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

IL/MO Hikes Map
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Nice trail.. NOT USER FRIENDLY... SIGN NOT VERY CLEAR... Will definitely do it again when I have more time.... I seen the Forts and Steps.. I DIDN'T do the steps this time BUT NEXT TIME THE STEPS IS A MUST !!!!! #Fun and Fitness with Miss B @stlhappyhourfitness

hiking
4 days ago

Me and my girlfriend are trying to plan a 4 day 3 over night possible trip and I would like to get about 20 to 30 miles with Garden of the Gods included. Does anyone have a good trail to go with?

Very large and clean visitors center with decent bathrooms and cool T-shirt’s. The separate parking areas further down the trail have porta-potties. Very stunning views worth the hike, but very popular, so heavily trafficked. I’d recommend going earlier to avoid the crowds. The campground has mediocre reviews but I loved it. We showed up in the rain at night and had people offer to help us set up tent. No one partied late it was quiet by 10:00 pm. Campground has restrooms and showers, food shop, pit toilets and water pumps. Shaded, part shade and full sun areas. Each spot has its own pull in with power. The trails were well groomed and marked. A bit of trash...people need to learn to pick up after themselves...good mix of flat, ups and downs, bridges and stairs

hiking
15 days ago

Giving two stars due to the abundance of TICKS! The first mike of this trail is narrow and through scrub timber - spider webs and thick tick territory. The creek bed is cool - neat rocks, sometimes you have to take the bank - no clear trail through these sections - and back into brush and weeds. We got 2 miles in and turned back because we realized our legs were covered with tiny ticks. Would not do this one again - if only because it’s not worth the feeling of bugs and spider webs all over you.

hiking
16 days ago

Good hike! We went the counter clockwise route which is the way most hikers go if you want a nice morning hike out. First part was harder than the second half due to the humidity and heat of the day we hiked in. Was only a 5 mile hike to the campsite and the seasonal stream was running was nice. My only complaint was the chiggers or oak mites were bad!

mountain biking
18 days ago

If you were hiking this trail, it is nice except for the relentless bugs. This trail is completely unmaintained so expect very tall weeds, lots of sun exposure, lots of bugs. If you go in the winter however, the views are spectacular. It can be very muddy from time to time and this is primarily a horse trail so it will be very rough. I honestly would not mountain bike on it as there are many more fun trails to be had in the area.

Awesome

hiking
22 days ago

Excellently maintained and well marked with a great natural feature to keep you moving forward. I’ll definitely return with my kids next time.

Old double-track trail. Very old, though, so not as unpleasant as double-track sounds, although you could drive a car along most of the trail.

Very rocky in the initial ascent, but only for that first mile.

Beautiful glades. Only saw one other party, although it was a Thursday.

Was a beautiful trail. If your new to the area this is a great trail to get out to; cold water creek is really nice and feeds to the Missouri River from right there. Have fun!

hiking
25 days ago

Good mix of open and wooded. Several nice views. I hiked 2 days after heavy rains and there were tons of beautiful fungi. I saw a few lizards and walking sticks. Otherwise, animal life was minimal. Lots of good rocks for collecting.

26 days ago

I had a wonderful time.

Everything is well marked, the sights are incredible, and it’s just the right amount of challenge for beginners to give it a shot. Today was a Wednesday. Got to the park at 8:45 am and had the trail to myself for the first half. By the time I got within a half mile of the visitors center (11:30) the place was getting crowded. Get there early if you can!

hiking
28 days ago

Great trail. I suggest going down into the canyon while looping. Adds stairs but you can see some great cliffs and waterfalls!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice clean, well maintained trail. May have some issues during heavy rain.

This was a great trail that both my dogs and I enjoyed. The natural bridge at the end was beautiful and fun to walk through. The only downside I found was that it was more heavily trafficked than I tend to enjoy and I had forgotten repellant so I spent about an hour getting seed ticks off of my body. Highly recommend using repellant here!!

The perfect escape from the city! It was 90° today but we could take refuge in the abundant shade and water so it worked well! I recommend coming out on a weekday to avoid the traffic. We will be back for sure!

hiking
1 month ago

Lovely hike for a mid-summer hike! The trail was balanced with both hills and flat areas. The trail is gravel/dirt and narrow with overgrown brush in areas. Most of the trail is shaded. We saw countless elk, deer, and turkey along the trail. At times we had to take an alternate route to avoid disturbing the wildlife on the trail. We inspected ourselves after the hike and found we were covered in hundreds of seed ticks on us despite DEET insect repellent. We drove through the bison area but didn’t have any sightings. We will return again soon!

backpacking
1 month ago

I loved this trail. It takes you deep in the woods, and it has many great views and sights to see. Highly recommend it. I made a video with some highlights from my trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUQxymOH9iQ

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.

Cool trail on the lake. Had a nice breeze, clear weather, and swimming area. Nice overlook trail with good elevation that breaks off loop.

backpacking
1 month ago

This trail is absolutely beautiful! Definitely a good beginner hike. Came here for a backpacking trip but cut the trip a day short. First day I was covered in seed ticks and went to wash off in the closest bit of water which had leaches in it. Beautiful trail just don't recommend coming here in August!

The trail was well marked with easy access to the trailhead. There are plenty of trail maps but no bathrooms. The trail is very rocky and narrow making the rating of “moderate” accurate. My two children got excited for a bench at about two miles. They sat down only to realize a minute later that they were COVERED in termites! My five year old was in pure horror! We tried to finish the loop with the shortcut but after a quarter of a mile farther, we decided it was best to turn around. After returning back to the car and fully stripping their clothes, we also found three ticks on my husband and daughter. Heads up that this is not a young kid friendly hike. I wish we would’ve have gotten a chance to see the entire trail and what it has to offer. I gave it three stars because I’m sure it’s a good trial for others, but I wish I’d known it wasn’t for my family. Oh well, you live and you learn.

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.

artsy :)

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!

Easy hike. Elevation gains were very short or very gradual. No rivers or bluffs. Nice trees. no flowers in July. Hike got confusing as it crossed many other paths. Having a map was very helpful.

Awesome trek. Deer, turkey, elk and mostly wooded.

hiking
1 month ago

Good trail, didn't see snakes, got a couple ticks. a little bit of experience hiking, makes this trail real fun. couple places to camp, no idea if you're allowed to or not though. this is a low maintained trail and that includes the road up to the trailhead. small cars can make it but its rough. i plan on hiking it again and probably camping off the trail.

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