

Love, Linda and Steve

North Liberty, IN  09/2017


Dear Patti and Ben,

I just wanted to let you know that I was very moved by your kind and thoughtful gesture of donating to Linda M and her Michiana Astronomical Society. Everyone was just raving about the wonderful experience we hat together that day. It was certainly enhanced by the presence of her and her husband. Sure hope they come back next time! What a great experience for your kids too!

Anyway, we are your fans. See you soon. Best Wishes,

Susie B. 

Highland, IL  08/2017


Hi Ben and Patty,
We did see Patty and told her we were leaving early, but wanted to explain a bit.  The weather forecast did not sound promising, and one of our horses needed some time off due to a cinch rub, and Doug and I were both having lots of joint issues from all the riding we DID do.  Just seemed like time to go.  We love your campground and recommend it highly to everyone we know.  Thank you for a great place to stay and enjoy the Shawnee!

Bonnie and Doug M

Washington, IA    04/2017


Dear Ben and Patti,

I wanted to write to thank you for our wonderful stay at your campground. We love it at Shawnee and we really enjoy your campground. You have such a beautiful family! It's so nice you can work together as a family on such a beautiful place. . . I hope that one day the entire earth will be as beautiful and peaceful as it is there at Shawnee. When I ride my horse in such beauty, I think of God's promises. 

Thank you again for a wonderful stay at your campground. I'm sure we'll be back.


Debbie B.

Shelbyville, IL  10/2016


Janice and I want to say Thank You for providing such a nice, well kept, safe, family oriented place for us to come to ride and relax. Both of you do a wonderful job. We're counting the days when we can head that way again.

We hope all of you have a Great Christmas and an extremely Happy New Year!

Mike W.

Corinth, MS  12/2016


Dear Ben & Patty,

Thank you so much for our camping while we were there for the wedding! It was really thoughtful and we appreciate it very much-- see ya in the spring!

Happy Trails

Laura & John H.

Dunlap, TN   11/2016


Thank you for another great camping week. As usual, everything was perfect.

Thank you

Jody G.

Alhambra, IL  10/2016


Thanks. Really enjoyed the camp this year. You all do a great job at Hayes . . .

Hartsel B.

Holly Lake Ranch, TX    10/2016


Good Morning, 

Thank you so much for another wonderful weekend!  We always enjoy our time at your campgrounds and look forward to coming back next year.  Here are some of the better pictures that I took when Grace went riding with us on Monday. We enjoyed having her company on the trail.

Thanks again!!

Erin W.

St Elmo, IL  10/2016


Hi Ben & Patti,

Just wanted to say my wife & I had a great time (just too short) at your camp ground this weekend.  I had stayed there many years ago with my parents as a teen/young adult, but my wife had never been before.  We are planning on trying out several of the camp grounds in Shawnee, but my wife has already said she wants to go back to Hayes Canyon Campground.  So, I'm sure you will be seeing us again.

Also, I wanted to tell you about the highlight of my stay with you.  I was heading over to the bathroom/shower house this morning (Sunday).  It was about the same time that the Cowboy Church was starting & I noticed a group of children & their mother coming from the other direction...I assume headed to the church service.  The kids were running & playing & one little girl in particular was running down the hill in my direction.  I was trying to stay out of her way & moved over a little bit to give her room to get past me but she just kept running right towards me.  I assumed she was busy playing with the other kids & wasn't paying attention to the stranger coming from the other way.  So, I kept trying to move out of her way, but she just kept coming towards me.  I finally just stopped, thinking that she would just run on by me.  Nope.  This sweet little girl made a bee line right to me, grabbed me around the legs, & gave me a hug.  I realized then that is what she was trying to do all along & the reason why every time I tried to stay out of her way, she just moved right towards me anyway.  I was so surprised by her hug that I just patted her on the back & said, "Hi, how are you", but never even thought to ask her name or introduce myself to her mother.  She quickly let go of me & ran along, but I thought that was one of the sweetest things that had happened to me in a long time.  It wasn't until later that I started wondering who the little girl was.  Ben was the only one in the office when I checked in & I hadn't met the rest of your family, but I think now that the little girl was your daughter.  So, if I'm correct & you were wondering who the stranger was that got the big hug...that was me.  You have a very sweet little girl there & that hug made my day.  Just wanted to share that

Thanks for a great weekend & I wish you & your family the best.

