River Route Nature Trail

MODERATE 5 reviews

River Route Nature Trail is a 10 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Apple River, IL that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as moderate offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

10.0 miles Loop

dog friendly




fly fishing


trail running







A great place to camp, hike and fish, surrounded by some of the most dramatic terrain in Illinois. A series of trails in the Apple River Canyon State Park, including the river itself which is shallow enough to walk up if you have the right footwear! Lots of fun elevation changes, and big cool rivers filled with crystal clear water (and the attendant trout and small-mouth). Car camping only.

3 days ago

for everyone looking for the waterfall.. it is not of the mile long river trail..put in you GPS apple canyon LAKE...not river and you will find it ..it is just off the road. while you are up there put galena lake in your GPS and you will run into thunder bay falls just off the thunder bay rd. no hiking but very pretty! and the two are only a 1/2 hour away.

1 month ago

4 months ago

The description of this trail is seriously deceiving. Upon arriving to the park and finding the trail head, my friend and I were disappointed to find that this supposed 10 mile trail is actually only 1 mile. There were definitely nice views of the river with the opportunity to leave the trail and go down to the banks, however no waterfalls in site. In fact the five trails available to hike in this park didn't even add up to five miles. The park itself was very well maintained and while we did not camp the spots available did appear to be quite large and private. I was just very disappointed that after a 3 hour drive and anticipating a 10 mile hike we were only able to hike just barely over 4 miles.

1 year ago

River and fishing are great. Great spot for Boy Scout Camping. Decent Trails, not too hard, not too easy, good fishing, plenty of things to see. Wish there was something between the Youth campsites and the road though. Camped right next to the road, not a comfortable feeling when headlights come screaming past you at 3am.

4 years ago

I love this state park. It is small, and the only camping available is car camping, but there is a ton of adventure out there in the woods. The river is pristine and a beautiful place to spend a morning fishing, while the hiking provides tons of opportunities to go off trail and have a little fun. In particular I recommend bringing a pair of hiking sandles and walking up the river itself - its not very long and you get a great new perspective on the park!