Explore Mom's Visit Shawnee/ Ferne Clyffe - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Mom's Visit Shawnee/ Ferne Clyffe Map

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.

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.

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.

This Trail Is small VERY SMALL! but worth the stop it is listed in the Smothsonia as the top 50 in the USA! On Smithsonia.Com and top for Illinois very Beautiful place. if you trail it it dont take long but in my case it lasted for almost 9 hours .Put me in a Wilderness and I'll stay as long as possible and cry when I have to leave. There are a few folks walking around but I seem to be able to figure out where to go to get away from them plus I went in the middle of the week so that helps. beautiful place I was there in Oct 2017 for the fall colors PERFECT!!!!!!!!

Definitely harder than I anticipated!

Was a great hike, this year was the first time I hiked it during winter. Personally I enjoyed this trail better during this time period. The frozen waterfalls off the bluffs, and being able to see more exposed rock face. You just don’t get that when the leaves are on in the warmer months just made it for me. Highly recommend.

I'm hesitant to write a review, as the trail is getting trashed from over-use, but this really was an excellent hike. I took my 5 year old daughter and she loved it. It was the first trail she's hiked without being carried once, and we completed the whole 3 mile loop in 4 hours. (That should give you a good measure of the difficulty). Right now the trail has a lot of icy spots, so I would recommend bringing a walking stick or trekking poles to help with balance on the canyon descent and ascent. Please practice good trail ethics. Pick up after your dog, don't leave trash, don't pee in the middle of the trail and leave your toilet paper marking where you peed, and be mindful of the effect your boots are having on the trail when wet. Leave no trace.

At times as you proceed down the trail in the wet, rocky canyon, it is so steep that it looks impossible. However, the next step and handhold seem to appear at the last moment. I wouldn’t want to do the trail if it was raining.

It was a great trail a little hard because of the ice in the way of where you had to climb. I would definitely take a hiking buddy with me.

The snow and ice were melting making the trail very soggy today but it's a lovely hike.

Amazing rock formations


Great trail and dog friendly!

Kids all loved it, especially all the nooks and crannies of the rocks.

I wouldn’t say this trail is “hard” maybe moderate. Nonetheless still one of my favorite trails to hike. Be extremely carefully when going through the canyon as it can get very slippery. There are cut out steps but can be hard to see at times. Trail is very well marked and normally pretty easy to find if you head off. There is another waterfall off the trail about a quarter mile from the base of the canyon, but I’ll leave it to you to find it.

Hidden gem in Illinois. Well worth the time to explore this and other hikes at Garden of the Gods.

Nice trail. Good workout. There are a couple of places where you have to climb down into the canyon through the creek bed. It can be slippery and difficult when the creek is flowing. We went after a couple weeks with no rain which made it less slippery. Must have good footwear for this trail. Beautiful trail, but I understand why it is rated as difficult.

Most areas are easily accessible to all. This short trail rewards with amazing views that are some of the best in the midwest.

Enjoyed this trail and as others have said we too ended up in Pounds Hollow! There’s an open area where the very small sign is and we missed it. Not a big deal, we just walked back the same way. But it is an extra half mile each way to pounds hollow. The trail itself is pretty easy with some fairly good elevation changes.

4 months ago

Nice easy trail with some great overlooks and neat rock formations. Saw people camping but we just did a day hike and combined it with Garden of the Gods and Rim Rock. All nice trails within 10 miles of each other

I hiked this trail today. I did end up at Pounds Hollow, but I saw the sign and kept going. There is a sign. It's short, but it's there. I didn't take the street back. I simply went back the way I came, turned at the little sign and finished the trail back to my car. Really nice area.

Great views. Easy hike. Family friendly day event.

I have hiked this trail twice and both times I ended up on Pounds Hollow Lake Road and had to hike the highway back to Rim Rock. There are no signs telling you which way to go on the trail. If you get to the beach area, you've gone too far. I love the trail, though. Very beautiful and peaceful. But now that I've found this website and have a map, I know where to go and am going to go back and walk the trail the right way!

This is definitely one of the hardest trails I have done. My adcice woyld be to make sure you go prepared in comfortable shoes and have water. you will not get much reception there. elevation drops qyickly. pay attention to the white diamonds on the trees that show you the path to go. absolutely beautiful.

awesome scenery and views. trail was well marked and easy to follow. the climb in and out of the canyon was the most difficult part of the trail.I would only do this trail when it's been dry for a while as the rocks will be very slippery when there's been rain. It took about two and a half hours.

I would have to say this hike was a little difficult due to the very slick rocks in the bottom canyon. Decided to turn back. Wasn't interested in any bumps, bruises, or broken bones.

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