Doug L.



Ben & Patti,

Wanted to say thans again for a truly wonderful week! The weather you arranged for us was perfect!! All joking aside, you provided the perfect location and environment for us to celebrate our anniversary. Thanks a whole bunch!

Dan & Kate

Boaz, KY  10/2016


Dear Hayes Canyon,

Thank you so much for your hospitality. We enjoyed the comfort, the shower house, and the bananas from your kind and generous children. We really do appreciate the friendliness towards the cross country cyclist as well. Best

Kevin & Ximena A. and Gay R.

trans america cyclists west to east    08/2016


Ben + Patty,

Just wanted to let you both know, we always have a great time when we come to Hayes. You both do a fine job! And work so hard. I wanted to send you guys something, so the last time we were there Patty said you guys were needing some buddy stirrups  :) Thank you!  Keep up the awesome job you both do.

Pat & Kim M.

Murphysbor, IL  07/2016


Thanks for a great long weekend, we had a blast!!  :)

Kelli S.

Bloomington, IL  07/2016


I just wanted to compliment you on your campground. We enjoyed your place and the trails.

Robert M.

Hallsville, MO  05/2016


Just wanted to say thanks for our couple day stay with you . . . The scenery and trails were very good. Loved the clean bathrooms and showers. . We will definitely come back to stay with you again. Thanks much for the hard work you do to keep your business running nicely. 

Ron & Jodi R.

Oxford, WI



We had such a terrific time. Thanks for your amazing hospitality. You are meant to have a place like this. Your service is beyond terrific. We look forward to coming back.

Mattt & Andie

Iuka, IL   05/2016


Great facilities :)  Wonderful place to stay for the night and it was nice having the whole place to myself. Hope to section or thru-hike the RTR sometime and I will definitely make this one of my stops. Sorry I never got to meet you guys. Next Time..Thanks

Tabitha M.

Granite City, IL    12/2015


Just wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time staying at your campground. We can't wait to visit again. Thanks for all your help!

Richard & Gloria H.

Decatur, IL   11/2015


Hi Ben

We really enjoyed our week at your place, and appreciate all the hard work you folks do to make camping there enjoyable. Thank You!

Marlene S.

Mt Vernon, OH   09/2015


Wanted to pass on that I heard a gal in the shower house compliment the cleanliness and said that your employee who cleans the ladies shower was extremely nice. I like to give credit where credit's due!

Jane N.

Greenville, IL  05/2015



"Hayes Canyon Campground and Cabins is located just outside of Eddyville, Ill, next to Shawnee National Forest, which offers hundreds of miles of trails. You can also ride on almost 70 miles of designated United States Forest Service trails within a four-mile radius of the campground. Hayes Canyon is open year round; the best seasons to visit are spring, summer, and fall.

Trail terrain ranges from level to steep grades and from soft dirt to rocky gravel. Trails traverse rolling hills and natural sandstone rock formations. You'll ride past bluffs, caves, waterfalls, and overlooks. 

Equine accommodations include 32 campsites with hookups and horse pens. Seven campsites feature covered pens. No bedding is provided, so bring your own or buy it at the camp store.

Hayes Canyon also offers two cabins' each can accommodate two to five guests and features a kitchenette, heat, air conditioning, a picnic table, and a fire ring with grill.

For more information, call (618)672-4751, or go to www.hayescanyon.com"


Ben and Patti, 

Thanks for another great week at the nicest campground. Your hard work is noticed and appreciated. As always, the chili was good! Have a relaxing winter. See you in the spring.

Ben & Michelle A.

Waterman, IL  10/2014


Hi Patti, really enjoyed our stay and will be back as much as possible, best vacation of my life and it was only two days!  Also wondering if the shady rest is available during winter months? Thank you.

Sherri & Paul P.

Hebron, IN  10/2014


THANK YOU for the wonderful weekend of camping at your campground! We will be back! You take good care of everyone and have a wonderful place!

Donna W.

Carlinville, IL   09/2014


Hi Patty and Ben, just wanted to thank you both for the wonderful vacation we had at Hayes Canyon! We loved it there and even thou the weather wasn't ideal we still rode everyday. My girls had such a great time they want to come back maybe this Fall. Thanks again, I'll be back for sure!

