A lot of the trail isn't clearly marked and there are plenty of places to accidentally deviate. Make sure you have a full battery on your phone and nothing on that could be draining the battery. You'll need the app GPS to get your bearings a lot.
Also, your GPS may take you to the back entrance of Forest Glen Preserve which is employee use only. Enter through the main entrance and work your way back to the trail head.
Posting at the start says pre-registration is required. I didn't register because I didn't know I was supposed to register and had driven about 1.75 hours to get there. You might find a link to preregister here:. http://www.vccd.org/giforestglen.html
I posted pictures of the Underwood Cemetery. The only two stones I could read were from the Underwood family. I believe Illinois became a state in late 1818, so the one person named on the stone lived there before then. Which was only 46years after US was invaded by the first immigrants, haha.
This is a long trail that runs the perimeter of the nature preserve. I thought I would hike half way then camp at one of the backpacking sights, but there is a permission slip that has to be pre qualified in order to do this. The nature preserve is a great place, a few ponds, fire watch tower, tent camping, RV camping, trails, river and lots of deer. This is only a few of the things this place offers. Was a good hike but wished I didn't have my 50lb backpack the entire 11 miles. Will be back soon, actually thinking of going back this next weekend. Also good place to play my Native American flute.
Great place learn the ropes of backpacking. Multiple stream crossings and small bridges. Largely flat and easy, though some terrain can get pretty technical, especially when muddy. Trails are well marked, though may require some detours or bushwhacking due to fallen trees, washed out bridges, or high waters.
This is a great trail for the area! Once a year, the KRR running club runs the backpack trail and has a party afterwards. What a great time. The map looks a little funny on here, as the trail is a loop. There is a campsite part way into the trail that folks can reserve and hike out to (I think scout troops do this every so often). The trail really isn't long enough to warrant camping mid-way through.
Rules are attached as a link. They say there's a fee now, which is odd. Note that only a few miles of the backpack trail are exclusively the backpack trail . . . so if you get caught without a permit . . . just be mindful of where you are.
Nice trails. Good cover from trees while hiking near the vermillion river. Some primitive camp spots out in the trees that are fairly secluded. Some of the trails are steep in spots but not for long runs. Great beginner course for someone wanting to get into backpacking. Plenty of places to filter water. The river is nice to just jump into during the heat of summer. Nice option for central Illinois.