Explore 2012 adventures - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2012 adventures Map
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hiking
16 hours ago

a lot of construction going on a few places you can't get to.. drove 2 hours so I was kinda upset I couldn't do everything! A bit of ice.. but over all a wonderful experience and will definitely be back.

This was during the shutdown and gates closed. Only adds 4/10’s of a mile to the hike. Took the upper left trail and came back up the lower right side. Don’t pass this one up if visiting Garden of the Gods!

hiking
8 days ago

When I have more time I plan to come back and explore the rocks below.

hiking
8 days ago

Did loop 2 for a quick last hike before we headed back home. Even though Loop 2 is listed as “intermediate” on the info board, I would call it an easy hike. No steep inclines or anything that would make you need to take a break. Took us about 40 minutes to do the loop.

One of our absolute favorites! I’ve hiked it with my kids since they were in hiking backpacks! It can be a little intimidating with kids if your kids aren’t well exposed to diverse trails but we have a “serious” talk before each hike explaining that hikes are fun but not a playground. We must respect the environment and watch each step because it can be dangerous if we don’t give our full attention to what we are doing.

I definitely recommend going down the hilly trail first, ending with the look out point and hill up to the exit if you want an easier route. Steep waterfall filled trails are breathtaking but can be extremely slippery when wet. Hike with caution!

Trail was wet after a good bit of rain. But pretty. A few spots were challenging uphill, but overall pretty moderate. Trail is well marked, but must pay close attention or you will be off the trail before you know it.

January is a great time to go. We passed only four hikers.

About as good of a view as one can find in Illinois!

Great views, great hike! Not a ideal hike if you’re afraid of heights like me!

This trail is like a web of different trails all mixed in. Got turned around a couple times but nothing is too far out there you can’t find a sign quickly. Bridge is cool. Nature center is still under construction as of 1/9/19. Views are nice.

The look outs near the top of the waterfall were closed because of structural damage but you can still get to the top. Best views are from the observation decks. Really short and easy hike. Don’t let the “strenuous trail” signs fool you. ;)

hiking
13 days ago

very pretty falls. short easy hike

We hike this trail this past weekend. It was after a few days of rain and our last hike of the day. Since it had been raining, we did have to cross the creek. It was a little challenging since the water was running pretty good but we made it.There wasn’t enough daylight left to do the whole hike. Plus the lady at the camp office told us not to go the whole way because part of it would be flooded. I will say that this hike was one of the most challenging I have ever done. I absolutely loved it, however it does require climbing the trail is a little hard to follow at times. You may discover muscles you never knew you had. Be sure that you look for the waterhole as you’re climbing up the mountain. It was running really good when we were there.I’m thinking that we didn’t go far enough to see the open part of the bluff. The view at the place where we had to stop was still a bit obstructed by the trees. I was a bit disappointed however, I do plan to go back and do the whole trail on another day. After an all day hike at the park, I will say that completing this trail was definitely a feeling of success! I definitely will be back!

This trail is connected to the robbers Cave Trail. After reading the reviews initially I was hesitant to go on it, but was so glad that I did not miss it. We went right after a rain. So lots of the creeks/streams were running. This added to the beauty of the trail. It was a little soggy in some places but not too bad. The trail connects to the Cat Tail Trail. We didn’t get to explore that part of the trail because the water was raging over the low-water bridge that takes you to that part. However I wasn’t to disappointed. Was plenty satisfied staying on the Rough Canyon Trail. You do have to really look for the markers on the trees in some places. But it wasn’t too bad. I’m not sure this area would be a place I’d want to hike in the summer but it is a great hike for the fall/winter. I absolutely loved my time at this park and definitely would like to go back.

This was such a cool trail! We went last weekend, and the weather was beautiful! Taking the CCC part of the trail makes it a bit of a challenge but adds to the excitement. I love the history of this area. It was a good climb. I loved looking at all the rock formations. There were lots of nooks and crannies to explore. Definitely one of the better hikes. I’m not sure that I would want to go there in the summer for fear of snakes just because of all the rocks. That directions given by all trails is a little off. If you get confused stop at the cabin office and they will give you excellent directions.I do agree that the park map is a bit confusing, but the lady at the office did a great job explaining and drew it all out for us. I recommend doing the rough canyon trail when you finish this one. We went right after a rain so there was lots of creek/stream crossings, but so much fun!!

