Explore Midwest 2017 Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Midwest 2017 Hikes Map

Great hikes on well maintained trails; phenomenal view of the waterfalls.Cant wait to return!

1 day ago

Rates more than moderate with the endless stairs, and irregular rock climbs. Watch for low overhang headaches.See it at this time of year because many of the gorge views will be gone once the leaves erupt.

Extremely pretty short hike with plenty to experience waterfall dense forests. Caves rock formations. It’s very cool for only a bit over 1 mile

This is a steep decent down to beautiful waterfalls. Also continued on to Boardwalk Falls. Loved the trail and Falls. Neat metal staircase you descend beside bluff. Rocky, rooty, a Little muddy. Much fun!!

Amazing trail. It is difficult, but definitely worth it.

The trail is short, but beautiful. There are benches along the trail to sit and enjoy the view. I went in March. The view in summer or fall would be even better.

Don't underestimate it. Starts off easy, then gets much more difficult. We picked a good day for this trail, but it would have been a lot harder if it was rainy or icy.

Closed Dec 1-March 31. Wish the app told me this after I drove 2 hours to get here!

on Grotto Falls Trail

4 days ago

We hiked this on 3/16, so had to start at the rainbow falls trailhead. This added a couple of miles to the hike, but they were fairly easy. We encountered a lot of mud on the last 1.5 miles. We saw more than one group heading out to the trail wearing white sneakers. Needless to say those shoes weren't going to stay white for long. Views along the trail are limited, but the falls at the end are a sight to behold.

4 days ago

This is one of my favorite places in the Shawnee National Forest. I have been here several times. This is a family friendly place. Although the trails are not well marked, there is a place to easily descend into the canyon to the base of the falls, although some climbing is required. It’s mostly just descending some large rocks. We typically take the upper rim (if you’re standing at the top of the falls facing the falls, go to the left) across to the opposite falls (not typically flowing well unless there has been a major rainfall) on the other side of the canyon and about 1/4 mile around, there is a moderately beaten path to an easily (if you’re in relatively good shape) descended rock formation that will take you into the canyon. This side is fun to walk around as well. We LOVE picnicking at the base of the falls. It is so peaceful. I highly recommend a sunny day after a decent rain. There are many people typically climbing and rappelling on the rock formations. I’d say there is something for everyone, if you’re able to do a little climbing (just from one stone to another- not anything requiring special equipment)!

We did this hike yesterday, starting at Rim Rock (we took the path to the far right (of the four options) and making our way to Pounds Hollow. We actually spent a little time at Pounds Hollow to take a break (up the bluff), then hiked back, where there is a small sign at the point of the three large bluff/ rock formation areas. We headed the opposite direction that we came from to ox-lot cave and wandered/ climbed around until we found a stone staircase. That led between the rock formations and toward a recently created or remodeled wooden staircase that takes you to the top of Ox-lot. We then took the upper trail back to the parking area. During our hike, we ended up with a distance of 4 miles and climbed the equivalent of 37 flights. It was an excellent time. Calling it a moderate hike/ trail is mostly accurate. I would say easy to moderate. I did take the time to climb up a few of the formations and experience different views. I would recommend it just to really take everything in. Recent rains meant the water was flowing nicely and there were very few people there, so you really got to hear the amazing, peaceful, serene sounds of nature!

SNF has done a wonderful job keeping this area up. The addition of walkways, benches, and bridges simplify the trail, but do not take away from the environment. Most is likely done as a protective feature for the natural areas and the hikers. This is a family friendly place. There were only 5 other families/ couples there when we left, only two others when we arrived.

Great hike with several types of viewable waterfalls and cascades.

A short trip down steps to the falls. A good warm up for the other trails.

4 days ago

A short easy trek to the stone door. Beautiful views from just above the stone door. Suitable for kids, dogs and beginning hikers.

Easy trail with a few steps. Beautiful overlook and then an easy walk to under the arch. Good for a quick adventure

on Laurel Falls Loop Trail

5 days ago

This is an easy hike with some steps/stairs. It's a small waterfall but still pretty. It's a great addition when you hike to the Stone Door.

on Stone Door Trail

5 days ago

The views are amazing in the spring and fall! The hike is not difficult, and the paths are well-kept.

trail running
5 days ago

Great challenge!! It was a little difficult to follow the white diamonds to reach the other side once you got down into the canyon, but other than that it was a wonderful workout and a lovely hike.

