Explore the most popular hiking trails in Apple River Canyon State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

walking
1 month ago

We didn’t do this full trail as we just wanted to see the part of the river it landed you at which you can see by parking at the parking walk and walking left (away from highway) along the river. It is a beautiful part of the river and different than what you see on the river trail. There are more people in this area but only about 5 groups total so still not bad. Bring your water shoes as well!

A great short hike along/to the river. To make it great bring your water shoes and walk in the river. Throughout the walk there wasn’t but 2 other families and a fisherman that we saw so that made it even better. This made the drive from Chicago worth it and much less annoying than starved rock and allllll the noisy people everywhere. Just a quick note that a week or two earlier the river was up to 3 ft so it can get too high to walk in if the area gets a lot of rain. As far as difficulty. The hike out is a little steep but since this is a short hike it is not difficult overall.

PS thanks to the person that left the info about the waterfall. It was worth the 15 min drive. Only further advice I have on finding it at the apple river lake (NOT river) is that when you reach the lake and have to turn right or left. Google maps takes you right. Don’t do that...go left towards the sign that says all the member stuff is that way.

hiking
1 month ago

There was one tree on this trail that was gorgeous that made it worthwhile. Otherwise nothing to write home about. Didn’t find “tower rock” at the end. May have been right before. We would not do this trail again if we return. Those closer to the river are better, but if you like wooded walks the. You would like this. You do get a peek at the river occasionally.

10 months ago

Nice fairly easy loop through the timber.

hiking
10 months ago

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I would not call this trail easy. It is fairly steep, narrow and rocky. A portion of it is very close to the edge of the canyon. Do not attempt if you have small children or are afraid of heights. Very short trail.

hiking
Saturday, December 31, 2016

Nice selection of trails from moderate to easy. Some issues with clear marking but overall good hiking and a worthwhile visit. Because it was winter there were no other hikers, which enhanced the experience. Many views of bald eagles flying around, and even a buck romped through the paths. The dogs had a blast!

hiking
Sunday, October 30, 2016

This trail is right next the camping ground. At the end of the trail, you can loop back or cross Apple river to start Sunset trail.

hiking
Sunday, October 16, 2016

for everyone looking for the waterfall.. it is not of the mile long river trail..put in you GPS apple canyon LAKE...not river and you will find it ..it is just off the road. while you are up there put galena lake in your GPS and you will run into thunder bay falls just off the thunder bay rd. no hiking but very pretty! and the two are only a 1/2 hour away.

hiking
Thursday, June 02, 2016

Again very deceiving trail description. The trail head sign states the trail is only 3/4 of a mile long.

camping
Thursday, August 06, 2015

River and fishing are great. Great spot for Boy Scout Camping. Decent Trails, not too hard, not too easy, good fishing, plenty of things to see. Wish there was something between the Youth campsites and the road though. Camped right next to the road, not a comfortable feeling when headlights come screaming past you at 3am.

hiking
Thursday, August 06, 2015

Fairly easy. Done this the last couple years with the Boy Scout Troop. Much better visually in the fall.

hiking
Thursday, March 08, 2012

I love this state park. It is small, and the only camping available is car camping, but there is a ton of adventure out there in the woods. The river is pristine and a beautiful place to spend a morning fishing, while the hiking provides tons of opportunities to go off trail and have a little fun. In particular I recommend bringing a pair of hiking sandles and walking up the river itself - its not very long and you get a great new perspective on the park!

hiking
Monday, June 27, 2011

Nice little out and back trail which takes you to a large rock formation overlooking the Apple River. Trail has some moderate elevation change which offers a scenic trek through the timber with displays of plants and wildlife. Enjoy your hike.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

on Primrose Nature Trail

hiking
10 months ago

on Sunset Nature Trail

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Friday, August 25, 2017

hiking
Saturday, August 19, 2017

hiking
Monday, July 03, 2017

hiking
Monday, September 05, 2016

hiking
Sunday, September 04, 2016

hiking
Saturday, January 28, 2012