Explore 1-2 Hours Away - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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I absolutely love hiking here, but the people are absolute slobs. I’ve been going here since I was a kid and I brought my kids there yesterday and they were quite upset about the MASSIVE amount of garbage everywhere. They need to implement some serious litter prevention. Ban all disposable water bottles being the first, I’ve never seen so much trash at a park like this. It’s depressing.

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I was pleasantly surprised with Starved Rock. It is awesome that all of the trails connect and you can decide what paths to take and loop all over. The canyons were sweet and picturesque.
It was an absolute zoo when we finished at 11am. Totally nuts. Would recommend getting there as early as possible to avoid crowds. We got there at 8am.
Do go hike, it's the best the area has to offer.

Mattheisen State Park is less well-known than it’s nearby counterpart, Starved Rock, so there is usually less of a crowd. While the trails are not as well marked, the Lake Falls Dam Waterfall is breathtaking and can be seen from the bridge at the top and down below at the base. This is one of my favorite areas to hike. Definitely a must see if you are in the area.

Awesome trail! Going back soon to explore more of the park. Beautiful views, beautiful waterfalls and an excellent place to explore. Can't wait to go back!

The path is very poorly marked. But when you figure out where you’re going, it’s a great trail. Nice to be near the water, there were several look out areas with seating. The paths varied in width and incline, which was a nice mix. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves.

That place is so beautiful I loved

Went right at the fork and that was definitely smart. Great trail, lower portion should be saved for the return. Don't fall and crack your phone screen.

Arrive early (by 10am?) on weekends so you can park at the main parking lot. We had to park in the overflow area and it was an extra mile hike across a sunny field to get to the Dells area.

The Dells were beautiful!

This park is amazing with caves you can walk through and waterfalls galore! We did seem to go on a trail that led to a equestrian trail and not the loop, but there are signs that say which way to stay on the hiking trail loop. Overall great experience, even though it absolutely down poured during our visit.

Beautiful trail. Would have been 5 stars if it was marked better with signs, etc.

Beautiful place to lose yourself in nature!

off road driving
2 months ago

Drive through some grass trails that I believe were for hiking. Oh well! The lake is dry due to reconstruction.

We love hiking with our dog here.
Trials allow hikers, runners, cyclists, and horses
Plenty of room to explore !
My pup loves the creeks, the woods, and fields.
Highly recommend!!

Wouldn’t really consider this hiking, most trails are built into the landscape with wooden platforms and stairs. It’s a nice shady hike though that is not very challenging. There are some good spots for scenery and photos. Also lots of trash throughout, people need to learn to pick up after themselves.

Canyons, waterfalls, sand dune, streams and River. This trail has everything! Its not very challenging but very scenic and much of trails are covered with tall trees. Makes for nice cool trail running during warmer month. At first , a good chunk of trails seems over made with wood and concrete but I believe those are necessary for masses to safely enjoy canyons and water falls. After while, its not that obtrusive.
Overall great place to hike and enjoy.

hiking
2 months ago

As of June 2018, much of the park is under construction.

Very nice, good trail for family. Paths are easy to follow. Can get very crowded during peak times, so go early if possible.

Worth doing; very scenic

Loved this trail. Super neat with lots of canyons and lookouts over the river. Definitely a good hike for local hikers who don't want to travel too far for a wonderful experience.

Nice trail, not so difficult also for small kids.

Walked this with the kiddos for Mother’s Day and my 4 & 5 year olds had no problem walking this trail! Lots to see visually and the smells of nature and flowers blooming, the trees to hits a nature lover right in the feels! Great place to spend an afternoon.

Great alternative to Starved Rock! While still getting a decent amount of hikers, Matthiessen is just as spectacular as nearby Starved Rock and much less crowded and noisy. Although there’s many waterfalls, my personal favorite is Lake Matthiessen’s Dam Waterfall. It has one large waterfall you can climb and then a lower waterfall with a nice pool where you can swim and picnic.

i went on a monday in the early afternoon and even got to participate in a park clean-up! recommend on off-peak times, as this is a popular day trip for city slickers like me!

It was very nice. I recommend going in the morning, after 12:00pm the trail gets too busy. Very pleasant trail

rock climbing
3 months ago

This walk/hike was really nice. Once you get down to the bottom of the stairs, instead of going to the right as the trail presumes, go immediately to your left, not around the curve, but through the water. Follow that shortly and you will find two waterfalls that you can climb and a tunnel you can walk through. This part of the hike was the best for us.

This trail is relatively easy and short, making it a pleasant morning hike. There are a few hills but nothing people can’t handle. May main complaint is the maps seem to be a little bit of a mess, some “you are here” information and distance info would be nice on them, just for informations sake. Overall a pleasant experience

hiking
3 months ago

I enjoyed this hike. Definitely some hills! Took about 3.5 hours.

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