Linda J.

Stratford, IA   06/2014


Just wanted to let you guys know, myself & a few friends camped with you guys 4th of July weekend. I was thoroughly impressed w/your camp ground, bath houses, corrals for the horses and the camp site all together. I've been to Hayes a couple times for day rides but never camped there. I slept so much better knowing my horses were safe in their corral than on a picket line. After an incident on a picket line at LBL and $600.00 later, I will avoid picket lines all together from now on. Kudos to you guys for your well maintained camp & I know the matts in the corrals are not cheap; every corral has these mats. . wow . . You've got my business from here on out :)  In this world of b*tching & complaining, just wanted to give you guys a compliment for a job well done. . Can't wait to come back!

Missi T. 

Manitou, KY  07/2014


Ben and Patti,

   Wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our first riding and camping experience in Shawnee National Forest and Hayes Canyon Campground.  The trails and your accommodations surpassed our expectations.  We especially enjoyed all the fellowship with other campers at the soup and chili nights and the Hershbergers were great...quite a talented group of young people.  Also enjoyed worship service at Cowboy Church.  I love the cross made from horseshoes.  Everyone was so friendly and shared helpful information regarding trails and points of interest not to miss.  Cannot say which trail or POI was my favorite as they were equally beautiful and amazing.  

  You are blessed to live in such a beautiful area and to own and operate a business like this so successfully.  I did not hear even one negative comment about you or the campground the whole time we were there.  As a matter of fact, a number of people we met on the trails in Shawnee or camping at Land between the Lakes also spoke highly of you and Hayes Canyon.  No doubt we chose the best place in Shawnee!!!

   Two things that I really liked and appreciated about your place were those light weight manure wagons provided at each campsite and the fact they were picked up daily. Add to that list the mats in the stalls...they work great. Obviously you work hard making Hayes Canyon such a great place to camp.  

   It is a long way from eastern North Carolina, but I do hope we can come again.Truly, a vacation we will never forget.  Thanks for all the hospitality and hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

   Till we meet again, 

Kay and Buddy A.,  Bet and David H.

Winterville, NC    11/2013


Hi Patti

We stayed with you this October (2013) and had a wonderful time! Thank you so much! You and Ben are the greatest! I don't know how you do all that you do! So thank you!!!

Connie & Dan K

Colchester, IL  11/2013


Dear Hayes Canyon Campground management and staff.

Thank you very much for your helpfulness and generosity with traveling bicyclists.

Your campground is one of the best on the Trans America Bicycle Trail.


Louis B.

Bakersfield, CA  07/2013


Dear Ben & Patti

And all the crew at Hayes - oh we do think the very best people camp there~! It's nice to know that emergency plans work. Let Larry, Dave, Billy, and Jan and all the rest know that Don is healing and some day we'll be on those wonderful trails again!


You all are terrific!

Don & Carolyn M.

Versailles, IL  06/2013



Ben and Patti,

I wasn't sure how to add a comment on the website so:

Had a wonderful stay. The campgrounds is the best one I've visited yet in Shawnee. Shower house was very clean and spacious with great water pressure.

Sites are spacious and covered stalls were well maintained and close to my trailer giving me peace of mind with my young horse.

Can't wait to come back to Shawnee and will definietely make reservations back at Hayes Canyon again!

Thanks for everything.

Laura C.

Blue Mound, IL  05/2013


Thank You!! (Testimonial)

Thanks again Patti & Ben for the awesome time and great accommodations!! We love your place & are anxious to return again. you were so kind to assist us on such short notice, due to our circumstances, and that made for a wonderful, relaxing vacation! We love the trails and how you both work so hard to make a stay there so pleasurable!! We look forward to returning soon. Hug those beautiful babies! :)

Julia M.

Benton, AR   05/2013


Ben and Patti

Thank you for your continued support of the St Jude's Derby fundraiser. It's great to see the party grow over the years, both in its reputation and the amount raised, and it is largely in part to your cooperation and the camp you offer. Our total this year was $4,387.oo, which will be matched. Thanks for providing all the buns for dinner AND all the help with the party set-up. Hope you have a great summer!

Jane N.

