Little Grand Canyon Trail is a 3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Pomona, Illinois that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
From Murphysboro, take Highway 127 south 6 miles to Etherton Rd.; then west 6.4 miles.* From Alto Pass, take Highway 127 north 8 miles to Etherton Rd.; then west 6.4 miles. * From Murphysboro Work Center office, take 20th Street south 1.5 miles to Hickory Ridge Rd.; then south 5.5 miles to the site. * At this point follow the directional signs.
At first I thought the hike was a bust and I was missing something, because for some time, the trail was an easy gravel path to the lookout.... but that quickly ended when I started descending and it was well worth the drive! There's quiet a bit of climbing involved but some time to relax with a stroll through the forest. Real fun hike with so much to see. I especially liked that the trail was easy to follow.
Beautiful area! Great hike with plenty of scenery!
overall not all that difficult, parts of it were difficult going up and down the revene because the rocks were wet therefore making them slick. but the rest of the trail wasn't hard.
I would recommend hiking poles and boots for the revene though. pretty muddy overall.
We did this hike last summer with our dog Artemis. He was only 7 months at the time. The trail was great! A little confusing as we don't live in the area and did not realize you had to make your way down the ridge and instead we made our way into the forest where the trail disappeared. We followed the river bed back to the path down into the ravine so it wasn't too bad of a detour.
The scenery was beautiful! There was some climbing involved as you make your way down, but nothing that was too strenuous and nothing Arty had any problem doing alone. There was even a part there it becomes very steep and you have to climb with small stepping foot holds. I was sure I was going to have to turn around and have him lifted to me by my husband but as I made the first few foot holds, Arty bounded right up after me no sweet.
Definitely coming back to visit and do a few more of these trails in the area!
Beautiful place. I went to scope it out by myself before bringing my kids up here. Had it been dry, it wouldn't have been too bad for my youngest kid, but as wet as it was today, I'm glad I went by myself. There were some tough uphill & downhills climbs on the wet rocks.
That being said, I absolutely love this place. In Southern Illinois, the only other place with better scenery is Garden of the Gods. The trails leading in & out of the Canyons are well maintained and well marked. Very easy to follow the trails w/out worrying about taking a wrong turn. It's only approx. 3 miles, but it's a somewhat tough 3 miles w/ the uphill climbs. The whole loop took me about 1 hour 45 mins to complete. I only stopped 2x to rest and drink water for a few minutes. As far as scenery in So. IL, this is easily a 5-star location. Have fun!
Really cool walk that really met expectations. Beautiful hike with huge rock formations. Started at the west trail head near restroom and understand the rating of difficult due to the short climb down into ravine which took a few minutes to figure out. Also have to watch for the hairpin turn on the east end of trail when heading up to parking lot.
Was definitely worth it. I can't wait to return to Shawnee National Forest and do some more of the trails. After not having done any hiking in a good three months this was a great one to get back into it. My friend and I took a couple of detours off of the trail to do some more intense climbing/hiking/backpacking and we definitely broke a sweat. The views were fantastic and it's even better that we had no idea what to expect. Make sure you take some waterproof shoes or boots though if you're interested in being more adventurous.
I'm so glad I found this place! Not a very long trail system, but endless exploring opportunities. Loved the canyons. I would be interested in seeing this place after a good rain....
I took the trail clockwise which started near the vault bathrooms. I arrived right at 7am and there was only one other car parked in the lot. The views were pretty good and the hike wasn't as challenging as it seems. I would rate this hike moderate at best. I would recommend good traction shoes as the rock was extremely slippery getting in and out of the canyon. Overall, good hike that took about 80 minutes to complete.
Fantastic time. This trail really gives you a wide variety of sights to see and is a great chance to do a little exploring of your own. Climbing down the canyons and then walking through them was so fun. This trail was over 2 hours away and my friends said they had no regrets about the trip.
Absolutely Amazing place!!! Never been anywhere like it. You could very easily take a side trail and get yourself hurt here but could spend the whole day on this 3 mile trail. Will continue to come back and drag as many friends along with me as I can.