I really enjoy this trail for a short outdoor hike with the family. I've gone with my 1.5 year old and although we pretty much made it to the lake and back (not around) she walked at least half of it. Then returned with the whole family 6 ,7 and 2 years old. The kids loved seeing the fish and frogs. We ran into about 3 other couples. Marked well, plenty of benches along the way, husband did get poison ivy on this walk though.

Beautiful hike. Will do this one again. Only a couple steep areas and a few water crossings after rains.

backpacking
15 days ago

Coming from two 23 year old, able bodied but slightly out of shape dudes, each carrying 40lb packs, this loop is definitely hard. If you do the full loop I recommend starting at the lake and going up the west side. It’s much prettier in terms of water features and is shorter in distance, still very steep. The east side (going down after camping on the mountain) is still very pretty but you barely see the river that is on that side. Lots of up and down expanses high up on the east side. It took us almost 5 hours to get up the mountain from the west side (stopping every 20-30 min with one break longer 15 min break for lunch, abt 12-15 stops). It took us only less than 4 hours the next morning to go down the longer east side (about 10 stops). If u want to just go for a day I would take two cars and park one at the lake and then start at the top of the mountain and go down the west side. 8/10 for views and overall experience, 2/10 for easiness. Wouldn’t go back unless for the day hike I mentioned.

hiking
15 days ago

A great trail! If you start on white rock mountain, the hike back to your car Is pretty tough. Overall, the views and scenery were great. We went early January and got great weather. Tons of water flowing throughout the mountain and multiple waterfalls. Highly recommend.

I had done this hike in July and it was not a good experience. Each of us got about 20 ticks, hardly any water sources, and overgrown. Wouldn’t recommend then, but highly recommend late fall and even in the winter if you don’t mind camping in the cold.

Absolutely love this trail. We were lucky and hit it the day after a rain and the waterfalls were spectacular, even caught a double rainbow at the first one (see pictures). Both waterfalls you can go behind. Down at the bottom of the first make sure to venture of the trail (follow the creek bed and climb up the rocks a bit) there is a gorgeous hidden small waterfall. If you climb up onto the rocks there is a small cave. The trails were nice and well marked. We drove from Louisville, KY and it was well worth it. Will def do it again. We went on a 58 degree day in Jan and was at the trail by 1030 am and took the last parking spot. There’s plenty of parking, but that’s how popular it was and even when leaving, people were still pouring in. This isn’t a long or hard trail, but take your time and explore off trail a bit when you see the opportunity. There’s some steps and rock
Climbing. It’s an amazing trail!

The suspension bridge was awesome - and the falls are beautiful

Awesome hike! Did the hike to the base of the falls. It’s been raining the last few days so it was super muddy and slick but worth it. The way the rocks are makes it hard to get good footing - so I’d rate this more strenuous than moderate. Also hiked back up and did Cane Creek Falls over the suspension bridge. My husband , I and pup enjoyed the day exploring nature ! Check out Cane Creek Overlook if you’re looking for a good spot to stop and eat lunch.

hiking
15 days ago

Awesome trail amazing views

Definitely worth the walk to see the waterfall! The worst part was actually the long drive getting to the trail. We used Green Mtn Road though and it’s in pretty good shape.

This trail was the high light of our weekend, the hawksbill crag at the end was well worth the walk and the views are simple breathtaking, BUT there are some minor set backs, there was probably 40 - 60 cars in the parking lot which meant the trail was gonna be busy, so kinda crowded for when we went, also the county road into the trailhead is nearly 6 miles of very steep gravel road, please don't have any trouble with your brakes on your vehicle because it could lead to an interesting ride down on the way out, all and all great trail and worth the drive

hiking
15 days ago

This was more like a state park setting, the trail takes you down to the natural bridge which in itself is worth the trip, but you should go on around the LOOP and visit the rock formations and caves on the backside, plenty of spots to sit and enjoy

Waterfalls were beautiful! Fun trail! Great day for a hike.

We stopped in our way out of town. With all the recent rain, the trails were muddy but the water was running fast and it was SPECTACULAR! It was a moderate hike, need to watch younger children and your step. Highly recommended.

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