Explore the best trails near Harrisburg with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
John S. on Indian Point Trail
Nice easy trail with some great views and cool rock formations
John S. on Garden of the Gods Observation Trai...
super easy hiking with beautiful rock formations
LOVE this trail. It is my absolute favorite in Illinois! Any time a friend says they havn't been, I take them. It is a very short trail if you are going for distance. The whole fun of it is to explore and climb around on the big rocks. Gives you a nice little rush. I recomend going in the fall when the trees are going becasue it is by far the best view. Also, I like to go on a weekday becasue it does get pretty crowded on weekends.
We just went here last weekend! This was my first experience with hike-in hike-out camping and this trail ended up being perfect for it.
After enjoying the Garden of the Gods trails, we hiked up the left leg of this trail (through the forest up on top of the bluffs) and camped in the lee of a small hill, just behind the scenic outlook area. There ended up being many campers nearby that night but we didn't hear any of them! The silence was beautiful and the stars were spectacular. Really easy to make a campfire too, tons of dead wood around (we went when it was dry and hadn't rained in a few days). Heard some coyotes at night, but no animals disturbed us. I slept like a baby!
We did not find any sources of water on this venture so if you are camping here bring plenty of it with you! There are outhouses within a long walk / short drive from the trail parking lot, if you're not into digging holes (but bring your own hand sanitizer). There are pumps located in other areas of the park but we did not see any close by.
Saw a few pieces of trash left by others but this forest is in very good shape overall. Be responsible with your things though! Don't litter, and keep the place nice for others to use! I also see people in these reviews are drinking on the trails... alcohol is NOT PERMITTED in any National Park! Don't say you weren't warned.
Don't expect a lot here! It's just a short out and back. And the "Stone Face" isnt all that spectacular. But want an adventure? Hang a left at the top of the climb. Stay left till you can cross the creek. Stay left along the bluff line. No real trail for this route but easy to hike and the views offer a great reward!
See my GlenO to Stone Face route for a nice hike.
Christopher S. on Garden of the Gods Observation Trai...
Went to get some cool shots. Not really sure why i didn't "get into it" though. I did a very small amount of bouldering and what not. I guess I just wasn't sure of what i was expecting. I should have waited until the colors turned in the trees, would have been more spectacular i think. I also hit up another trail that was right down the road cannot remember the full name but i think the word "indian" was part if it, it was alright too i guess.
Overall i did like the historical aspect, and the vast sea of what is now trees instead of the blue was once water. That is going to look great in a few weeks time.
Great place to hike and camp. Our first time being there we didn't know what to expect. There were alot of day hikers as well as over night campers, we of course camped right in the middle. We had campers in and around our camp at all hours of the night trying to find their friends or a camp site. Next time we will go more off trail, but it made it interesting for sure! lol. Bring plenty of water. and we never found any water sources other than the stagnant pond on the way in, and not sure I would even want to filter that, unless I absolutely had too.
Observation trail is stunning. Very short but can spend hours there climbing around and checking views. One of those places that is awesome every visit with changing light and foliage. There's a longer trail with some cool rock formations, could use some better trail markers though. Should also check out Rim Rock Recreation Area (7 miles east) if in the area, very good hiking.