Johnson Trail is a 2.6 mile out and back trail located near Valmeyer, IL that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round.
From Route 3 in Waterloo, IL, take Highway 156 west, to original Valmeyer, turn north on Bluff Road. Proceed the short distance to the Rock City complex sign and turn east on Limestone Lane. The parking area is on the left.
Nice and easy unless you go to the Salt Lick trail trail. Then you have a good hill to climb but rewarded with a great view.
I feel this is the best way to start your hike at Salt Lick. It is an easy flat trail along the base of the bluffs through tall trees and along huge boulders. It ends at Newman trail or a steep connector trail to Salt Lick. If you start here, do the out and back to Newman Trailhead then up to Salt Lick and do half of its loop, you will get about 5.5ish miles with beautiful trails through the woods, crossing streams, the steep climbs along the bluffs. This is by far the best trifecta of trails around the StL area.
Nice add on for the other trail systems
Combine this with the other trails, u have a nice and intense workout no matter what.
This is a nice, short, flat trail. So if that's what you want, it's perfect. The trees and bluffs kept the trail really cool, which was nice, as today was a high of 90. It was really buggy and there were quite a few spider webs across the trail, but other than it was very pleasant. I'll be back, but will be combining all three trails next time.
This was a crazy, yet beautiful, trail. I'm pretty sure whoever designed it, was drunk, though.
really enjoyed the trail. for the most part easy. for about 1/2 mile, going down thru the creeks and up the hill a bit harder, but really a great time. the way back much easier when it is downhill.
For southern IL and being so close to the Mississippi, it was a nice and fairly brief hike. Five of my children, ages 12, 10, 8, 6, and 5 were able to complete it and the climb on the backside of the bluff with relatively little problems. Not much wildlife, but some nice views once you reach the top and reach the lookouts.
This was a great trail! My niece and I walked this one and connected up with Salt Lick. Johnson is lovely and wooded, running along the cool, shady base of the river bluffs. We even found a blackberry patch for snacks.