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.

Illinois Map

Very easy trail, beautiful year round, but can be crowded with people on the weekends.

Amazing views!

The natural bridge is nice for photos. It is really very scenic. There is not much of a hike, but you can explore under the bridge.

Down in the canyon was amazing

A lot of fun, especially good for dogs to hike along with owners. Fall colors beginning to show.

quick trail but can easily spend hours here after a good rain looking at the waterfalls and rock formations

15 days ago

Revisited and camped out at Red Bud Campground, redid this and other hikes. Destination area.

Good pathways and very pretty area.

23 days ago

Trail was easy to follow and mostly flat. Dipped down to cross the water (summer hike so water was down and no issue) and had to climb up a little, but that was the worst of it. I could see the climb out with sweaty hands and wet not-well-treaded boots as a slip hazard. I'd say the rest of the trail was easy to moderate. I did not anticipate the number of snakes. I'm from Indiana and have hiked there more than anywhere and only seen snakes twice out of maybe a hundred hikes. I saw three 5-8' long black racers (educated guessing) on this relatively short hike. One was sunning itself in the middle of the trail. I'm fine with snakes, but my hiking companion was not. Will be hard to drag them out to this place a second time. haha

When I was a child, I had the blessing of seeing this waterfall running, it is SO worth trying to see. that being said, I've hiked this trail probably 10 times and only got lucky once. one of the most breathtaking falls I've seen.

1 month ago

Waterfall was in full swing when we went, but VERY slippery. Be safe!

Easy trail, flat, and short. Beautiful year round, but the falls are only active after a rain. Otherwise it’s just a trickle of water falling.

1 month ago

No waterfall at all when we went, not even a trickle, so be sure to check before going. We tried to hike the trail but it was too difficult to climb over the rocks and fallen trees with our 2 older dogs. One actually slipped over the side while jumping over a crevice. Luckily his harness held him until we could pull him up. We had to turn around. Very disappointing.

this is a beautiful fall. very easy to access.

trail running
1 month ago

Loved it!! Saw a turtle!!

Amazing views once you get to the top! There were wild flowers along the trail while we were there!

Beautiful rock formations. Want to return in the spring when the water fall is running

1 month ago

I had a wonderful time.

kids loved this natural wonder. watch for yellow jackets but otherwise a great time.

2 months ago

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

had a blast it was a must see on my River to River thru hike. glad I did

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!

There's a very good chance that the creek won't be running, as it only flows after a period of prolonged rain. However, I walk the trail on a pretty regular basis, and find it to be a pretty charming walk through a really beautiful forest regardless. One definite perk is that throughout the hike you can see cliffs rising through the trees on either side of the trail; these cliffs become more prominent as the gorge narrows. When the water is flowing, there is a really unique waterfall that tumbles into a deep cleft in the cliff to the right of the trail.

2 months ago

Nice trail but would of like to see some of the waterfalls, must be much better in early spring. Got to see deer and lots of mushrooms, lol. Would of liked to of gotten rid of the horsefly that decided to travel with me for the entire length of the trail and all the way back to the car.

Lots of bang for your buck on this hike: two nice-sized and very different waterfalls, unique rock formations, and a really scenic section hugging cliffs above a creek.

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.

The trail was very easy with a moderately trafficked gravel pathway. We went in the afternoon as that morning there was heavy rainfall. We noted that the creek leading up to the waterfall was dried up and once at the waterfall found that it was dried up as well. There is a split path that allows you to climb to the top of the waterfall to explore the rocky area. There were fellow hikers at the waterfall when we arrived and we were informed that the waterfall only runs in the spring time despite recent rains. We did bring both of our Siberian huskies and found it was easy to navigate.

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!

2 months ago

The trail itself is a little bit boring and nowhere near hard. I know the trail is rated as hard, but it is easy to moderate at its best. I would have given it 5 stars if there would have been water in the river. It was very dry so it wasn’t so beautiful. 3 stars isn’t really what I wanted either, but it won’t allow me to do 3,5. If you are afraid of spiders, now is not the time to hike this trail as there are spiderwebs all over the place. I almost turned around after constantly getting webs in my face. I eventually walked with a stick to destroy all the webs. I went off trail at one point to walk along the dry riverbed and to do some rock climbing. That made it much more exiting. I combined this trail with the natural bridge and the white trail. 5 miles in total.

What a great app indispensable out in the Shawnee. Simply pick a trail and it links up with googl to get you there!

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