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Always good to see after a rain

I definitely recommend going down the hilly trail first, ending with the look out point and hill up to the exit if you want an easier route. Steep waterfall filled trails are breathtaking but can be extremely slippery when wet. Hike with caution!

fun trek. but as the map shows you cut through a playground like area, close to a road/busy street, also a lot of zig zag. my biggest complaint is that there are a ton of elevation changes (not drastic heights n drops, probably a foot or two at most) but it adds up on your knees. the trail is clearly made for biking. app and trail head have two different lengths, my step counter was closer to the TH than app (5mi vs 4mi)

Great overlooks, beautiful water crossings!! Everthing a hiker wants. Some steep inclines and rocky areas as well as long flat walks though the trees. My favorite trail!!!

About as good of a view as one can find in Illinois!

This highly scenic trail provides almost constant views of the Big Muddy river and surrounding floodplain from a series of overlooks atop imposing cliffs. Lots of payoff for minimal effort.

Nice peaceful lake trail

This was a great hike if you are truly looking for an easy hike in the woods. The first loop was an easy mile. The trail is flat and would be accommodating for a stroller. The second loop was also an easy hike, but had some spots that were pretty muddy with ruts from tires (as some of the trail is service roads). The longer loop would probably be more accommodating to a stroller when it is not so wet.
Along both trails were bunkers from the WW2 era. These were pretty interesting to encounter along the way.
If you choose to hike the longer loop, make sure to be using this app (or other GPS trail app) as there are a number of crossroads and the trail is not blazed well.

NICE TRAIL ..NEEDS BETTER SIGNS TO LET YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE AT, ALTHOUGH YOU CANT GET LOST..watch YOUR STEP ,LOTS OF ROCKS TREE ROOTS AND HIDDEN SMALL TREE STUMPS .ABOUT THE SIGNS THERE ARE SO MANY TRAILS GOING THIS WAY AND THAT ITS CONFUSING TO WHAT TRAIL YOU ARE ON.

Very flat, kinda boring. I wish there were more views of the lake. Also don’t go alone, I didn’t feel completely safe. Extremely muddy patches

Flat and easy but a ton of ticks in the summer. I had repellent on and still counted 17 ticks on me after we were done.

Nothing spectacular. Decent little trail though.

Do not bring big dogs unless you plan on going the long way around. It was near impossible lifting my 90lb. dog up some very steep cliffs. Also this map is not as accurate for making your way down to the falls. Follow the trail markers.

hiking
9 days ago

very nice moderate trail, marked well but don't get confused with the fire breaks that were made as the trail. Park will be doing a controlled burn in the area this winter.

hiking
9 days ago

nice easy flat trail, not marked but the trail is worn enough that it's easy to follow.

Beautiful winter hike! The trail was well maintained though not marked. It isn't a long hike, but it has some steep climbs to get your heart pounding, as well as diverse and unusual habitats. The steep prairies are breathtaking and unlike anything I've seen elsewhere. I'd like to come back in the summer to see the wildflowers in bloom. This hike was okay with dogs; I wouldn't take small kids, though.

We started the loop by taking the stairs heading southeast. You'll quickly get to the prairie, then turn away from the bluffs and walk through a forest on the spine of a ridge that loops around a hollow. When you reach the prairie again, be sure to take the spur that leads straight toward the bluff before doubling back to the main trail, which leads back down to the parking lot.

Perfect for my kids and I for a quick, level loop. Completed smaller loop in 30 min with 2 small kids and a teen. Fresh air was great; educational signs along the way were a bonus. Great walking trail!

Amazing trail to go on.

Waterfalls were beautiful! Fun trail! Great day for a hike.

Large parking lot that sometimes fills up. Very popular for good reason, great hike!!! Unless you go early (sunrise) or late ( sunset) there is a crowd. One of the best hikes in Shawnee and a “ must do”

No signs from Rt3 keeps this trail less crowded. Small parking lot, but excellent trail. Trees have blocked a lot of the view, so go in the fall or winter to get better views. The is a path that leads to a rock overhang that has great brows year round

An overlooked gem. This trail offers some spectacular views and opportunities to explore off the trail.

Good trail with nice views.

hiking
10 days ago

Fantastic trail!

1st time on Matson-Oxen Trail combo. It will become a regular for us. Not hard-not easy. I like the flexibility to go 2, 5, or 7 miles depending on the trail combo you take.

hiking
10 days ago

Took the family and dog! Nice trail with nice amenities for kids.

I highly recommend visiting this area at least once in your life. The trail is easy to navigate, but does have a few slight elevation changes. If you are concerned about your own physical ability, at least try this trail for the view. I personally have a endocrine disorder that limits muscle use, but made it in and out with no problems. Lots of places to sit and rest. Vertigo was an issue for me as well when I stepped out onto the rock. Just keep that in mind. I truly dont have a fear of heights, guess the view was just kind of temporarily overwhelming, but so worth it! You wont be disappointed.

My wife, daughter, granddaughter, and I hiked this trail last Sunday. It was a great hike, but a little longer and tougher than we expected. The falls were beautiful! The trail after the falls was mostly inclined with lots of rocks just the right size to twist an ankle. Well marked trail.

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