Jackson Falls, Illinois

EASY 21 reviews
#3 of 19 trails in

Jackson Falls, Illinois is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Golconda, IL that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, camping, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

4.5 miles 607 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

camping

hiking

rock climbing

horseback riding

forest

river

waterfall

wildlife

rocky

scramble

Jackson Falls trail follows the top of the bluff (southeast) around to the "dog leg" where you can walk into the canyon. Rock Climbing and Bouldering are favorite activities. Rock climbing and bouldering between three water falls.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an awesome hike. It was marked well. It is very remote to get to. When we got there it was well populated with people primitive camping, rock climbing, and horseback riding. It did not feel crowded when we were hiking. There seemed to be lots of available areas with established routes if you are looking to rock climb. Burden falls road is also called county route 8. Glen street falls road is only called street road on my phone map. If you download the AllTrails app for you phone it is very helpful to find the area and to stay on the trail.

3 months ago

Sense of direction is needed but this place is incredible

hiking
4 months ago

Two amazing waterfalls. Trail was confusing and became lost for a little bit but got out safe.

6 months ago

was beautiful! spent quite a while trying to find the trail head then finally just walked the road till I found some tiny trails leading to the .048 and it took a while to find my way down. ran into some awesome people that showed me a good spot to climb down just 25 ft on the west side of the little wooden bridge, I wasn't afraid to get lost, more so just noticing what side of the canyon I was on and remember that there's tons of little trails to the road on the east side. It was so breathtaking, I do agree the road is quite rough. I am an inexperienced 6 speed driver and it was a bit nerve racking but the view is more than worth it. trail sign's so need much improvement

backpacking
6 months ago

Amazing place, awful directions. Got lost for 7 hours and hiked 10 miles. It's such a shame, there is lots of trails, but the Ranger won't be bothered to clean up all the beer bottles and trash on the trails south near the lake. It's sad, this place has so much potential

hiking
6 months ago

This place is amazing. That being said, with all the information I was able to get from 3 different guide books, we could've gotten dangerously lost. Entries/exits in and out of the valley were very hard to find. We had to backtrack a few times. Trails need to be better marked. We over shot the way out by quite a ways. When we finally did get out, we had to walk another mile on the road to get back to the truck. Thank goodness there were 2 people in different areas to help us along. Also, as of May 23, 2016, if you don't have a high clearance vehicle, don't attempt it. Overall the road in wasn't TOO bad but there were 2 spots that made me cringe even in my off-road Toyota 4x4. Also nowhere to back up or turn around.
Aside from all that- the trails were AWESOME. Lots of boulders and good trails. My favorite of all our hikes that weekend!!!

hiking
6 months ago

The waterfall itself was beautiful. But it was extremely confusing trying to figure out how to even get to the trail. The trail isn't clearly marked. We found the waterfall walking through, and we thought that we were going the same direction on our return, but we never saw the waterfall again. The trail needs to be better marked throughout. The rocks and trees and actual forest were beautiful though!

7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome trail, just rather difficult to go down the road to get to it! It was bumpy, muddy and had huge ruts, I'm sure a 4x4 has no issues, but I did in a Jetta. It was worth the drive though!

8 months ago

A great trail for a Sunday afternoon. The hike was a little over 2 miles in to the Falls. Lots of rappelling going on and an easily marked trail with 048 bringing you in, but finding your way down the bluffs was a little difficult. Down the bluffs to 049 and you walk right in to the Falls. Will go back again, for sure.

8 months ago

I would review this trail as much did Larry Jarret did a year ago. From the trail head we followed 048. It was well marked until about mile 2. We hiked a little further until it was clear that the trail wasn't marked any further and we backtracked to the last blaze. By happenstance we saw two hikers below us managed to ascend to the ridge about an 1/8th of a mile ahead of us and realized the way down to the canyon. Easily missed. We then managed to backtrack to the waterfall using 049 and enjoy some time there. Getting out was also easily missed as we passed second waterfall using 049 and had to backtrack again and ascend our way out by climbing somewhat of a Rick staircase.

11 months ago

when I went it was late summer, everything had dried up from creek beds to streams. There was a pool of stagnet water at the bottom of the first fall. The over all beauty of the place was great. Caves with lush surroundings, high bluffs and tranquil trails. There was rock climbing and repelling. This would be a good place to hike during a summer rain or there after.

1 year ago

Very easy trail from trail head to the top of the falls. If you go left, and follow the cliff tops trail, you'll eventually make it to the way down. Once down, go right. You'll follow the trail to the bottom of the falls. I suggest going to the falls, then back. Its easy to get lost. I wish there was a trail map available.
Very beautiful little spot though!

1 year ago

very easy hike from trail head to rim of waterfall. we took off on left bluff did not make it far enough to make it down into the canyon so we turned around. plan on making the trip back though. nice easy hike.

hiking
1 year ago

Great waterfall and tall bluffs make for an ideal Day Hiking adventure in the area. Truly a Southern IL Gem!

hiking
2 years ago

Jackson Falls trails is an east out and back trail located just off of Glen Street Falls Rd in the Shawnee National Forest. The upper trail 048 follows along the ridge above the falls and intersects with the 049 trail loop near the railroad. For those looking for a longer hike, a longer loop is easy accessible by taking the 049 trail below the falls and exiting the gorge with the 048 trail. Unless you are a climber, there is no exit except to climb the rocks near Jackson Falls. It is unmarked and really hard to find.

rock climbing
2 years ago

I've always come here expressly to climb, and it's fantastic for that. Jackson Falls has a great range of routes, from 5.7 to 5.12. The trails are well maintained and the descent into the valley involves either clambering through the 'Dog Walk' or rappelling down one of the rock faces. The campsites are primitive, and access to the further ones closer to the "Dog Walk' involves being able to ford a shallow rocky stream in your car.

hiking
3 years ago

Didn't have any gear with us so we only got to hike, but it was a good hike.

hiking
3 years ago

I'm not a rock climber and just hiked this trail. It's a nice rugged hike at some points. I first missed the decent trail to the waterfall and ended up meandering around for a little until retracing my steps.

Upon first exiting the parking lot, I was greeted with the barks of an eagle. It was a neat start to good hiking trip.

hiking
4 years ago

Jackson falls is wonderful for rock climbers! It has a really nice hike with a waterfall and lots of spots for camping. :-)