Greenville, IL   05/2013


Just wanted to say thanks for being part of a great first trip to Shawnee. It will certainly not be the last. We enjoyed our stay at the Shady Rest Cabin, and recommend that anyone visiting Shawnee should use the guide service that is available. Don Cloud was amazing, and took us to places that we may not have seen if we had visited a dozen times.

Shawnee has become first on the list of "our favorite places to ride".

Donna W.

Ashland, TN  11/2012


Ben and Patti,

Just wanted to drop y'all a note to tell you how much we enjoyed the season. . . When we were able to make it, however, we certainly enjoyed it. I know you hear this quite often, but y'all do a really good job.  The campground is in great shape. It looks good and even smells good :-) I know it takes a lot of hard work but it certainly pays off. Don't remember if I told you during the last weekend but we all really enjoyed the Chili supper and entertainment. Just wanted to share our thaoughts with you. Enjoy the off season - Y'ALL DESERVE IT !!!!  We're already looking forward to the 2013 season !!!!!

Mike & Janice W.

Corinth, MS   11/2012


Just wanted to thank you both for a great trip - as in the past your hospitality was so appreciated. We did appreciate the loan of your trailer and Jackson Falls was definately worth the haul over.

We look forward to seeing you again next fall.

Can't believe how much the twins have grown - they are precious. Loved seeing Harry and Grace too - you have a beautiful family.

Again - wwe thank you and look forward to next October.

Jane & Don H.

Augusta, GA  10/2012 


Dear Patti and Ben,

   Thank you for having such a nice campground that is extremely clean and equipped.  Our stay, even though it was over 100 degrees was so much fun.  The trails were easy to access from camp.  We met several nice people staying at your campsite.  We will definitely be coming back for another stay; hopefully this fall.

    Thanks again!

   Kevin and Darcey W.

Rushville, IL  07/2012


Ben and Patti,

Thank you for all that you do at Hayes Canyon.  

Silvia and I (and all our group) really appreciate those special things that you do to keep us all happy.   I thought the musical evenings were great!   Very special.   Thanks for making us aware of what was going on. 

I enjoyed seeing your family too.

We had a wonderful vacation there, possibly the best one  yet.   I always recommend your place, you do a good job!

Sorry, Ben, that you had to endure issues regarding my dog, and speak to me about it, which I was glad to know.   However, because of the learning experiences that she had there, she was a better dog at the end of the week than at the beginning.   Just a puppy, still!    Our 2nd set of neighbors tried to see if I would let her go home with them.

Just in case they are found, I am missing a dog tie out cable, silver.  (I asked Patti about that before I left to see if it was turned in, it was already missing).   Also, I may have left the awning pull rod.   If you find either, please let me know. 

(just so you know)  Our first neighbors (at least one of them) did not do a very good job of keeping his stall cleaned and when he did, he threw it in the ditch behind the stall.   I can’t imagine why when the carts are right there!!    Maybe some threats for clean-up fees would be appropriate for people so unaware of the efforts to keep up the property nice and consideration to camp neighbors.

Have a good season!! 


Sandy A.

Mingo, IA  06/2012


Thank you for the information. We had no trouble finding you. We had a wonderful stay at your campground and look forward to our next stay with you. I also wanted to thank you for letting us use the pole barn nails and hammer for the tent. We did put them in the bucket at the campsite and was going to bring them to the office but drove off and forgot about them being there. Sorry about that.


Lisa L.

Turners Station KY   06/2012



Don & Jane H.

Harlem, GA  05/2012


Was just there Thurs thru yesterday (I brought the mule and couldn't bring my horse after all .. . ) We had a wonderful time in spite of the rain! Got 2 good 4 hour rides in, beautiful country!!

Thank you and we will return for sure, great campsites, we all liked them . . a bit far from the shower house but we are all healthy and a good little walk is good for us!!! Having the 'trail head' so close was terrific!! Not all of us have bathrooms in our trailer, so it was great having a FLUSH toilet in the 'outhouse'! loved it! Wish you success for the rest of your camping season!

Michele M.

Valley Park, MO  9/2011


Recently returned from a week at your campground. Our stay was wonderful. We stayed at the Shady Rest Cabin. It went beyond our expectations. Was very clean and extremely well furnished. Don't think any detail was forgotten. Ben and Patti answered all our questions and were always very pleasant. We took advantage of their guide service. I recommend doing so for any newcomers. Don Cloud was a joy to spend the week with. Took us to a new destination every day, most of which we neer would have found on our own. He is a ver nice, warm man and knows every nook and cranny of the area. He paid special attention to our horses, which were not as in shape as his mule. I hope to return frequently and recommend Hayes and Dop to all trailriders who want a real adventure for their vacation.

