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

Around Home Map

The trail was very easy to follow and the entire left wing was paved stone. After a weekend in the Shawnee, I would rank this area 3rd after Garden of the Gods and Little Grand Canyon. If you go to the Garden of the Gods, you must go down the road to this area. The area is covered with moss covered rocks and then you descend down the bluff cutting through wedges in the large rocks. We went on a wet weekend and the water was trickling from everywhere. Once down near the creek the trail splits. We thought that this was the junction of the middle and right side loop, but this is actually the right side loop and the trail that goes up to the lake and back. If you go up the lake trail about 1/4 mile you will find a small waterfall. The site map indicates that most people hike up to this waterfall and back out. From the trail head, the left and middle trails will both take you to the top of the stairs on the bluff, the right trail will take you to the bottom of the bluff.

started in e town, stoped hiking in eddyville. this part of the trail hiked has a lot of forks that are not marked what way to go. trail has been moved around a lot, but they never took down the old blazes. wasted about 10 miles following false trails, lusk creek is the worst part.


1 month ago

Great place for kids. I live nearby - and always had- but had never been! We enjoyed a family picnic and simple exploring. It was well worth the short drive.

We did this hike yesterday, starting at Rim Rock (we took the path to the far right (of the four options) and making our way to Pounds Hollow. We actually spent a little time at Pounds Hollow to take a break (up the bluff), then hiked back, where there is a small sign at the point of the three large bluff/ rock formation areas. We headed the opposite direction that we came from to ox-lot cave and wandered/ climbed around until we found a stone staircase. That led between the rock formations and toward a recently created or remodeled wooden staircase that takes you to the top of Ox-lot. We then took the upper trail back to the parking area. During our hike, we ended up with a distance of 4 miles and climbed the equivalent of 37 flights. It was an excellent time. Calling it a moderate hike/ trail is mostly accurate. I would say easy to moderate. I did take the time to climb up a few of the formations and experience different views. I would recommend it just to really take everything in. Recent rains meant the water was flowing nicely and there were very few people there, so you really got to hear the amazing, peaceful, serene sounds of nature!

SNF has done a wonderful job keeping this area up. The addition of walkways, benches, and bridges simplify the trail, but do not take away from the environment. Most is likely done as a protective feature for the natural areas and the hikers. This is a family friendly place. There were only 5 other families/ couples there when we left, only two others when we arrived.

1 month ago

This was an awesome trail. Hiked it 2/27. The trail is really easy to follow for the most part. There are a few tricky spots though. I highly recommend picking up the friends of the Shawnee map before hiking this. I took trail 481 to 483 to 457, crossed at the Bowed Tree Crossing and followed trail 001 (River to River trail) to Owl Bluff. After stopping at Owl Bluff, I continued on trail 001. The track on this app does not stay on 001. It looks like they cut through the woods to trail 490. I stayed on 001 until it meets 490. However, trail 490 was very hard to spot from the river to river trail. It’s the only trail intersection I encountered that didn’t have a sign and it kind of looked like an animal trail at first. I passed right by it but I was able to notice so on the map. Once I backtracked a little and found 490, I followed it to 457 and then 486 to Saltpeter Cave. I then followed 481 back to my car. My GPS said it was 9.2 miles with 1000 feet of ascent. It took me about 5 hours so bring water and snacks, but don’t litter! I filled a grocery bag up with trash on my hike. Owl Bluff and Saltpeter Cave were the highlights, but the whole area is filled with beautiful views of Lusk Creek and many ephemeral streams that feed it.

I go here just about every other week and of you go in near Frank's tract, the path is marked well and there are wooden signs to guide you. awesome hike. after secret canyon I suggest following trail 457 to trail 481 and you can see saltpeter cave on your way back

Amazing rock formations

Kids all loved it, especially all the nooks and crannies of the rocks.

