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

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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.

Good trail to test out pack load/equipment. Bring a hat or sunblock for there isn’t much shading. It’s a pretty busy loop, but everyone is polite and there’s room for everyone.

The Shades has the best trails in the state. Prepare to walk in creekbeds and take extra shoes and socks.

Beautiful, large variety of difficulty.

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.

Nice easy trail with great views and rock formations. Worth a look if in the area.

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.

This is my favorite place to go at the moment. It's big with lots of trails, it's secluded, Ive only ever seen 1 other person here during bow season, and it's pretty easy and relatively flat.

Things to keep in mind: it's not a park, there's no tables shelters and few if any bathrooms.

The bugs are bad. Swarming nats and mosquitoes. I have to use a bug net sometimes.

I took my 4 year old in early spring. We loved it! Climbing down the creek bed is difficult so take your time. Beautiful views once you get down the the bottom. Overall nice trail to bring young children or fur babies.

Not surprising that this is a big draw for visitors, beautiful vistas for very little work! Fun scrambling on the rocks, good late afternoon cap on a day of more intense hiking.

Did it twice, once in each direction! Not too buggy, rocks are (not surprisingly) slick in the shade but easy enough to keep your feet dry.

Visible trails, beautiful and peaceful. Can she a short trail walk or a long one.

Beautiful area to explore. Definitely bigger than I was expecting! You’re welcome to climb on the rocks as much as you want which added for extra entertainment. Could’ve spent hours just sitting and taking in the view

horseback riding
12 days ago

"Main Trail" is 9.5 mile long with beautiful long trees and some water bodies along the route. scenic views mentioned on trail map arent really scenic. water is all dried out. trail roads clearly marked. no water fountain in middle of trail. restrooms every 3 miles almost. horse back riding possible.

Not a bad trail system. An excellent trail to see scenery and get some exercise. There are enough trails here to keep you busy all day. Several facilities and bathrooms. I really enjoyed throwing on my backpack and spending a day here. I will be returning soon to explore some more.

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!

if u take the sidewalk trail .. it turns into a very good cardio workout!!! not so much for kids...
hiking iz new to me but ... i have to say ...
probably the best body workout i’ve ever had !
and i’ve been working out my whole life !
I think y’all need to check this out before ya
judge . .. good luck !

trail running
17 days ago

You will not get bored running here if you like nature.

Loved our mid-summer hike. Was steeper and more difficult than we expected but are definitely going back in the fall. It’s amazing that this beautiful area is tucked away here in the Midwest. Wear good hikers and bug spray for the valleys.

21 days ago

Easy trail. Viewed a herd of over 40 bison in their pasture and toured one of the old Joliet Arsenal bunkers. Wanted to say hello to the hot shot crew while there, but they were in a fire assignment in Florida.

Lots of butterflies and flowers. This is a neat little trail. Make sure you bring water with you a lot of open space with no shade. Go out and enjoy this trail.

22 days ago

The trail is a great way to see the beautiful canyon! Some of the creek bed can be rather steep and slippery so be sure to wear the appropriate footwear. Once you descend into the canyon the mosquitoes do get a little bit bothersome so remember the bug spray.

Always a great trail.

Absolutely amazing views!

Great trail with plenty of hills for exercise. All Trails with my phone GPS said the trail was 3.1 miles, not 4

That place is so beautiful I loved

29 days ago

About tennis ball spiders crawling all over you and your stuff so you cannot stay still for too long. There were also millions of them.

I lost my keys to a Chrysler vehicle on Friday the 13, anyone finds them please contact the park rangers thank you.

trail running
29 days ago

I use this trail to get some gravel miles in when palos singletrack is too soft. Some decent climbs and nice scenery. Trails are also groomed for cross country skiing in the winter when there's enough snow.

Lots of varied foliage and scenery. Peaceful. Will definitely do again.

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