Joy McG.  

Decatur, IL     7/2011


Dear Ben & Pat,

Wanted to thank you for our wonderful 1st trip to Shawnee National Forest. The weather was great until Saturday. Ernest and the other 3 men with us loved the 2 guided rides out with Don. He carried them places they would not have found themselves. The grounds were so well kept (no one can totally control the flies).

All the ladies enjoyed resting, walking to Hayes Canyon.

We are looking forward to visiting you again for a week.

We have NEVER been anywhere we were treated like special guests.

Thanks to you Ben for rescueing Ernest and Hulk when Hulk lost his shoe. Thanks again for your hard work to make our stay so special.

Ernest & Charlotte D.

Atoka, TN     6/27/11


Dear Patti,

Here is our deposit for April. We really enjoy your campground when we come. It is very clean + we feel at home when we come. Your website is very helpful too. See you in April.

God Bless

Lauri B.

Fairfield, IL   03/2011


Hayes Canyon Campground is featured in Horse & Rider Magazine Feb 2011 issue  "50 Great Horse Vacations". The only destination in Illinois to be featured.


Feb 10, 2011

Dear Ben & Patti:

As you know, trail riders have the ability to review your campground (and others of course) on our website, HorseTrailDirectory.com.  Based on over 1,000 reviews submitted on 251 campgrounds, Hayes Canyon Campground ranked in the top 5%.  This is an excellent result that you can be proud of.

Enclosed is an award notice that you can post in your registration area for all campers to see.

Good luck in 2011.


John Thurow

P.S. We highly recommend that campground owners suggest to their happy campers to go to HorseTrailDirectory.com and enter a review of their experiences.  Not only do the reviews help "sell" your campground on our website, each positive review isw viewed by over 750 Facebook Fans.



Sending a deposit for reservation . . .

We always have a wonderful time at your campground. You and Ben are very friendly and always ready to help. See you in May.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


Barbara H.

Greenville, IL  12/2010


Hayes Canyon Campground is a great trail riding destination. The new cabin is comfortable and nicely equipped. The stalls are very nice and we're sure our large gelding appreciates extra footage. Ben and Patty are some of the nicest most accomodating hosts you will find. The trails in Shawnee are outstanding with a lot of variety. The number of frequent visitors is a great asset to this camp. It is always easy to find someone who has experience on the trails and can offer more input than can be found on a map alone. We have been fortunate enough to tag along with some of the regulars and have really enjoyed their company and the history of the area they have shared with us. If trail riding is your objective, this is a great destination.

Richard & Reba S.

Villa Ridge, MO   11/2010


Ben & Patty,

Thanks you for your hospitality at your campground this past week end. We really enjoyed your campground and trails surrounding it. Your suggestion for Don Cloud was wonderful, he really showed us a great time and very informative. We also thank you for the use of your trailer to another site. We will definitely be back next year.

Ben and Carlene S.
Quincy, IL 9/29/10


Ben and Patti,

I just wanted to tell you what a great time we had down in your area. This was the first time we had ever been to the Shawnee area in southern IL for most of us. We were the party that came in Thursday afternoon that you set us up just down from the office across the bridge by the horse wash area. The reservation was under the last name of *****. All 8 of us had a great time, you guys were very accommodating. Thank you so much for the use of the stock trailer it was a life saver. You don’t know how good it was to not have to pick up our camp and load the horses and come back to set camp up again. Your campground is a very nice place and I will recommend it to all of our friends. If we can help you out in any way let me know. We had Don Cloud guide us the first day and he did an excellent job. He took us by the points of interest and also gave us the history of the area and the different sites we went to. He is very good at what he does, anyone new to the area should definitely get in touch with him. The views are so spectacular. We are all talking about coming back again next year we just have to figure out everyone’s vacation schedule.

Thanks again for all of your hospitality.