Enjoyed this trail and as others have said we too ended up in Pounds Hollow! There’s an open area where the very small sign is and we missed it. Not a big deal, we just walked back the same way. But it is an extra half mile each way to pounds hollow. The trail itself is pretty easy with some fairly good elevation changes.

I hiked this trail today. I did end up at Pounds Hollow, but I saw the sign and kept going. There is a sign. It's short, but it's there. I didn't take the street back. I simply went back the way I came, turned at the little sign and finished the trail back to my car. Really nice area.

I have hiked this trail twice and both times I ended up on Pounds Hollow Lake Road and had to hike the highway back to Rim Rock. There are no signs telling you which way to go on the trail. If you get to the beach area, you've gone too far. I love the trail, though. Very beautiful and peaceful. But now that I've found this website and have a map, I know where to go and am going to go back and walk the trail the right way!

7 months ago

Nice town folks, camping and hiking. Enjoying the river and the tall cottonwood trees at the ferry campground.

Nice trail!

We were camping at nearby Pounds Hollow, which is a great rustic campground. We did this hike on a Sunday morning with some relatives that are pretty inexperienced. Everyone loved it. Make sure you take the steps down off the bluff that lead to Ox-Lot cave. Pretty amazing rock formations, especially for Illinois. In my opinion, this is more impressive than Giant City State Park. We could have spent a little more time exploring, but it only took a hour and a half to complete. If you are in the area it is well worth doing.

Great easy hike...lots of beautiful rocks and neat places to explore. We loved it!

Great trail, very cool rock formations. Trail was very easy to follow. Not sure why it's rated as hard, one of the easier hikes around.

Great rock formations and stone paved path. Very well kept and clean. A short low experience level hike, I had 2 pain in the ass girls with me and even they did fine.

on Hickory Ridge Trail

8 months ago

Really neat Cave! lots of stairs! my 3 kids love it!

Nice trail. The actual Rim Rock trail is paved the entire way, Which made it nice. There is some climbing and geological site seeing including the Ox-Lot cave. The hike is short, took about an hour, with lots of stops to site see, but didnt seem that long.

A must-see location along with Garden of the Gods.

9 months ago

Very pretty spot for a hike. Not difficult to navigate and has other great spots around to hike.

No markers for directions but beautiful hike. The trail can get confusing when it gets close to the trail that it is connected to.

10 months ago

Not a long hike but a great place to see - lots of great rock formations

Pleasant Surprise! We saw a sign for Rim Rock as we left Garden of the Gods. Beautiful trail.

We really enjoyed this hike. Go down the stairs, that is where all the cool stuff is. Great rock formations and if you keep to the trail past the ox canyon, there is a swimming cove in a beautiful lake. I try to make it here every year.

Markers for trail were not very good. We got lost & hiked for 5 hours because the markers kept sending us in the wrong place. If you go to this trail, go to the water & then turn around, secret canyon is when the trails start getting sketchy with markers.

Love this trail: started at rim rock took middle trai (Indian rock wall) 0.8 mile. descended down into lower trails. Ended up walking the beaver trail ox lot cave; a small campground is further down the trail. Some of most beautiful rock formations that I have ever seen. Came back through and took a dif trail to get back to my vehicle. Which ended up being the trail to the right that starts at rim rock.

Not sure why this trail is rated as hard. It's fairly easy walking, just watch your step I did see several snakes. The rocks can be slippery.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Nice trail with a cool overlook. Rock canyons are very nice and similar but narrower than Giant City Trail. Took the additional walk over to Pound's Hollow Lake Beach which is really super nice. Skipped the middle trail. The sign in the parking lot only shows the left loop but both loops are a definite must do. The last part of the right loop is a long slow ascent without much flattening out. Gotta go back just to check out the middle loop. Bring water. It was in the high 70's and we drank quite a bit.

nature trips
Thursday, April 06, 2017

Nice, nothing spectacular. Shaded and cool. Enjoyed the short easy hike.

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