West of Du Quoin and south of Steeleville on the Randolph-Jackson County line is a unique 198-acre area known as Piney Creek Ravine State Natural Area. Purchased in 1972 for its rare plant species and other natural features, it is one of only two locations in the state where short-leaf pines grow naturally. Piney Creek Ravine is dedicated state Nature Preserve within the Illinois State Nature Preserve system.
Very enjoyable little hike. I recommend early spring for a visit. Views are better without so much foliage, and I bet the poison ivy is pretty annoying once it gets going. Can be difficult to cross some things in high water, and there was a bit of mud to traverse at the beginning.
The location is off, though. The blue dot is actually several miles east of the actual park. I had to look in a 'route' on someone else's post to get to the trail.
This was a beautiful hike with many rocky bluffs and streams. The trail alternated between bluff tops and stream crossings, making for one of the most enjoyable hikes in the state. Moderate difficulty because of a steep climbs and stream crossings. The rock art is really neat once you locate it. It is unfortunately surrounded by many modern additions from less evolved members of our society. The trail head is a long way down Piney Creek Road, just keep going. More than worth the drive! We will be doing this again soon!
Jeffery G. on Piney Creek Ravine Nature Reserve T...
One of my favorite hikes. Early spring is a great time to visit.
I attempted to hike this trail on May 18th. The trail begins on a grass covered path that had not been cut recently and was 12 to 18 inches tall. I had just entered the trail and walked for about 25 yards when I noticed 3 ticks walking up my pants leg. I decided to return at a later date (late fall) and try it again.