Carolyn Y.
Fowler, IL 9/27/10


Ben, Patti and children, we just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for the wonderful time we had at your campground over Labor Day weekend. We appreciate all the updating you have done. The shower house and the entire campground was so clean and comfortable. We enjoyed meeting you and the kids and especially enjoyed cowboy church. Your manure removal was great and all the staff was friendly and hard working. We hope to come back next year for another great get away. We like the way you provide the wood when needed for our camp site. All around it was a wonderful experience and we will be back.

Thanks again and may God Bless you in the years to come.

Ron and Cathy L
Hull, IL 9/8/10


Dear Ben,

I just wanted to let you know that we really enjoyed our camping trip over the weekend. We hadn't been there in seveal years and you have done so many inprovements. We will certainly be back. We also appreciate that you took the time to show us several choices of campsites and gave us all the info that we needed. Thanks again and hope to see you soon.

Lauri B


Ben and Patti,

Thought you might like to see an article from the Illinois Horse Network. They've always been very supportive of the Derby Party (St Jude's benefit).  Bev B. put me in touch with someone from Trail Rider magazine, and they're willing to ruhn a promo for us for next year . . .Thank you again for all your help with the Derby Party. I always sing your praisis when folks ask about where to stay and ride in Shawnee.

Jane N.
Greenville, IL  7/1/10


Dear Ben and Patti,

Thanks again for the great week we had at Hayes Canyon; your campsite is one of the very best we've been to, and your management of the campground and facilities is without compare; throw in Shawnee National Forest and the excellent trail rides, and you have a real winner. Daryl and I look forward to seeing you next June, with our friends in tow. . . .

Dr Frank L.
Independence, MO  6/22/10


Hi Patti, Ben and Gracie.  Lin and I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful vacation the week of June 5. We really enjoyed your beautiful Shawnee Forest and your campground.  We plan on returning some day but just don't know when.  We have a son in the military who has been assigned to Ft. Campbell which shares the KY/TN border prior to leaving for Afghanastan in February.  We always take a horse riding vacation over my fall break but will devote it this year to seeing him. Will have to admit tho, we will probably stay at the Wranglers Campground at Land Between the Lakes which is near where he will be staying and squeezing some riding in.  ( =  But as predicted by those before us, Shawnee is definitely among the best riding destinations we've ever ridden and only a 5 hour drive from home.  So we will be back! Good luck to both of you with your impending birth of your son and enjoy that beautiful family. And I promise that your hard work and dedication to your facility and the trails of Shawnee is being bragged to our other horsey friends.  Word of mouth is priceless.  Until we meet again...

Duana and Linn M
Camby IN   6/18/10


Patti & Ben -  I just wanted to tell you thank you for a great weekend!  We always have a wonderful time at Hayes. The weather turned out wonderful(no rain)!  You are always so friendly and helpful.  Paige has celebrated her birthday at Hayes for the last couple of years and probably will for the next couple.  We are glad Grace got to come down and have cake with us!  Thanks again!

Kadee Hemmer
Tennyson, IN  6/2/10


Just wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time there in April. I was with Brad and his group. I have recommended your campground to anyone who will listen. Some friends have expressed interest in coming down this fall. Thank you, thank you for the wonderful, clean showers.  It sure was nice to have a nice hot shower in a spotless facility at the end of a long day of riding. The whole campground was beautifully maintained and the manure carts were emptied in a very timely manner. Thanks for all the firewood deliveries ;) Keep up the good work and all the best to your family.

Leslie C
Springfield, IL 5/13/10


Ben and Patti,

As always, I can't thank you enough for your support of the annual Derby Party (St Jude's Benefit). It helps so much to use the Loafin' Shed and your large tents, not to mention all the other supplies and manpower you loan us. The permanent campers have been so supportive, also.  Since Stacey got involved, this fund raiser has grown every year. She is a good organizer and gets everyone rounded up to help. I have so much fun every year.....raising money for St. Jude's is icing on the cake. Thanks again. Hope to see you Memorial Day.

Jane N.
Greenville, Il.  5/4/2010


Hi Patti,I had a WONDERFUL time this past week at your campground =-) even though my horse twisted a shoe on our last day! You, Ben and Grace were wonderful hosts. . . we had such a nice time in April we're coming back in September and bringing more friends. Looking forward to our next visit!

Julie L.
Zion, IL  4/29/10


I Love this place patti and ben!

