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If you go right at the start there's a nice .75 miles with a lot of elevation although not too steep - a couple gradual switcbacks. the rest is mostly flat and beautiful terrain. no bluffs, no streams, although a nice Creek at the end.

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.

Great trail and amazing views, particularly atop Little Devil.

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.

Good workout trail. No a very scenic trail though. Lots of loose gravel on trail so watch your footing.

Loved the views!!!!!

Pretty steep but over all really enjoyable, get there early because it can get pretty hot due to lack of shade

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!

Nice trail, pretty heavily trafficked though. Great views from the top!

hiking
23 days ago

I did the CW hike of this trail on Thursday, July 26th. The first 10 minutes or so parallels the main park road. Between you and the road is a spring-fed creek. It will end at a point where you cross a little foot bridge and see water emerging out of the rocks.

As others have mentioned, going CW gets the hardest part of the trail climb out of the way near the start. Once you ascend to the ridgeline, there is a bench that you can use to take a break.

One of the nice things about the trail is that, on the ridgeline, most of the trail is packed earth with hardly any rocks (in my case it was quite dusty). It resembled a bridle path but without any horses.

Finally, you arrive at the bench marking the descent back down to the trail base. The descent of the trail sure seemed a lot shorter than the ascending portion towards the beginning of the hike.

Once you get back to level ground it's just a few minutes walk back to the trailhead.

Like I indicated, I did the trail on a weekday. The parking lot was fairly full so I can imagine that on a weekend parking might be at a premium.

I am sure almost all people do this hike without trekking poles. But if I were going to do it again CCW, they might come in handy for the descent.

I have read some reviews mentioning ticks. But the path is rather wide and so I never had to brush up against any tick bearing undergrowth.

The trailhead sign said the the trail is 3.25 miles in length. I am a leisurely walker and it took me 1.5 hours to complete the loop while stopping to take quite a few pictures.

First off, $13 parking fee. The park was under-construction so there were areas of the trail that were inaccessible. The landscape was gorgeous. Didn’t make it to the falls but it seemed busy coming from that direction.

Did this a kick off / extra from Harney (Black Elk) Peak. FYI, sign was MIA but it’s location is relatively apparent.

Per others, definitely some scrambling to get to the top. With that said, dogs will struggle to make it up and likely need to be carried.

In my opinion, best view in the park is on top here.

hiking
29 days ago

This is a great option for an evening hike now that the weather is warming up. Never too busy, a nice trail that isn't too tough but is variable enough to be interesting. Climbing to the top of the knoll gives a surprisingly good view for such a little hill. Doing the loop and going around the back of the knoll is great, green and cool and with a little bit of water in the stream from the recent rains. Definitely definitely recommend for a nice peaceful hike.

Came from Cathedral Spires and was well worth it. Going up to the top was tough. Harder climbing back down. The views were worth it. Saw a mt goat and little one on the way back down. Will not forget this hike

That place is so beautiful I loved

Felt like more of a walk than a hike. Either super sunny or all shade and bugs. Some steep hills which is a good challenge but since it’s all graded felt more like a walk than a hike. The falls were great to see though but PACKED with people swimming and lounging. I’d suggest a weekday.

Definitely recommend this trail, it’s a perfect day hike. Bring plenty of water as it is very exposed to the sun.

hiking
1 month ago

The Lake offers very beautiful scenic views, several species of birds and wildflowers, and great fishing (catch and release only). The trail is great for small families (no strollers) and provides a lot of great spots for photography. The floating bridge is a total highlight!

Nice hike for a beginner. shaded, lots of plants and lovely butterflies around the water areas. There is a trickling waterfall and pool of water at the end.

This is a unique hike. In hiking terms it would be strenuous. There is significant "scrambling" at the end. The trail itself has some areas of scree and loose rocks.
The only disappointment is the destruction caused by the pine beetle. I've heard stories of the gorgeous hike through the canopy, but the hike is very exposed due to the devestating loss of trees.
Still, this is an amazing hike with awesome views of the cathedral spires and the central Black Hills.

trail running
1 month ago

A good trail to run. A bit rocky in a few areas .I'll definitely be back.

Great trail, definitely worth it. We hiked it with a 3 year old and a 5 year old. The 3 year old needed to be carried a good bit but the 5 year old made it to the top without any problems. One of the best endings to a trail in the hills. It's like a shorter, easier Harney (black elk). Highly recommended!

There are a few steep hills but nothing crazy. Mostly out in the open, not a lot of shade and no water sources. Also the drawdown of the lake doesn’t leave you with great water views. But still a good hike.

Probably would have been more enjoyable had I not been ambushed by a swarm of homeless people and if everywhere I looked there weren’t broken glass bottles and trash on the ground. A lot of the trail has been burnt so it’s mostly dead bushes but the water was cool to see. There was also lots of wildlife on this trail. Started out as a morning walk and turned into a morning run because of how unsafe I felt there and wanted to get out ASAP.

Beautiful place to lose yourself in nature!

We went on this trail yesterday close to 4pm. It was just the right length for my 10yr old and 6 yr old. We also brought along our 2 yr old. She was in the carrier on the way and walked the way back without much difficulty. Lots of shade. The kids really enjoyed the hike but were a little disappointed/ underwhelmed with the waterfall but we’re happy we could sit and have a snack by it before heading back to the car. We also picked up some of the trash but on one wanted to pick up the mangled diaper :-[ the older kids wanted to do another hike when it’s was done so it didn’t completely exhaust them.

hiking
1 month ago

Anyone lose two dogs on the Lime Kiln trail. See Facebook lost and found page. Looks like two vizlas found and turned into St. Louis County Shelter on Baur

https://www.facebook.com/groups/STLMOlostfoundpaws/?multi_permalinks=1754907107940579&notif_id=1529863622393556&notif_t=group_activity

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail. I enjoyed the elevation changes, was also able to run part of the trail.

Awesome short trail with a steady incline. To get to the trail, park in the upper parking lot and just follow the unmarked trail at the end that runs parallel to the road. As others have posted, the waterfall area is covered in graffiti. There are plenty of flowers on the way though and today threre are DOZENS of Spring Mountains Icarioides Blue. I thought they were the Mt. Charleston Blue, but realized they weren't after taking a closer look at my pictures. I saw more than a few Western Tiger Swallowtail and Carole's Silverspot, and one Nevada Admiral.
June 18, 2018.

100% worth it. our 5 and 7 year old kids managed it just fine although they were tired by the end. took us about 1.5 hrs up then 45min back down. the views from the top of the rocks were awesome, clouds were rolling in and out which looked very cool

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