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

Southern Illinois Map

Really lovely trail all along the way. Easy to follow except at the stream crossings. There are no bridges so if the water is up like it was for us you will need to wade. I built a rocky causeway to pass the first crossing upstream but the downstream crossing was much too deep and we had to get our feet wet. The spring is not visible from the trail and appears on the map to source several miles away which may be visible from another road which passes through that way(just by visual inspection on a map). The trail was easy to follow in most places though some spots we lost it due to sharp turns and lack of arrows indicating the proper path which caused us to do some unnecessary ledge crawling. The sentry bluff trail(Blue diamonds) travels along with part of the Natural bridge trail(Yellow Diamonds) close to the parking area where the natural bridge can be seen across the creek. However unless coming in a dry/low water season you will be getting your feet wet to see the natural bridge or to hike any trails on the other side of the stream. Both the entire length of the sentry trail we took and the finale of the natural bridge at the end were stunningly beautiful. A spraying water fall into the keyhole of the natural bridge gave rise to a small rainbow next to a a large snaking tree which climbed the height of the bridge into the canopy above.
Definitely well worth the visit. Better trail marking in places and bridges for stream crossings would make my 5 star review.

It's a nice, easy stroll. The bluffs are all at one end of the trail so depending on the direction you go, you're either waiting to see bluffs or wondering if you'll see any more bluffs.

22 days ago

Nice trail. Not well marked, but still easy to follow.

Great trail. Make sure you get a permit from the Crab Orchard visitor's center.

1 month ago

Really enjoyed the trail. Beautiful

Amazing rock formations

3 months ago

Nice trail that is very well marked. A lot of the trail is just walking through the woods but when you reach the bluffs they are pretty impressive. The sandstone rock bluffs have very unique patterns in them. The waterfall was dry but pretty and I'm sure would be impressive as well if caught after a good rain.

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

3 months ago

I wasn’t a big fan of this trail. It was not very well marked and if I didn’t have my gps on I most certainly wouldn’t have found my way back. The ticks were horrible here in the spring, the only trail in southern Illinois I ever had a problem with ticks. If you decide to hike this, be sure to protect yourself from ticks and pay attention to your surroundings to not get lost.

Trail need to be marked better and needs maintenance. Multiple time we questioned if we were still on the trail.

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

Just did this trail and loved it! It’s not difficult from an elevation perspective but there are a few tricky spots to maneuver. This is different in that there aren’t any “overlook” areas like Garden of the Gods, but there are many beautiful rock formations along the way. Trail is really well marked.....just follow the blue markers.

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.

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!

5 months ago

The trail is difficult in some spots but for the most part it is easy walking..A few great rock formations and a natural bridge are among the highlights..Trail is marked well until it comes to a sudden. turn ..we got turned around a couple times but no big deal. Definitely worth your time to hike.

It's a nice trail. I would consider it more of a moderate trail rather than easy.

9/21/2017. In places the trail wasn't cleared very well. The creek was nasty no lake where they got bluff have no idea . Just not interesting.

Nice trail!

We were camping at nearby Pounds Hollow, which is a great rustic campground. We did this hike on a Sunday morning with some relatives that are pretty inexperienced. Everyone loved it. Make sure you take the steps down off the bluff that lead to Ox-Lot cave. Pretty amazing rock formations, especially for Illinois. In my opinion, this is more impressive than Giant City State Park. We could have spent a little more time exploring, but it only took a hour and a half to complete. If you are in the area it is well worth doing.

Great easy hike...lots of beautiful rocks and neat places to explore. We loved it!

Easy enjoyable hike with pretty waterfall if you catch it after a good rainfall.

6 months ago

just went here, the forest service has done a lot of upgrades and remarking of trails great place

6 months ago


neat rock formations. definitely wear long pants as the trail has a significant amount of poison ivy along it.

6 months ago

This is a fun trail and Kid friendly - to an extent. It is NOT stroller friendly. There were many times we had to pick up the stroller and carry it over rocky, narrow areas of the trail.

Great rock formations and stone paved path. Very well kept and clean. A short low experience level hike, I had 2 pain in the ass girls with me and even they did fine.

Loads of trash, would be awesome if not for disgusting people.

Nice trail. The actual Rim Rock trail is paved the entire way, Which made it nice. There is some climbing and geological site seeing including the Ox-Lot cave. The hike is short, took about an hour, with lots of stops to site see, but didnt seem that long.

A must-see location along with Garden of the Gods.

Several different trails to choose from. Not too difficult. Enjoyable day. Don't go after a good rain, lots of slick spots with steep drop offs.

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