Alex G   age 9
Clare, IL  3/25/10


Dear Ben and Patti,

We wanted to thank you and let you know how much we enjoyed our stay with you. We really enjoyed the trails and the camp grounds. It by far surpassed our expectations ! We hope to visit again soon.

Thank you,

Rick and Celeste C.
Brookland, AR 12/3/09


Ben & Patti,

My sis, Deb, and I wanted you to know what a great time we had on our trip to your beautiful area. Your campground is a great place to stay and we are already planning our trip back there next year. We wish your family a well-deserved winter down-time.
Happy Trails!

Sue M and Deb H.
Montezuma, IL 10/28/09


Hello Patti & Ben (and Baby)

Just a note to tell you how much we enjoyed the trial riding out of Hayes Canyon Camp. The trails were great. The scenery was fabulous. I was designated as "trail boss" for our group (from Minnesota). We did have an excellent ride, with some pluses! We managed to step over (but not significantly disturb) a Copper-head snake, near "Buffalo Bluff". No harm. no foul. We rode most of the day and I had saved the "Jackson Hole" area for last. What an awesome spot that is! Spectacular! We're home again now in Minnesota, but are lookng forward to another trip to the Shawnee. Perhaps in the fall(?)Great riding. Thanks again.

Greg & Peggy P.
Inver Grove Heights, MN 8/30/09


Patty & Ben,

I’m a little late sending this to you but I just wanted to tell you thanks for all the help you gave us with the trails etc. when M.B. and I were down there a couple of weeks ago. You have a great campgrounds and we really enjoyed our stay.  Thanks for ordering the perfect weather while we were there. I loved riding the Forest and I can’t wait to come back. Hope to see you next year. Take care and God bless.

Duly Z.
Ankeny, IA 6/2/2009


Ben and Patti,

Thank you so much for your support of the annual Derby Ride and Fundraiser. We really appreciate the use of the 'Loafin" Shed and the shirt and 3 nights camping you donated. Grace was a doll, of course! What a lucky little girl she is. Again, thank you for making things go so smoothly at the Derby Ride.

Jane N.
Greenville, IL 5/25/09


Dear Hayes Canyon & Friends,

I just wanted to tell you again how much I appreciated all the help with my dog Zyrus. I have attached pictures of him. He wanted to thank you also. Ha, Ha. He is really doing well during his recovery even if he does hate the collar he has to wear to keep him from pulling out his stitches.  We had a re-visit at our local vet yesterday and he was not healed enough to remove stitches so he was re-bandaged and sent home for the weekend. He had no broken bones, that was a good thing. Thanks to all who helped me and my daughter, Carlea. Please pass this message on to all who helped us. There are a lot of truly good people out there and I and Carlea met a lot of them during this past weekend. I do not know what we would have done without all of you helping us. Thanks for being our little angels.

Tina P.
Olney IL 10/2008


Hi Patti-

We left Monday morning and you weren't around-- just wanted to say we enjoyed our short stay there and the trail riding was really nice! Good luck with your baby too!

Thanks- Kristi and Dave ( from Oregon) 8/2008


Patti + Ben,

You have a very nice campground. I really like the horse pens at each site. It's great that you have a Sunday morning worship service. The sites are well layed-out and groomed. The trails are well marked. Keep up the good work. I will be back again!!

Happy Trails, Mike T.
Niles, MI  6/2008


My name is Dana G.  I am from Martinsville,IL.  I am a 4 year member of the Clark County 4-H and involved in the horse program. . . You have the best campground & trails. Thank you.

Dana G.
Martinsville, IL  2/2008


Good morning Patti! Our group wanted to let you know HOW MUCH we enjoyed your campground! We all commented on how nice it was to have owners that really cared so much about their customers satisfaction. We visited with several of your regular customers - they also commented on how good you all are to your customers. We spread word to others we met and talked to along the trail about how nice it was at HAYES..  In all the campgrounds we've stayed...very few have offered such incredible customer service! . . .

Liz M. via email
Mayfield, KY 10/2007


Hello, just wanted to tell you Thank you for such a nice camp ground. You guys made us feel right at home. We have told several people about the way you treat your guest. It seemed like everywhere we turned you guys went way beyond the things that most camp grounds do for their guest, keep up the good work and we hope we will see you guys soon. Have a great day.

