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

IL Trails To Do Map

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!

Only did 2 1/2 miles but very beautiful and very shaded

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.

Wear bug spray. I think I fed half the mosquito population of Palos on our walk!

A good find in southern Illinois! Pleasantly surprised.

This trail has been expanded to more then double the length in 2017. Should noted that horses are allowed too. It can entered off Jericho Rd or Granart Rd

29 days ago

It's a nice hike, I guesstimate the path is two thirds shaded. I disagree with the label "moderate", this is an easy hike and the hill on the northwest side can be avoided. Rated 3 stars because of the mosquitoes and it is muddy for days after rain. Sometimes I see people with stand up paddle boards and kayaks in the lake (be prepared to carry them from the parking lot to the launch area) - I personally have not done this but it's worth the mention.

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.

I had fun riding my bike here. People are nice. I will be back.

This is a very kid friendly trail. They have a Nature center and a nice playground for the little ones, and the trails are easy enough for kids of all ages. Nice scenery as a good part of the trail follows the Dupage River. There are signs all over the park that discuss the history of the land. Only complaint I have is the trails are not that well marked.

Great running trail; it was quite difficult for me. Very challenging especially with all the inclines.

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.

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.

I enjoy hiking here. I’ve had an issue with some creeps so, I reported to a park officer and now I go during higher usage times.

It was an amazing last min. trip idea for spring break. Very muddy today but totally worth it and my 10yr old son and mom had a blast.

I love all the dirt trails.

5 months ago

Fun hike, can be challenging to stay dry in the dells if your worried about staying dry.... I try to avoid it on the weekends as it can get packed full of people in the summer. Winter time is nice just don't forget your snow/ice cleats. One of the few good hiking spots within 60 miles of the metro area.

very nice place to run with dog

Nice area to unwind and enjoy nature. The trail is maintained but very slippery in winter. Nothing complicated or technical skills needed, just a good pair of hiking boots and some water.

I have hiked sections of this trail multiple times, and this is the first time I did the whole loop. Great trail.

Lovely in December with frozen waterfalls!

love it!

Nice trail. Not as trashy as expected from reading other reviews.

10 months ago

went there yesterday for the first time. Beautiful place. I didn't see any trail maps or markings at all which I didn't like, but really enjoyed the peacefulness of the place.

Great hike. It is connected to a few other trails. A couple of waterfalls too.

Great hike. It is connected to a few other trails. A couple of waterfalls too.

Great hike. It is connected to a few other trails. A couple of waterfalls too.

Enjoyed the beautiful hike with a few steep climbs. Looking forward to future walks here.

Load More