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The trail was very easy to follow and the entire left wing was paved stone. After a weekend in the Shawnee, I would rank this area 3rd after Garden of the Gods and Little Grand Canyon. If you go to the Garden of the Gods, you must go down the road to this area. The area is covered with moss covered rocks and then you descend down the bluff cutting through wedges in the large rocks. We went on a wet weekend and the water was trickling from everywhere. Once down near the creek the trail splits. We thought that this was the junction of the middle and right side loop, but this is actually the right side loop and the trail that goes up to the lake and back. If you go up the lake trail about 1/4 mile you will find a small waterfall. The site map indicates that most people hike up to this waterfall and back out. From the trail head, the left and middle trails will both take you to the top of the stairs on the bluff, the right trail will take you to the bottom of the bluff.

This is a great place to stop and explore. As others said, the trail itself is very short, but this place is more about exploring. We did a ton of climbing. Without climbing there are still plenty of beautiful vantage points. There was a good bit of trash that could be picked up as you walk across the decks they have built near the swirl rocks. Garden of the Gods and Little Grand Canyon are tied for the best places to visit from our weekend.

walking
20 days ago

This is a great short trail. We took about an hour to enjoy all of the side trails to the overlooks and to read all of the interpretive panels with our 4 sons. There are clean outhouses and trash bins at the trailhead. Just up the hill is a nice picnic area and primitive campground.

Indian Point Trail is just down the road for a slightly longer, family-friendly hike.

This area is beautiful, but respect for the potential danger is a must.

Easy to follow trail with beautiful views of garden of gods.

It was an amazing last min. trip idea for spring break. Very muddy today but totally worth it and my 10yr old son and mom had a blast.

incredible

Beautiful, surreal landscape! Excellent for photography

Gorgeous views! Kids didn’t want to leave!

1 month ago

took the kids today. we had fun!

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.

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.

The trails are well marked and fun to hike. Lots of rolling hills and scenic quiet spots. In early spring it’s easy to see the river from the higher elevations. Nice little gift shop too. Well worth getting to know!

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!!!!!!!!

Fun hike, can be challenging to stay dry in the dells if your worried about staying dry.... I try to avoid it on the weekends as it can get packed full of people in the summer. Winter time is nice just don't forget your snow/ice cleats. One of the few good hiking spots within 60 miles of the metro area.

road biking
1 month ago

Nice hike, rode bikes around lake on the roads also. Launched kayaks and paddled around the lake too. Camped at campground

1 month ago

it started as a moderate trail overlooking the sugar Creek but then you come to the huge staircase down into the ravine close to where the stream empties into sugar creek. The rest of the trail is a rugged journey back into the ravines as it gradually ascends back to the top. the whole time going against the stream's currant. we should have done this trail first instead of last. It kicked our butts. great trail!

1 month ago

Suggest taking the creek side first (clockwise) so you’re descending stairs and going down creek. Great trail with lots of creek walking.

Amazing rock formations

clean swiggity

Lovely in December with frozen waterfalls!

Great trail and dog friendly!

love it!

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

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

Beautiful day in mid-October. High 70's. Light breeze. Colors coming in. Who could ask for more?!

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.

Nice trail. Not as trashy as expected from reading other reviews.

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.

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