Great hike. Beautiful rock formations and an awesome waterfall at the end!! We were able to walk down to the falls and actually walk behind the waterfall. A pretty cool perspective! Will definitely come back to this trail.

Have been to this secluded jewel of a location in the Hoosier National inumerable times. Whether camping or a daytrip I absolutely reccomend this beautiful unique trail to anyone in the area or afar. The far side of the trail conceals an astounding giant cave formation halfway up the cliffs. Love it.

Love this trail. It has become more popular lately and can be a bit crowded at times. Great for swimming!

I’ve been hiking here since I was a child. Great day hike and plenty of other activities to do in the park.

Loveee this trail! We rated this in our 3 favorite places we've hiked in Kentucky. The drive back to the trail was a little "are we ever gonna make it there?" But once we got there it was no issue! We took off at the bridge trail (shorter than the other trail head) very awesome hike. The river/ creek is beside you on the right the whole way through which was phenomenal. Once you get closer to the falls you may want to keep pets and children away from the ledge. I took my dog and she enjoyed this hike as much as we did. Once you're at the falls there is so much to see! Make sure you look around every where near the actual falls! the view is amazing all around there. Would recommend this hike 10/10. The hike back is a little more strenuous but still not bad at all! Will be going back again!! Enjoy!! And once you're finished with this hike head down to the falls resort and enjoy the views there as well!

trail running
8 days ago

I’m not from the area so I’m not sure if it rained the day before, but the trail (after visiting the Arch) was too boggy to complete the full 2.6 miles. I was bummed about that, BUT the Arch was very cool and I had the place all to myself! Also, I’m part Cherokee, so it was humbling (in a beautiful way) be on a section of the Trail of Tears. Would love to give it try again in drier conditions!

8 days ago

Really pretty area. This was hidden gem you would never find without online mapping. There are no trail markers, Park signs, or any information available at the site, but google maps takes you right to it. The road to get there is poorly maintained which can do damage to commuter cars if the driver is not careful. Falls are at the head of the trail with approximately 3/4 mile loop which leads down around the bluffs over bedrock trails to the base of the falls and cataracts. The trail is poorly demarcated in most places and is a struggle to find the correct path but it is not easy to get lost due to the trail following the canyon. Finding the loop was tricky, as it is a much more advanced climb than the trail leading down to the falls which involves scrambling over rocks and a ledge crawl over the top of the falls. Though it was passable with me and my 60 year-old-mother. We went on March 14th which fed the falls with snow melt providing beautiful views and a nice brisk hike. Though we were both a little winded after climbing up the backside of the falls, I'd definitely recommend this hike. Expect to spend 30 minutes to an hour depending on your speed and agility.

8 days ago

Very gratifying hike. We started at rainbow falls trailhead so the trip was a bit longer. VERY MUDDY. 3-6 creeks to walk through depending where you start.

Had to climb over a few fallen trees at one point but a beautiful waterfall at the end you could walk behind. Not too crowded. Icicles fall from the top of the waterfall so be careful!

Very worth it and would do this hike again.

Breathtaking views and great hiking! Love this park.

If the tower (knew it was closed) was open a 4 Star. Used the Dome pathway as a start for my hike to Andrews Bald. Up to the tower base, across the short section of the AT and down the Dome bypass to Forney Trail.

The reward of the Dome pathway is the VIEWS coming (4 Star) back!!!!!! Even the views from the parking lot are 4 Star!!!!!!

Great hike! It is challenging, especially when you hike down to the bottom of the falls because the hike back up is a rough one. I love this state park and it holds so many different waterfalls so I would highly recommend that you try all of the falls out! Also, if you can get a chance to see these falls in the winter, I would highly recommend it!

11 days ago

This was a pretty cool hike. We went in March of 2018, so the road to get to the trailhead was closed for the season. But you can easily park at the rainbow falls trailhead and walk the rest of the way. It’s 2.0 miles to the trailhead and the trail itself is 1.4 miles long. The terrain of the trail was pretty rocky and rooty. We left out at about ten in the morning and didn’t encounter anyone on the way there, but encountered 3 or 4 groups on the way back. Once we got there, there were some nice photo ops from behind the waterfall.

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