KymW. and friends via email
Paducah, KY  10/2007


Hi guys!! Just wanted to say hello! Thanks for a wonderful weekend as usual! You guys work hard to keep things nice and it shows!! Patti- Thought you might like to see our cowgirl sisterhood webpage- The cowgirl riding rules on the homepage are funny! There are lots of pics from the trails of our favorite place- Hayes Canyon!! http://www1.freewebs.com/cowgirlsisterhood/

Candi S via email
Dawson, IL  10/2007


I sure enjoyed the stay. You have one of the most pleasant campgrounds I've ever been to.  I loved having my horse right there by our site, and it was so quiet.

Kevie O. via email
Abbeville, MS  10/2007


I just want to tell you how much fun we had at Hayes Canyon this past weekend. You and Ben made us feel at home, and you were truly appreciative of our business. Just coming around and visiting at the campsites is a nice touch. Several places we have been to do that also. It makes us feel as though we are welcome to be there.  KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!! And you have a great ambassador in Hilary and her mother Mary Lee. They took us under their wings. They know so much about the area, and love sharing it with others.  Hilary stole our hearts, I only wish our 17 year old daughter, Ashton, could have been along to ride with her. They would have hit it off so well.

The campsites are so well maintained, and I could tell you try to stay ahead of any maintenance. I know it's hard work. Anyway, we loved every minute of it and we'll plan on coming back. We were invited there on Thanksgiving Day.

Steven and Becki K. via email
Kahoka, MO 08/2007


"This was our first trip to the camp. We were so impressed. Everything was great. The bathrooms were spotless. The store was convenient. The sights were awesome. We will be back."

Corinth, MS


"We just wanted to thank you again for the great hospitality and a wonderful place to stay. We will tell all our riding and hunting friends about your place. . .  thanks again."

Jeanne & Wayne and Bailey (our dog)
Mound, MN


"I wanted you both to know how much I enjoyed the Memorial Day Weekend. The ice cream social was very enjoyable and everyone had a good time. We met a lot of new friends. You have worked hard this year on the campground. Keep up the good work. It's appreciated.

p.s. For so many people there it sure was quiet and peaceful. Also appreciated."

Kay W.
Harrisburg, IL


"We loved your campground especially how clean and nice the bathrooms were, and you were very hospitable and it was very appreciated. Thank you."

Lone Dell, MO


"Just a note to compliment you on your nice campground. Our family and several friends from Clay County camped there Labor Day weekend. In our group were several small children. We, as parents, are very appreciative that your campground is a place where we can take our children. At bedtime we noticed that it was quiet with no drinking parties and foul language being heard. We have been at campgrounds where we will not go back because it was not a place for families. However, with your campgournd we plan to come back many times; and we will highly recommend it to other people. Out on the trails we even heard other horse riders, whom we did not know, commenting how they appreicated the quiet atmosphere of your campground. Keep up the good work. We really appreciate it."

Jesse & Lynette B. and family
Ashboro, IN


"You have a very nice campground. You put it in a good place, too. The rocks are beautiful. The trails are nice too. I had a very great time. Who ever is cleaning the bathrooms are doing great!

A girl from Mississippi"


You guys have alot of stuff to do. It's fun to play on the rocks and stuff. You have lots of trails. This is the best camp I could come to.

A Mississippi Girl with a big group  :)


I've been meaning to drop you guys a note- Just wanted to say Thanks & we all had a great time over Labor Day weekend- Everyone in our group thought that your campground was the nicest we've been to and had the best trail access! Everything was so neat and tidy too- I don't know how you do it!! We'll be back for sure!

Candi and Dave S.
Dawson, IL


Hi Ben and Patti - we just wanted to let you know what a great time we had down at your  campground Oct 13-15.  The weather and the hospitality was fantastic and that Red Cedar Inn was delicious!!  We hope to return next year for another long weekend.  Again, thank you for a great getaway and we look forward to another visit.

Bill and Renee D.
White Heath, IL


We had a blast staying with you.  Wish we could have stayed longer.

John & Carri F.
Lee, IL


Had a great time at your place.  I'll recommend it to all my friends.

Jody W.
Elkhart, IN


We really enjoyed our stay at Hayes Canyon Campground. We'll tell our friends about you and hope to return next year.

Dave & Mary N.
Mondovi, WI